These people had

    Bad childhoods
    Extreme bouts with depression

There were plenty of reasons to be unhappy and/or to buy into despair, but these people created a good life.

Get the perspective on what really makes life work!

And enjoy the stories of those people listed here, for they will not only educate you, but they will often inspire you!  (They inspired me, for sure!  Plus I gained great perspective that I will always remember as I go through life!)

YES, YOU CAN, TOO - SO... DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!  HERE'S WHY (and, yes, this is legitimate with no hocus pocus!)

I would hope that anyone stuck in the story about their past or their circumstances and how that will cause a bad life will follow the program to learn that anyone can create a good, even great, life despite what has occurred.  The reason why I hope this is that I do not want to see anyone suffer in their anticipation of why life won't work and how it'll be unhappy because of what has occurred or even could occur.
Most of the bad feelings are created via our imagination about what could, or is predicted by them to, happen.

I must admit, though I got it "intellectually", I didn't believe it when Tony Robbins declared "Your past does not determine your future."  (Video, 37:12, Create A New Story - see also Robbins Resources Directory on this site - lots of free videos.)

Evidence shows that one year after a person becomes a paraplegic, he returns to his normal level of happiness, as does the lottery winners.  As discussed in The Skill Of "Fearlessness" - What It Is And Why It is Doable, we dramatically overstimate the consequences of an "undesired outcome" and we dramatically underestimate the effects of it.  We "habituate" to whatever the new norm is, as an automatic adaptation that we are blessed with from our evolution.  What we fear will happen in our minds will not come to pass at anything even close to the level we expect/anticipate.  And as we develop and master the skill of happiness, we learn that we can create happiness after an "undesired outcome" - that we can be happy no matter what!  


To facilitate your letting go of your prediction about some imagined threat and its consequence, we must go about the process of letting go of our false evidence by first reading the evidence on the other side, so that they can embrace the role (the persona) of being a rational, nurturing adult - which we all have the capability of choosing to become.

Then we go on toward developing full wisdom and maturity around this by recognizing that that our views from childhood no longer apply.  We learn to see that there are no "monsters in the closet" and that life does not have to perfect (as in fairy tales) for us to be happy. 

Next, one gets to recognize that the childhood paradigm of powerlessness and dependence on outside people or circumstances is no longer true - and that we've got to let go so that we do not live in fear based on dependence and/or illusions of what will happen to us because of our powerlessness. 

Yes, you did learn those beliefs in the past plus alot of beliefs from your upbringing and your experiences, including "wounding" from abuse or from not getting everything you wanted from your parents.  Some of the programming they passed on could have even been toxic.  But what you learned through the learning process you can re-learn from applying that same learning process!  (Duh!  Of course!)


In working with a certain person (a highly intelligent one), she was absolutely convinced that she was a unique case.  She could come up with lots of justifications of why her past has determined her present and will determine her future.   However, the evidence suggests otherwise.  (And, also, most people believe that they are uniquely damned by unique circumstances far beyond that of all those people who have gotten better.  But their belief is not justified by facts.  And, of course, my job is not to dwell on that, but to do what is necessary to convince her and to have her see what the truth is.  There's no hocus pocus here, just facts.  Somebody believing like she does, might like the story, below, of Byron Katie and her hopeless despair and depression.)

Yes, it is not a short process, but we can learn to see that we can't "solve the past", nor do we need to in order to proceed in life.  Once one sees that the past is not a problem right now and that the past doesn't even exist one experiences a great freedom.  The only "problem" was that my old beliefs had me believing a delusion - all I needed really to do was to question and replace my old beliefs (from childhood) with ones that I reasoned out.   


Because it appeared to me that people are so convinced of their false beliefs around this, I have collected a number of the stories of people who had every reason to feel bad about their circumstances and/or their past, but who did not buy into that bullbleep of false beliefs about life.  They have grown up to create a philosophy based on reality and what works in life.

As said by Landmark Education: "Much of what makes up today and even tomorrow seems to be an extension or variation of what has come before."  But we have the choice not to recreate the past into our future, and to create a whole new future, by true choice and conscious design.  

The title for this piece is a take off on the title of a top recommended resource, Dr. Laura Schlessinger's Bad Childhood, Good Life, which I do recommend to help people "get it" (that they are not victims of their past).


Read about these people's lives (and watch the movies if they have one) - and establish a life philosophy that is "happy no matter what" and/or which you can create regardless of the cards dealt you in this life. You might also want to read the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons for Loving the Way You Live and those you run across otherwise - you'll find them not only instuctive but also inspiring - and good addition to your "gratitude portfolio".

And I recommend that you use the programs related to fears and worries, specifically that you do and master The Fear Management Program.

THE PEOPLE (See also People I Admire , People Who Inspire.)

NICK VIJICIC - Born with no arms and no legs, yet he live with "no limits".  Book Life Without Limits.
LUCINDA BASSETT - From living in poverty with no possibility and depression to running the Midwest Center For Stress And Anxiety, being on Oprah several times, and several books, the latest of which is The Solution.
JEFF BELL - Read his book "When In Doubt, Make Belief", as it lays out how he went from the hopeless trap of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to acceptance and taking charge of his life to create a meaningful, satisfying life.  Another example of how it can be done.  Some of his story is in the Obsessive Thought piece.  Bell Interview 1Article in Psychology on BellCBSVideo
Google Jeff Bell OCD for others.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS - Read her book Resilience, learn her attitude about her husband's betrayal and her death sentence (sometime in the next year or more). As summarized by Oprah:  "Stop resisting what is. Start saying what is the best I can make of what I have now."  And, Elizabeth adds, don't get stuck in believing the child's fairy tale about the perfect life - it will never happen that way, so stop wasting effort on it!
BROOKE ELLISON - Completely paralyzed at age 11 from the neck down, she graduated from Harvard University and went on to earn a doctorate.  Watch the DVD "The Brook Ellison Story" (2004).  I follow her to this day.  Watch the movie first, so the element of surprise is still there, then watch some of the videos of her on the internet.
VICTOR FRANKL - He lost all of his loved ones, was facing death in Nazi prison camp, yet he found a point of view that worked.  Man's Search For Meaning was one of his books.  Even in the most absurd, painful and dehumanized situation, life has potential meaning. "If a prisoner felt that he could no longer endure the realities of camp life, he found a way out in his mental life – an invaluable opportunity to dwell in the spiritual domain, the one that the SS were unable to destroy."
PATRICK HENRY HUGHES - "I am potential" [the name of his book also] Born with a rare genetic disorder: arms that could not straighten; legs that would never be able to walk, and permanent lindness - born with no eyes.  Declaring "I am potential", he defies his disabilities at every turn.
BYRON KATIE - Prominent author, wisdom followed by many.  After decades of despair, convinced that she wasn't enough and never had been nor would ever be, one day she woke up and the suffering was gone, replacedby joy. "I discovered that when I believed in my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn't believe them, I didn't suffer, and that is true for every human being.  I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment." 
HELEN KELLER - See Wikipedia .  Read  The Story of My Life, her autobiography.  
W. MITCHELL - Burnt all over his body and face, later crippled in a plane crash, not someone you'd think would be an inspirational speaker...
JOHN NASH - Despite a "mental condition", he learned a lesson that changed it all.  Watch the movie A Beautiful Mind - and see what the message is that would easily apply to your life.  Read my piece after you've watched the movie:  The Movie: A Beautiful Mind.
PEACE PILGRIM - Severely sexually abused, but claiming that the past is irrelevant, this woman created a whole viewpoint that was unique and uplifting and did her famous "peace walk" of 28,000 miles.  She created a life that was fulfilling. Blog piece , You Tube Tribute.
DAVE PELZER - Subject to one of the most gruesome and extreme cases of child abuse...he has created a good life.  Read his best selling book A Child Called "It"
BRADLEY QUICK - By eight years old suffered the death of 5 siblings, at nine was paralyzed and left for dead, only to end up a skidrow junkie. Today he is an author, motivational speaker, and radio host of “The Quick Fix with Bradley Quick” the most successful self discovery talk show in the nation.
MONTEL WILLIAMS - Doctors proclaimed he had MS, would live a very restricted life, and the he had few years to live, but he decided with whatever years were left he would live a great one - now, many years later...
STEPHEN HAWKING - He was supposed to die many years ago from muscle degeneration (ALS, Lou Gehrig disease), but became a master physicist.  See People I Admire , People Who Inspire.

Read these until you've really nailed it down on how you can virtually always orchestrate a good life - no matter what!


See Success After The Darkness - and the stories of individuals who overcame depression.

Barbara's Journey - An actual "case study", the struggles and the progress over time.  


The Skill Of "Fearlessness" - What It Is And Why It is Doable - Eliminate all but life preserving moves.

In the processes on this site, it is necessary, I believe, for you to formulate and write down
your Philosophy Of Life, so you can have a solid foundation for your life.



Am I capable enough?

Am I Capable Of Making My Life Excellent? Can I Have Confidence In Reaching That Higher Level?

Is The Payoff Worth The Time And Effort?

Do I Have Enough Time To Create A Great Life?

What do I do?

Starting, And Continuing, Great Momentum On Improving Life - Reaping Huge Benefits As We Go And Even More As We Hit Our Goals - Follow the path, and of course, get the necessary assistance and support.

Use the navigation bar below to explore these psychological subjects and link into more and more specific subareas for your learning of how to be happier and more effective in life: