Life is too Hard, I Know. Here’s I Learned to Never Give Up

life is too hard

I know. Life is too hard.

I really do know. There was a time when I longed to be dead. I know what its like to see with overwhelming certainty that life is too hard to go on.

I get it.

So bear with me for a sec while I tell you how I recovered. And know that I am not here to sell you anything. There’s no magic formula to rescue you from the pains of existence. If the only thing you take from this post is a connection to someone who has felt your angst, take comfort in that if you can.

Life IS too hard.

The first time I felt the keen longing to vanish from the Earth was during an NLP practitioner training.

You may have heard of neuro-linguistic programming. Or Tony Robbins, the personal power guru? Yeah, I was stoked to take NLP. I saw all those killer personal growth techniques as potential salvation. Little did I know that half-way through my training I would collapse on the floor and long to be removed from this earth.

I was 22 years old.  I’m 51 as of this writing.

I survived. I’m glad I did, as so many of my goals in life (so far) have been met. But I’ll never forget the deep knowing that life is too hard for me. I simply could not imagine going on. I couldn’t even pick myself off the training room floor. The trainer had to intervene, as my class companions quietly freaked out.

Here’s how my death wish exploded to the surface.

That weekend of the NLP training was focused on metaphors. Metaphors, analogies, etc…

Life is like a

  • Bowl of cherries
  • Party
  • Adventure
  • Journey

You get it.

People in the training were coming up with all kinds of positive, empowering life metaphors, but I was drawing blanks. Then, we engaged in another metaphorical activity: Talk about a song or poem that has significance to you. The song Puff, the Magic Dragon came to mind.

It was a childhood favorite. I LOVED it, listening to Puff over and over on my .45 record player. Yet, talking about that song during the small group exercise in NLP training, I lost it. Grief and pain and loneliness overwhelmed me. The tears come from nowhere and I simply collapsed on the floor and wanted to stop existing.

Life is too hard. Life is too HARD. The words echoed in my mind.

Next thing I knew, the head trainer was sitting next to me.

The others in my group huddled nearby.

“What’s going on, Mike?”

It was Tim Hallbom. “Mike, do you want to talk about it?”


Yet, over the next hour, Tim got through to me and I spilled my guts, learning what was going on inside me as the words poured from my mouth.

Little Jackie Gleason. The boy in the song. He loved Puff, but by the end of the song, he lost his best friend. That was it. Grief and loss. But what had I lost as a child? To one part of me, I’d lost everything I’d hoped for. Love, safety, guidance – a family to care for me and take an interest. This part of me was reeling in pain. Now, it was making itself known.

And that was the first day of the rest of my life.

No more denial. No pretending to be bulletproof, above it all. I had issues. Over the years, my personal struggles have led to me discover deeper ways of working with people. On a mission to understand and heal various conflicts in my own soul, I’ve learned and developed ways to help others do the same.

It’s a journey fraught with emotional hazards. Life is hard because it wasn’t meant to be easy. It is what it is. What are you going to do with it? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Accept that life is difficult. And read The Road Less Traveled.
  • Learn to see your own struggles in other people. We’re in this together.
  • Turn toward your angst, not away from it. You can handle it.
  • Talk to someone – a therapist or life coach.
  • Get training. You’re uniquely qualified to help others when you know your own pain.


I was at a Robert Dilts training sometime after my NLP practitioner training – Tools of the Spirit. Robert is a big deal in NLP – one of the originators. With some trepidation, I approached him on a break and confessed that, while his methods were great, I was still struggling with some deep, family-oriented issues.

Robert didn’t skip a beat. “Welcome to the club!” he said as he threw his arms around me in a giant bear hug. Of all the responses I imagined from Robert Dilts, this was the last thing that might have occurred to me. Of all the fancy NLP moves that Robert is capable of making, he did the most impactful thing imaginable. He connected with me in total acceptance.

That simple interaction with Robert has stayed with me for over thirty years, providing a sense of acceptance and relief every time I’ve remembered it.

The bottom line.

Never give up. Share your story with people you trust and respect. Seek to turn your issues into learning experiences that create value for others.

Swishing A Negative Feeling ~ A Simple Formula for Letting Go

negative feelings

The Swish pattern in NLP is one of those classic techniques that can bring about a rapid change in behavior, but can it handle a negative feeling?

The swish is a visual pattern that involves quickly moving images in your mind. The swish pattern puts you in a mindset that allows you to overcome habits. Over the years, people have quit smoking, overeating, procrastinating, and reacting poorly to certain specific situations because of the swish pattern.

The swish is great but there’s a limitation to it in that it’s most easily done in visual mode. It’s a visualization technique. Over the years, people have asked, “How do I do a feeling-oriented swish, a kinesthetic swish.

We’ve discovered a way to let go of a negative feeling that is simple and easy and effective.

It’s true over the years that many NLP practitioners and trainers have come up with kinesthetic variations of the swish pattern. However, we found the most effective way to do it.

Here’s how.

Start with a negative feeling and just allow that negative feeling to be there. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt you! 

We’re going to work with this negative feeling using NLP submodalities. It’s simple! Notice where you feel the negative feeling. Is it in your head, your throat, shoulders, chest, belly, legs, arms? Where’s the feeling?

Also, notice what shape the feeling is. Is it a blob, a rectangle, a square or cylinder? What shape is it?

Again, the mindset is just allowing the feeling to be there and consciously experiencing it in order become more aware. The next thing to become aware of is any movement associated with the feeling.

Is the feeling moving?

Is it expanding contracting?

Is it flowing in any given direction?

Is it spinning?

Feelings are dynamic.

They have a subtle movement to them. This natural movement of feelings is a key to doing a kinesthetic swish. Once you discover the direction your feeling is moving, then your job is to simply observe the movement without resisting it.

Allow the feeling to move however and wherever it wants to. Your feeling may be moving in a downward direction, upward direction, or in an outward direction. Let it move and just observe where it moves. The process of observing where it moves could take a few minutes, so take a deep breath and just witness the feeling and where it wants to go next.

If you allow this to happen over a period of several minutes, the feeling will process. It will complete all feelings and emotions are temporary. They come and go in waves. We know this in NLP when we set an anchor, when you set an anchor to stabilize a feeling, you catch that feeling at its peak.

Feelings have peaks and they’ll be at that peak for a few moments before they move on and turn it into something else. The act of witnessing your feeling’s movement is similar. The feeling is going to move. It may intensify. Then it will lessen and you’re just going to observe that process until the feeling completes itself. When the feeling completes, there is usually a sense of calm or relief or being okay.

You’ve just acknowledged the feeling. You’ve paid close attention to it. You’ve allowed it to run its course. People feel calm after that. Once you get to that calm or positive place, then note where is the center of that calm.

The next step…

Clear your mind entirely and trace the pattern of the feeling, noticing, remembering where it started, where it moved to, how it developed, and how it completed.

Once you remember this, then recall the original feeling again and let it run its course a second time. After you’ve let it run its course a second time and are feeling calm, clear your mind and do it again. When you let the feeling run its course, now you more or less know where it’s headed, so this third time, as you let the feeling run its course, just know that it’s headed toward that calm place.

And then do it again. Starting with the original negative feeling, knowing it’s going to end up in a calm place and observe the feeling to let it run its course and complete again.

Actually, you can do this process as many times as you need to until you feel confident in it and the feeling runs its course and ends up in a calm place to form a new pattern.

Then as you go through your day-to-day life, pay attention to when that original feeling comes up. Take a deep breath and (obviously:) allow it to run its course. You know where it’s headed. You know how it’s going to get there. You know you’re going to end up feeling calm, so let that happen.

I’m calling this the kinesthetic swish pattern because it has an end goal, which is that calm or positive place. And once you set up this system, you know where you’re headed.

The issue is a matter of allowing the feeling to move there.

If this is done well, every time you get this negative feeling, you’ll know immediately that all you have to do as a witness it and allow it to progress to this calm place!

The kinesthetic swish is something we’ve used in our training school at the iNLP Center and in our work with individual clients. We find that it’s very consistent and very helpful.

How to Satisfy your Lover (Just Two Powerful Steps)

satisfy your lover

negative feelings

Right? You need to satisfy your lover or else.

So let’s get down to business. You have a lover. Could be a romantic partner, spouse, or live-in. I don’t care, as long as you’re lovers.

This lover should not be a figment of your imagination or the one you’d like to hook up with. No, this is for your actual romantic partner, a real person with whom you relate consistently. You need to keep him/her satisfied, right?

Warning: You simply must find a way to satisfy your lover, even if the tips in this post turn out to be bunk in your case. Don’t give up. Unsatisfied lovers have a way of turning into ex-lovers sooner or later.

If you DON’T KNOW how satisfied your lover is with you, beware. If they were over-the-moon satisfied, you’d know it. You can always ask. In fact, I dare you to ask. “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with me as your lover?”

Do you want to know? You should! I just asked my lover that very question. The answer was, “Super satisfied. An 11 on a 1-10 scale.” I guess that qualifies me to write this post. No kidding. I really did ask my lover. Whew. I’m good!

The Formula for Satisfying your Lover. Are you Ready?

It’s a fair question. You may NOT be ready to satisfy your lover after all. When you do, you’ll suddenly be on the receiving end of a highly happy person. A satisfied lover who sees YOU as the source of the greatest goodies in life.

You might not be ready for the sheer bliss of a mutual love-fest. You may be a massive self-sabotager who cannot get out of your own way to save your very life. If that’s the case, you’re not going to benefit by the following the steps here. Overcome the self-sabotage first. Just sayin’:)

Without further ado:

1. Put your EGO Aside to Satisfy your Lover

Good god if only the world’s inhabitants could drop the ego like a hot potato. EGO = I am only in this for myself.

Nope, you’re in a two-way relationship, my friend. And it’s not all about you. You’d be best served by forgetting all about yourself in this case. Forget. Your. Self.

Mind you, I’m not suggesting there are no benefits for you in this charade. Are you kidding? The benefits of having a satisfied lover are out of this world! When you keep your mate happy – really happy – the bennies coming your way multiply 10-fold.

Think of the poor self-centered bastard who only cares about his own satisfaction. No one wants to do anything for him. Nobody respects him. He’s a loser, schmuck; someone all alone in this world. And he’s miserable.

Contrast that with the lover who makes his partner’s needs a priority….and you’ve got a night/day scenario. The selfless lover is a magnet for personal satisfaction. Let it go! Put your ego aside in this case and know that the more you satisfy your lover  – without concern for yourself – the more YOU will be satisfied.

If you don’t get this, click away. Buh-bye.

2. Get Deviously Specific (Seeing, Hearing, Feeling)

(Hello NLP)

Satisfying your lover becomes abundantly clear when you understand how s/he receives love. You might say this is the NLP (much simpler and easier) version of love languages.

Does your lover receive love by seeing, hearing or feeling? In other words, do you need to:

  • show your lover
  • tell your lover
  • or touch your lover? (hugs work)

Most people have a preferred way to receive love. Tragically, most of us give love through the same channel (see, hear, feel) that we like to receive it. If your lover isn’t a match, you won’t get credit for the giving and s/he won’t feel loved!

Ask your partner the best way for you to give love!

You may also like:

A Formula for Letting Go of Negativity

A Formula for Change

A formula for change ~ let’s brainstorm about the contents of this website.

I think it would be a good idea to have a website that consists of formulas for change. Thinking about various situations; decisions we make, stuck states that we get in to use an NLP term, and the various problems of life.

Wouldn’t it be good to have a catalog of formulas that one could follow in order to create change?

How do you create a formula for change? Well, you step back, you do what in NLP we call dissociating.

Take a mental step back and consider the steps necessary in order to change. It’s really no different than creating a recipe. A recipe is a step by step guide to creating an end result, and when it comes to personal change, then we should begin with that end result in mind regardless of the starting point.

Now, different starting points have different challenges built into them. If I have a hard time making decisions, that’s a different challenge than if I suffer from fear of failure, for example. So to create a formula for change, what we need to do is consider each circumstance and decide what needs to happen first, second and third.

We end up with a template that anyone can follow in order to create change for that specific circumstance.

If this site is a catalog of such formulas…

It seems like it would be worthwhile for anyone to browse and find a formula that they need that works for them. Additionally, each formula could be turned into a workbook, a downloadable workbook that people can use to walk through the ABCDE method for changing beliefs is an example of a formula that has a workbook and a worksheet that someone can simply follow in order to change a limiting belief.

So that’s what this site is about.

Formulas for personal change and we’ll tailor each formula to a specific problem. And then there might be a year and a universal formula. A universal formula would be the formula for creating formulas. So if you know the universal formula, regardless of the problem you have, you can create a formula designed to get you where you want to go.