Things could be a lot worse

This phrase has been as true in the best moments of my life as it has in the lowest.

Until Gary Vaynerchuk mentioned the odds of actually becoming a person are something like 400 trillion to one, I’d never really thought how lucky we are to get a chance to live a life, however good or bad that may be.

Nowadays it only takes a few taps on our smartphones to endure a deluge of images from friends and celebrities reminding us of all the things we wish we had and falsely convincing us our lives aren’t good enough. But if you really stop and think about it, things could be a lot worse.

For me, an experience that really shaped my thinking on this topic was spending a week creating content for the charity Supporting Wounded Veterans, who every year take a group of wounded service men and women to a Swiss ski resort to kick start their rehabilitation into successful civilian life.

I have no business talking about what they’re going through as after a week I probably only understand 0.01% of the challenges they face in life, as for many their promising careers in the army were literally blown apart in war torn countries thousands of miles away from home.

Spending time with them and hearing their stories, you learn that after these traumatic experiences the most simple of everyday tasks, that we fully take for granted, to them can be an arduous challenge. Even things such as going to a crowded place like a shopping centre or even to their children’s school assemblies can be a terrifying experience, one that many can’t yet overcome.

What’s more, in the year since the trip, so many of the group have gone on to achieve amazing success in countless different areas of life.

So now on days when I start to feel down, I remind myself that I’ve no right to complain as things could be so much worse and in the game of life I’ve somehow been fortunate enough to have been dealt a pretty incredible hand.

I’ll finish on another Gary Vaynerchuk quote, because let’s face it, he’s far wiser and more qualified to give advice than I am…

“Gratitude is an unlocker”.

Those words have really helped me, and I hope next time you’re feeling down, I hope they pop up in your head and bring to mind all the positive things you have in life. We all face challenges and difficult times, I hope you’ve had experiences that demonstrate and remind you that as human beings we have the inner fortitude to conquer incredibly difficult things and overcome intense challenges, particularly within our own minds.

So remember, things could be a lot worse and I wish you every success.



Jack TompkinsComment