Only Good Things Happen

A long time ago, I had a problem with an ad campaign.

The ad network I was running on decided, out of nowhere to update their rules. And according to these new rules my ads were not complaint. (They didn’t think my images were relevant)

So after two months of trouble-free traffic I was shut down completely.

My first reaction was pretty common for me. I slammed my fist on the desk, said several curse words and declared that the entire world was out to get me.

I spent the next hour angrily making new ads. I followed all their updated rules and took the time to make sure that my angles were not only creative and eye-catching, but they were 100% relevant to the campaign.

I uploaded everything, the ads went live – and something cool happened.

  1. Several of the new ads got incredibly high CTRs, 2–3x as high as my old ads.
  2. The new ad conversion rates went sky high and my ROI went up as well.

I laughed to myself. This hadn’t been a problem at all.

My campaign getting shut down was a good thing.

Only Good Things Happen

How can a problem be a good thing? Because problems force you to make changes that you wouldn’t make otherwise. And most of the time, changes are GOOD.

In my case, the changes I made doubled my profits. And I wouldn’t have made them unless I was forced to by a problem.

So based on the results of that experience, I made a simple decision.

if Problems = Good, then ‘Only Good Things Happen’

Now, any time I get bad news, I run that little equation through my mind. Over the years it has become my Mantra and it almost always comes true.

This Mantra solves 2 problems:

  1. It gets you through tough times. (and there will always be bad times)
  2. It keeps you from acting like a spoiled brat who wines about how life isn’t fair all the time

Look For It

Good things are hiding in problems all around you. But it won’t always be as obvious, or as quickly realized as my example above. Sometimes it may take years to see.

But if you look for it, you can almost always find it.

  • Lose your job? Good. This is going to suck for a while. But here’s an opportunity to figure out what you really want to do. Soon, you’ll look back at this experience and be glad you’re not working there anymore.. Only good things happen
  • Girlfriend left you? Nice! Now you have the opportunity to meet someone who won’t sleep with your friends. When you do meet the right person you’ll look back and be glad she left. Only good things happen

Of course, you may be saying to yourself “OH Malan – this is all just some ’feel good bullshit!”.

I get it. A few years ago I would have said the same thing.

But the difference is that I’ve taken the time to try it a few times and can tell you from experience that it works.

And it’s important. Because I think that in some cases it can make the difference between breaking down and jumping off a building or having a laugh and continuing with your life.

Give It A Try

If you’re willing to try, you can turn almost any problem into an opportunity for something good to happen. The next time you find yourself in a bad situation, try this…

  1. Stop. Before you scream, have a nervous break down or jump out of a window, stop yourself and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Remember. Remember that only good things happen. And even if you can’t see it right now in time the good in this situation will be revealed. Don’t demand to understand it right now, but know that in the future it will come.
  3. Move On. Move on with your life without anger. Laugh at your problem and wave goodbye.

This takes a lot of practice. I still have a few circumstances where I struggle to see the good but I’m getting better at it all the time. Right now there is a Post-It note on my bathroom mirror with the words “Only Good Things Happen” on it to remind me every day. When that falls off I’ll set an alert on my phone that reminds me once a day.

Do whatever it takes to keep this mantra in mind. Because if you can make this simple change in thinking, it’s transformative. Suddenly your problem is an opportunity and every set back is a set up for a comeback.

And while everyone else is throwing tantrums and declaring that their life is ruined, you’ll quietly smile to yourself and remember…

Only good things happen.

  • Peter Szalay

    If it would be just so simple…!Thanks!

    • Mac

      It IS so simple…
      Problem is elsewhere…

      • Peter Szalay

        Have you ever struggled against yourself?Not so easy I think.My inner self is always do the thinks that destroy me asap.

        • Malan Darras

          I do Peter. I am my only enemy. It’s a really different problem, isn’t it? When your enemy looks at you wearing your own face and speaks to you using your own voice. That’s what makes it hard… and that’s why I do things like I wrote here. I have to constantly be on guard – or that asshole inside my head wins.

          • Peter Szalay

            Thanks Malan!I try to guard myself sometimes with more success and power but most of the times coming a fallback or setback.And yes you right I am my enemy but the bigger.And the winner is my best self I hope.

  • Mac

    Positive thinking brings positive results.
    Great one Malan!
    Another good day of my life 🙂

  • Joe

    Malan, have you studied stoicism at all? Sounds like the same idea you’re articulating here. I’m going through a tough time personally and with the AM business and it’s really helping to read about stoicism. Check out the Tim Ferriss Show podcast episode with Ryan Holiday…

    • Malan Darras

      Not really. It’s just the way I deal with things. I’ve read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Ryan’s book like everyone else – but I don’t really consider myself a stoic. I’m just learning as I go and doing what I need to so that I can maintain. Keep reading about stoicism if it helps you. Do whatever it takes to keep going. That’s the name of the game.

      • Joe

        Haha, you’re definitely hanging in the right circles if “everyone else” is reading Ryan’s book! 😉 I’m just making my way through it now. I’ll check out Meditations next…

        • Malan Darras

          Nah, stoicism is just a popular trend right now. I think Tim Ferriss started it. You might want to check out Meditations… it was written about 2000 years ago.

  • fooder

    Love it. I used to get so mad when my best offers goes down, but I realized soon after that whenever something goes down, I bust my ass that much more to find something new and I end up with way bigger campaigns.

    • Malan Darras

      yeah fooder – that’s pretty much how it works for me too.

  • Remy

    I passed this on to a friend of mine that’s going through some difficult times. Great advice Malan.

    • Malan Darras

      nice, thanks Remy.

  • Toony

    I don’t know what’s your stance on the Bible but this principle is an old one written in the Bible
    “Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” So no matter what happens in my life all i say is ” It’s working for my good”

  • CreationNation

    What’s even cooler than this post? That slick Tweet link you set up – what did you use to do that?

    • Malan Darras

      it’s a WP plugin called Tweetable

  • Francisco Bernabe

    Wise words.
    Took me years to realize this stuff.
    Thank you.

  • Raviraj

    Interesting words. I have been following the same pattern since few days now and it really feels good.

    I am just trying to be positive, its more about positive thinking which ll make us calm and succeed also makes us stand above the rest of the crowd.