How to Stay Cool No Matter How Psychotic Your Life Is

F141DF29-5893-4C8C-B851-711217D5E1D1-w800-h60099 Problems But Stressing Out Ain’t One

Unless you’ve been floating around in a cozy little bubble somewhere south of reality, your life is most likely completely fucking crazy…

… Dealing with difficult people, unwanted dramas unfolding, conflicts to resolve, shortcomings to make up for, challenges to overcome, problems to solve, and more shit to do than you have time to do it in.

Not to mention the fact that the entire world itself seems to be out of its planetary mind.

Let’s face it: life can be fucking hard—full of chaos, struggle, and uncertainty.

Here’s some things to keep you mentally cool, no matter how insane your life or the world around you may be…

1. Remember that right now is literally all there isthere is nothing else – You can only visit yesterday or tomorrow in your mind. Outside of that, they do not exist. Focusing your attention on what you’re doing right now is an immediate kibosh to 95% of all stress.

2. Accept the fact that you don’t control shit – Trying to control things is like injecting yourself with a needle full of pharmaceutical-grade anxiety. Do your absolute fucking best at what you do, but don’t get all caught up in the results.

3. Don’t take your thoughts too seriously – they’re just stories in your head meant to distract you from who you really are and keep you attached to a fictional character you believe to be you—a character, that just like the past and present, exists only in the mind.

Kill the character. Even if he’s a fucking rock star super-hero with the squared jaw of Ben Affleck, adored by millions and on an altruistic mission to save the universe when he’s not busy feeding the homeless and rescuing kittens stuck in trees. Kill him dead and let your real-self emerge.

4. Embrace your struggles – Your struggles are the kiln through which you’re forged into something greater. The hardest steel is forged in the hottest fire. If you never struggled you would be weak, naive, boring, and without a worthwhile purpose.

5. Find activities that you find therapeutic—Ideally on the level of mind, body, and spirit.

380354F0-2E6C-43CF-AEE8-F9BAA1426DA4-w800-h600While I urge you to find what works for you… I’ll share with you what works for me

Writing – Writing is how I process things. It helps me see things I may not have been aware of, reaffirms the things that are important to me, and allows me to extract the toxins from heart and mind.

Plus, if it’s something I post publicly like on my blog, hopefully it helps a few people along the way—which in turn helps me as well.

Exercise – When my body goes too long without breaking a sweat, I seem to attract some dark cloud of emotional funk that I flat out do not want in my life. Even just a quick 20 minutes or 30 minutes can make the entire day much brighter.

Meditation – Focusing on my breathing allows me to step back from the constant parade of incessant thoughts and helps me to keep a safe distance from their game of high-pressure coercion and remain unattached from whatever the fuck it is that they’re trying to sell me. Most of it’s junk anyways.

Daily Surrender – Every day I hand my life over to WHATEVER the heck it is that created me. First thing in the morning I say a little prayer that basically goes  “I hand my will and life over to you.” I also do it throughout the day whenever I catch myself trying to control things.

This simple practice of daily surrender seems to not only free me of the majority of my need to control things, but also helps keep me on the right path. Plus it brings about a bunch of serendipitous occurrences which help to point the way forward, strengthens my intuition, and things just turn out better for me when I do it…but only 100% of the time. I can’t express how much of a sense of freedom this practice has brought me.

aurthor_f-w800-h600And on top of that, I tried everything I could to kick my addictions. Surrender is the only thing that ever worked for me.

I don’t know what types of activities you find therapeutic. Whatever they are, do them. Don’t get so absorbed in trying to get shit done and caught up in the drama of life that you forget to take care of yourself.

If it were not for the strategies and practices in this post, I most likely would be completely fucking mad. How do I know this? Because before I started doing these things, I was. I still am actually, but now it’s like…in a good way.

And if your really wanna stay cool no matter how crazy your life is or gets, subscribe here and I’ll be sure to send you the new posts as I write ‘em… they’ll help a ton (=

Talk soon,

Big Chris

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Written by Chris McCombs

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  1. I really struggle with living in the now. I always feel that I have to plan and organize and make sure everything is just right. I could really use some advice on how to let go of controlling everything, but not relinquish my intensity for doing things 100%.
    I always really look forward to your posts!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      hey Rebecca, if you haven’t read it yet, read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle

      And Byron Katie’s book “Loving What is”

      Both Tolle and Katie have some great audio programs as well

      I think it helps to listen to it and go through the books on the reg, in my case once def isn’t enough

  2. Great post man. Should’ve titled this post… ” The Tao Te Ching in plain fucking English”

  3. Dude…Chris,

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts. I’ve tried a bunch of different shit and nothing seems to stick. The format in which you use is fucking awesome and I can relate in all ways.

    6’5″ 285lbs I would like to handle a lot of shit physically…we both know that doesn’t work.

    Keep doing it brother!!

  4. These are such good thoughts for me today. I get so caught up in getting stuff done that I do slack on taking care of me. I become this relentless task master and sometimes make the production of my art a real chore. I don’t really want to be this way, but I want to be successful and achieve things also–eventually thrive financially from making art. It is sometimes hard for me to find the right balance and not be so hard on myself. I would most likely do better work in less time if I would give myself a mental break once in a while. And I don’t mean stopping to check Facebook. I mean getting out and sweating again (been on hiatus from martial arts and kettlebells). Taking time to cook a nutritious and delicious meal to enjoy. When I stop and look around (saw Ferris Bueller again the other day–ha!), I see those serendipitous occurrences happening, like you mentioned. They just boggle my mind and remind me that something bigger really is in control. Anyway…blah blah blah. Thanks for your post. 😉

  5. Veeral Shah says:


    I stumbled upon your blog when I googled “Fitness Blogs” and that was several months back. You are bar none the best motivator and life coach out there. You bring information with an uncanny honesty and realism. Thank you for all that you do, you inspire me to be the absolute best version of myself.

    You fucking rock!


    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Veeral

      to me, “you fucking rock” is hands down one of the biggest compliments someone can give me

      super cool of you

  6. Chris.. Thank you for what you do..and say… Honestly, I remember the days when I used to feel in control only to end up today feeling lost and struggling. It’s that downward spiral that has me seeking for some control of my life and in my direction. Over the years, I have lost myself ‘intranslation’ as they would say, but I resonate with your blog in ways that inspire hope and strength. I don’t know what’s in store tomorrow, so I look for guidence today that can make a difference in my perspectives and goals to be me. Its strikes me as funny as I read your post today and wanting control instead if giving it up.. but at the same time coming full circle from controlling, to not and trying to find a balance of the two. You have amazing insight when I feel like I’ve lost all of mine. Thanks for allowing me to lean on yours. 🙂

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Debbie

      yeah, one of those crazy balancing acts in life

      so nice when we can get it just right ya know?

      hopefully the rest of the time we’re working to come back to center, instead of going too far off one way or the other



  7. Chris Young says:

    Chris, this is one of the best things that I’ve read of yours, hell, that I’ve read, PERIOD! Not just that our names are the same, but in tons of other ways your path seems similar to mine. Your stuff inspires me and let’s me know I’m on the right path as I work to uncover the improved version of me that’s inside this blockhead of stone. Thanks for continuing to provide a kick ass hammer and chisel with these blogs, brother!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      hey right on Chris

      love the way you said this:

      “the improved version of me that’s inside this blockhead of stone”

      the hammer and chisel are always here for ya brother

  8. Chris:

    Good stuff. Thanks, bud.

  9. I agree completely when you say we know most of this stuff already, we just need to put it into practice. That’s one of the great things about your blog, it’s the great reminder (kick in the butt) I need every once in a while, and you do it in plain English with style and humor. I’ve also learned to trust your recommendations for books, etc. I just finished “the War of Art” and it will be one of those books I’m sure I’ll read until it falls apart and then buy another copy. Have a great day and keep it up.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      hey thanks Eric, appreciate it man

      Yeah man, love “The War of Art”

      check out his follow up “Turning Pro”

      great stuff man, so good

  10. Kristy Arantes says:

    You always make me smile…..thank you 🙂

  11. I paid someone a lot of money to tell me only part of what you said worded slightly different. I guess I forgot so you just reminded me and several more good points to boot.
    At this my head is batshit but I’m on it.

  12. Michael Gallaher says:

    Matter of fact I just watched Cool Hand Luke again the other nite. Great flick. Been away for a week starting the renovation on our mountain cabin. No phone, no TV, I don’t have one of them cell phones that can take out the trash and cook you a 5 star meal either so its just me and the work. What I truly love to do. Building things. Get a whole lot of perspective laying in a 2.5′ crawl space by yourself under a 1400 sq ft cabin for a few days jacking it up to replace the poorly installed(and rotten by the way) main girder and piers. I had lots of company a course. Fred & George, 2 mountain rattle snakes (been co-existing with for a couple of years now) and my new pal Bruce a young copperhead. I don’t mess with them and they think I’m too big to eat so I guess we’re gonna be OK! Besides they keep the varmint pop under control. Balance. Nature knows how to do it. She’s the bomb just gotta watch and learn. Its all right in front of us. We just need a new pair of glasses and get our heads out of the dark and come back into the light. It can be done if you really are living in this moment. And learning from others that it is “Just one day at a time” makes it so much easier to manage.
    I do have a DVD player and a small flat screen so I watch a movie or two at night. Sleep like a baby. At 63 I have to rest to recharge.
    Life is too hard to make it harder than it is. Sweatin the small stuff acting like your shit is stuff and more important than anyone elses shit is self defeating and counter productive.
    Your post does me so much good. I truly did missed it while I was away.
    The cabin used to be our home until my wife said she was done living like a hermit. So now we’re living in Cleveland. Truth be told I have some medical issues that the Cleveland Clinic is getting under control so it is for the best for now that I am here.
    Anyway, rambling. Love your mind. You must be one cool dude to hang out with in person but I am so honored and humbled that I can hang out with you in any form or fashion. Hope that makes sense? The stronger the bonds between friends the stronger we are as individuals. And with you as a friend I think Kryptonite hasn’t got a chance. Be well.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Michael

      Gotta love Cool Hand Luke

      i’ve loved that movie ever since I was a little kid

      The cabin sounds awesome, and so do the rattlers and copperhead, I was a snake freak as a kid

      And yep, they do serve a a great purpose, gotta love Nature and it’s balance

      thanks for chiming in Michael, super cool of you to relate the story of your cabin man

  13. AJ Brown Jr says:

    Bro’. we was cool ’til item #3, 2nd paragraph: I don’t wanna kill off my inner Denzel, No way! NO WAY!! He’s too crazy-sexy-cool with the ladies, Got MAD SWAG!!! STEEZ for DAYS!!! No, Chris, Naw, Dogg ain’t gon’ happen…

    …unless, I mean, **IF** killing him off/letting him die gives room for my own stuff to emerge, my own “Star Player” to be born and grow… Yeah, OK, I’m getting to feeling item #3, paragraph 2

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      ha ha … now that’s funny

      I feel the same way

      I have an inner Snake Plisken/Tyler Durden/Matthew McConaughey … but really it’s all an act

      And the more I drop the act the more I can get to my true self

      the “star player” you mention

      right on AJ, thanks as always man

  14. Chris,
    I won’t lie. I feel like meditation may have saved my life. The simple act of concentrating on my breathing and keeping poisonous thoughts away has helped me focus on what is real and not on the made up crap that is in my head.

  15. Chris,

    Keep up the GREAT work man, this post was simple but fucking awesome.

  16. PHIL TYNER says:

    Chris, you are a true reincarnation of Solomon who wrote the proverbs… except you’re as punk rock as it gets. keep on keepin’ on. You inspire me and I know you inspire countless others. Not tryin’ to blow up your ego, brother, stay humble and keep making a difference!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      thanks Phil

      appreciate it man

      I’ll make sure my ego doesn’t latch onto that

      that fucker will latch onto anything he can get

      gotta stay humble, gotta

      much better than be humiliated by God/Life… which is where the other way always ends up for me

      it’s so seductive, yet empty ya know

      I know it all too well

      thanks Phil

  17. I laughed at your pharmaceutical-grade anxiety line.

    Before I comment I’d like to say that I am a big fan of your writing since I stumbled upon your 37 Ways To Be a Total Badass article.

    However, I’d like to counter some of your words of advice here. As much as I agree we don’t control shit, we do in fact have will-power and can effectuate change. Results are like goals and in my not so humble opinion I tend to see goals as the stuff that nurtures our hunger and keeps us driven. Results are ends and once achieved are rendered to what was. I agree that we should not focus so much on the destination but the journey, but it is the destination that encourages us to take the first step. As well, the surfer doesn’t control the wave, but he/she does ride it.

    As for surrender. I am more about overcoming than succumbing. However, acceptance is fruitful.

    I think you missed an important one here and that is gratitude.

    Thanks for another enjoyable and uplifting read!!!

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