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First attributed to the Roman poet, Horace, who penned these words some 2045 years ago, the simple phrase, “Carpe Diem,” really does encapsulate how to get the best from life.

Of course, it’s not just about success, but happiness, too: making the best of each day works wonders for your health as this Johns Hopkins article shows.

Horace also penned these words, Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even.” to remind us that things are not always easy, but our mindset is always important, as does this anonymous, but well-phrased quote, “Never give up. Everyone has bad days, pick yourself up, and keep going.”

Sometimes one gets some bad, and wholly unexpected news – whether personal or business. If you allow it to overwhelm you, things will get worse – your health will be impacted, which will lead to other problems. Similarly, avoidance and denial – two other often-used ways of dealing with bad news – also make the issue worse over time.

So, how do you cope with it in the best way?

  • Acknowledgement – take a deep breath, or several, to calm yourself. This really helps. Then acknowledge what you’ve just learnt.
  • Process it – do you have the information you need, or do you need more? Ask questions, research as appropriate, to be sure you have a proper understanding. Understanding helps acceptance and being able to move on.
  • Acceptance – recognising what can, and can’t, be done as a result of the information you now have, and the likely next steps that might result helps you to accept the news and move forward. The act of acceptance is really important for the next step.
  • Moving forward – look ahead. What can you do about the situation – both for yourself and those around you? Can you make things easier in some way, and/or prepare the ground for what lies ahead? Think about your personal values and how to ensure you keep to them – remaining focused on this important part of your character.

Having taken this step, being able to move your primary focus off the bad news can be helpful too – perhaps doing something new or different (a new hobby, for example), or meeting up with friends, taking a break… The distraction of such activities can help you to regain focus on your values and your road ahead, even if this is a difficult one, with a more positive mind set. And, as this article from the authoritative Mayo Clinic shows, a positive mind set can make the world of difference.  

Of course, for some people, getting professional help in instances of really bad news can be a great help, too. It depends on your personality. There’s no right, or wrong, approach to how you are best able to reach the point of acceptance and moving forward.

To end, a few more appropriate quotations to think about:

    • “I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” – Stephen Hawking
    • “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” – Leymah Gbowee
    • “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

And to move forward with a positive mind set, remember, “Carpe Diem.”


A somewhat more introspective post from me this week, following some unexpected bad news on a personal front that had me thinking hard about how best to manage things. I thought I should share this with you in the hope it might be of help some day.


I work with successful owner-led businesses to enhance their growth, profitability, cash flow and business value.

If you’d like to have a conversation about your business, strategy, culture, your board, or any business challenges or concerns, book a free 30-minute call with me here. I’d be delighted to talk with you.


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