11 Essential Steps To Take Control of Your Depressing and Redundant Life


Do you ever feel lost?

Like you’re doing the same thing every day, over and over again on repeat?

And to make matters worse, you’re doing things that don’t really matter and aren’t going to benefit you in the long run… so it feels like you’re life is heading towards a pointless… dark… abyss.

If you answered yes, please know you are not alone. There are many others like you and for a long time I felt the same way.

This is an actual response to my email survey

Q: Why did you join this email list?
A: “Because I feel that there is a need for me to try and take control over my depressing and redundant life. Which sometimes makes me feel like I am constantly heading towards a dark abyss.”

The survey is anonymous, so I have no idea who wrote it. But it’s not the only one like this that I’ve received. So before we continue with all the online marketing posts I wanted to address this thing.

P.S. To whoever wrote that response… This one’s for you.

P.S.S. If you’re not already on my newsletter you can click here to automatically subscribe.


It makes sense. The reason you are drawn to this site is because you’re not satisfied with the way life works and you want to do your own thing.

  • You don’t want to work for someone else
  • You want to make money online
  • You want out of the damn rat race once and for all

And if you’re one of us, who want more for our lives than the futile reality we’re being served – life can be hard. You’re too smart to be content fitting in with the crowd. You know there is something more you should be doing and until you figure it out you just feel…


Well my friend if you feel lost that is good news. Because realizing you are lost is the first step towards finding your way.

I Used to Feel Lost Too

Every. Single. Day.

There was a particularly bad stretch of about 3 years where I spent every single day running on a chaotic, depressing hamster wheel.

  • I had a job I hated but it paid too much to quit
  • I had a band that had flatlined and was going nowhere
  • I was drinking myself to near-death several nights a week
  • I blamed my past and other people for all of my problem
  • I was hoping that somehow I’d find a way to get hit by a train

This is true. Every morning I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and heard the lyrics from the song ‘Ants Marching’ by Dave Mathews playing over and over in my head.

“He wakes up in the morning
Does his teeth, bite to eat and he’s rolling
Never changes a thing
The week ends, the week begins…”

I hated the repetition, yet I did nothing to change it. I just kept doing the same things over and over while despising every second of it. I thought the world was against me.

I thought I was Cursed.

Wait… I’m The Problem?

It took years for me to realize that I was the problem. My life was out of control because I had never taken control of it.

And the moment I took control, the record, that had been playing on repeat for years – scratched to a halt and things started falling into place.

Here’s What Worked

If there was one thing that changed my life the most it was that I stopped blaming other people and accepted full responsibility for everything I wasn’t happy with.

By doing that, I was able to start fixing everything I had broken and I recreated my entire life in a way that I could live with. I am living it right now.

Here are some of the things I did to put the pieces back together.

May you use them to light your way.

11 Essential Steps To Take Control of Your Depressing and Redundant Life (That Makes You Feel Like You Are Heading Towards a Dark Abyss)


1. Accept Full Responsibility (stop blaming others)

This is the hardest and most important thing you have to do.

Whatever happened to you in your life has happened. What happened may have not been your fault at the time, but if you are still dragging it behind you many years later – that is your own damn fault.

And don’t get pissed off about that. This is good news. Since it’s all your fault, you can fix it all – because all you have to do is change you. (which is much easier than trying to change everyone else)

Example: My dad committed suicide when I was 15 years old. I blamed every problem I had for the rest of my life on him. Everything that happened was all his fault. I blamed him for my drinking problem, my bad relationships, lack of direction, my beer belly… it was all because he screwed me over.

The minute I realized that him dying sucked, but me ruining my life was my own fault I was able to stop ruining it and fix it. It was like magic.

  • Drinking problem? My fault.
  • Bad relationships? My fault.
  • Lack of direction? My fault.
  • Beer belly? My fault.

And for the record. Right now I am sober, I don’t have a bad relationship, I’m focused and succcesful and I am in the best shape of my life.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take whatever situation you’re in.
  2. Separate the thing that happened from the way you reacted to it.
  3. Then, fix your reaction and set yourself free.

Your mom set you on fire as a child? That sucks and she should be shot. But you being mad about it 25 years later? Your fault.

P.S. a friend of mine was really set on fire by his mom when he was a child.

2. Quit Your Job, Go Online

After you’ve admitted you’re the problem, you’re ready to transform, and this is where that begins. If you can detach yourself from that 9-5 rat race you’ll be able to work your life out much quicker.

One of my goals on this site is to teach as many people as possible how to leave their jobs forever. You don’t have to make millions, you just need to be able to eat and pay your bills without working Monday to Friday from 9-5pm. It is life changing.

I’ve posted many ideas on this website about how to get started. I’ll be sharing more over time. Anyone can make a simple living online, replacing an average salary or hourly wage isn’t really that hard.

3. Set Goals

If your life is going nowhere it’s probably because you haven’t made plans.

Making plans is easier than you think. All you have to do is write or type down exactly what you want, in great detail.

  • Write down your goal
    • If it’s money, pick an exact number.
    • If it’s to live somewhere, pick the exact spot and neighborhood.
    • If it’s a relationship describe the exact person.
  • Write out exactly how you’re going to accomplish the goal, step by step, even if it seems impossible right now.
  • Then… live your life.

I did this exact thing in 2008. In 2011 I found the goals document I had created. Everything on it had come true multiplied by 50x.

4. Lose 10 lbs

Want to feel better? Take control of your body. Losing 10 lbs is easier than you think. All you need is an app and a food scale. Total price $5.

  • Join Myfitnesspal
  • Put in your details and a weight loss goal of 10 lbs
  • Eat the number of calories it says to eat per day / week
  • Track your food with their bar code scanner or with a food scale

Exercise sometimes if you want. Get interested in cooking your own food instead of eating out. Most people lose 5–20 lbs the first month.

5. Start a Journal or a Blog

Start writing your thoughts down in a personal journal or on a public blog (like this one).

There is a magical power in writing things down. It gets all of your thoughts and ideas (good and bad) out of your head and clears space for new information.

I started this blog over 10 years ago. The first time I posted something online I got this feeling of release, connection and good energy. Now, some psychologists are saying that journaling can actually improve your health.

There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being.

University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. Other research indicates that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.

So start writing things down. Use a book, a wordpress blog or whatever you want. Just start.

Also, by sharing your thoughts online with others you’ll find and connect with people like you, *ahem* kind of like we’re doing right now.

6. Help Others

Wanna feel better instantly? Find someone to help.

  • If you want love, love someone else.
  • If you want attention, pay attention to someone else.
  • If you’re having a bad day, call someone and see if there is anything you can do to help them.

It’s one of these reverse-life tricks that works 100% of the time.

The reason you’re having such a hard time is because you’re totally wrapped up in your own head and worrying only about your own problems. When you help someone else, you forget about yourself.

7. Do The Opposite

One of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld is the one where George Costanza realizes that every decision he has ever made in his life has been wrong.

So he comes up with the idea that if he starts doing the exact opposite of whatever his natural instincts tell him to do, he’d always be right.

His life immediately changes. That morning he meets a gorgeous woman and later that day he gets his dream job with the Yankees. All because he did the opposite of what he normally did. [Watch the clip below]


This actually works.

If you’re unhappy with the way things are, try doing the exact opposite of what you’ve been doing.

  • If you feel li staying in bed all day, spend the entire day outside
  • If you’re scared to talk to someone walk up immediately and say something
  • If you hate Christmas, put on a Santa suit and pass out gifts

Then watch what happens.

8. Ditch Your Friends

I heard this saying once and I think it’s true.

You are the sum of your five closest friends.

Think of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Are they who you want to be? If not, start working on building a new circle of friends.

9. Stop Drinking / Using Drugs

This is a massive one. If you drink and use drug – quit. Even if you don’t consider yourself an alcoholic or addict – just give it up. (if you can’t, you may want to reconsider your situation).

There is a thing that happens when you wipe out those things from your life. It’s magical and great and you won’t believe it.

Alcohol and drugs take you away from reality. They make boring stuff seem fun. They make you feel better about a bad situation for a little while. But when their effects are gone, you’re back in reality and in reality, nothing’s changed.

By staying sober you’re forced to experience life as it really is. This gives you a chance to fix it once and for all and make things better.

10. Stop Buying Things

Stop spending money on stupid shit you don’t need. And when you think about it – you don’t really need anything.

Make a shift in how you think about money:

  • Old Thought: “What Can I Buy With This Money!?”
  • New Thought: “How Much Money Can I Make With This Money!?”

This is what wealthy people do and is why the rich keep getting richer. They are investing their money in assets, you’re spending yours on cars, watches and shoes.

If you have zero dollars in the bank right now, you can still retire 10 years from today if you start saving/investing 65% of the money you make.

If want to retire within 10 years, the formula is right there in front of you – simply live on 35% of your take-home pay  via mrmoneymustache

The “work until you’re 65 then retire” age is over. People are retiring in their 20s, 30s and 40s and 50s. You can too, if you stop spending like a dumbass.

11. Reframe Everything

Pain is inevitable and bad things will happen for the rest of your life. But if you can reframe the way you look at bad situations and find a way to feel good regardless of what happens, you will become a super hero.

  • Lost your job? Sweet. Here’s your chance to finally do what you really want to do.
  • Getting divorced? Great, you get to start over and experience other men/women who will treat you better

If nothing bothers you – nothing bothers you. No one can hurt you. Nothing can bring you down

*By the way, I have a free ebook that is sent to all my newsletter subscribers that goes over my journey in greater detail. It’s called 10 Decisions That Probably Saved My Life. If you want it sent to your inbox right now, you can click here to automatically subscribe.

Here’s The Point

If your life feels like you’re a hamster on a wheel going nowhere I have good and bad news for you.

The good news: Your situation is totally fixable
The bad news: You have to do all the work

No one is going to save you. No one is coming to your rescue. It’s all up to you. I’ve given you 11 ideas here that can put you on your way. Today you are younger than you will ever be again, so my advice is to start now.

If you feel lost – good. As I said before realizing you are lost is the first step towards finding your way.

All you have to do now, is Take Control.

  • Petre Veluda

    It’s really hard to get started on this but having the steps you mentioned makes it much easier. From my experience you just keep improving and constantly working on your own system like the one above. It never stops, but it gets better and better.

  • Mareks

    It’s really strange that I need to apply all of the things, even tough I’m only 19, and depression is one of my “best friends”. Am I already that old ?
    Will try to apply point 11.
    At least I have the ability to understand and change my life at a young age.
    Is that how I should reframe things ?

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Mareks, you may or may not need to apply any of these things. These are just some steps that helped me. And a reframe would be: “I’m 19 and depressed, at least I can start fixing this at a young age instead of when I’m 50 and wasted most of my time”

  • http://www.ultimatedjacademy.com Dan Castro

    Great article – rings true for me right now. Thanks for the informative read..

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      you bet Dan – glad to help.

  • Rory Coyle

    Two words man: Thank you. I needed this reminder.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Two words: You’re welcome (and i did too)

  • http://www.ochoamedia.com Edgar Ochoa

    You da man Malan. Thank you. Thank you. I needed this today! All the best to you man.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Edgar. good to see you here

  • http://asheraw.com/ Asher Aw

    Great sharing, Malan. Whoever it was that was feeling down and depressed, I hope this article helps. If it’s really serious, it’s probably a good idea to see a doctor. It might be a medical issue… even if it’s the placebo effect they really need.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      me too, i actually get more than a few messages like this. which is how I decided to do the post.

  • Tim

    What an extraordinary post. Thank you.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks for reading Tim

  • traffiking

    Damn, Malan!! You really touched a nerve with this post. Real, actionable knowledge for your readers. I’m the guy blaming his parents for all the bad shit that he goes through. Time to man up!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      we all do it. some people never let it go. there are people in their 60s right now still blaming their mom and dad…

  • med.al

    who’s the man ?
    you’re the man

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks med.al – stick around

  • Aaron Jo

    Another wicked post. Malan always keeps it real.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      keeps it real weird. haha

  • Uroš Majcenovic

    Ace post man… one of the best!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Uros. i never know how these personal posts will go over, good to know you like it. thanks

  • Wilson

    Thank you so much, Malan. Reading this somehow lifted a great weight off my shoulder. You’re the man!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      as writing it did for me Wilson… 🙂

  • Eric Jones

    Malan, thank you very much for your honesty and true sincerity in your posts. I really appreciate it.

    I was in a very serious relationship and for the first time at 31 years old realized what true love was. Unfortunately she lost her 3 year old son to a hospital’s mistreatment for a scorpion sting. We stayed together for almost 6 months after but during the Holidays of 2013 she felt she couldn’t give me what I deserve and we broke up. I had just quit my job in October to go back full time running my real estate investing business and also pursue internet marketing again.

    Fast forward to July I have gone through 3 huge roller coaster dips on income and productivity. I would close a deal and then go out every night until 2am then wake up at 7am like a zombie only to head out again by 3pm. While things finally have leveled out and I am creating habits that continue to create success, this post really resonated with me.

    So again, thank you. One of the few blogs I click through to read when I get an email.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey Eric, glad to hear it resonated with you. and i hope these days you’re getting more sleep 🙂 those 2-3am nights every night used to kill me

  • Adam

    Awesome post as always Malan!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Adam, feels great to not being posting daily anymore 🙂

  • Nikola Sarac

    Wow, so powerful! This is probably the best post of yours I have read. And I read them almost all. Now I have a good starting point and guide for changing my life.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey Nikola, glad you liked it. good luck on that change. you can do it.

  • Goran Nikolov

    @Malan nice writing my man. I reflect on every word you wrote here.

    I was and still feel lost i feel like i have no luck at all but i rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

    Long story short: i was learning seo for 3 years till now, past year started to earn between $2-400 monthly. I know some badass stuff about SEO buttt cant take further action because lack of money. What i am earning curently is not enough to stay at home working full time as the online and living costs were to high for the sum to handle it … so i decided to go in Germany (where i am at the moment) to look for a job … and what happens is, i am here almost 2 months a still not working, cant find a job as i dont know the language hehe how ridiculous is that. I strugle running my online bussines through this stupid smartphone thing which is not meant for … :).

    So far still great but my point was to came here find a job so i can scale things and nooo luck so far … hmmmm … i started reading paid traffic found your blog through Charles Ngo. I follow him and you so far and you guys put a lot of inspiration for me in these harsh moments.

    People strugling with AM need guys like you, glad that found you. You are saving me at the moment.

    Thanks and keep inspire people.


    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Wow, thank you Goran. you just made doing my blog worthwhile.

  • Janell L

    I can’t explain why I thought of you today, but somehow I think I worried about your mental health because of your brother’s suicide. It sounds like you’re doing very well, which is great. I haven’t been deeply depressed since high school, but I certainly have had many points in my life where the negative voice in my head had been pretty strong. I’ve been very conscious of telling that voice to go away and instead focusing on what I do well, what I love and what is within my power to control. I went from being frustrated and wondering what the point of my life was to knowing exactly what I want to do with my life.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey Janell, not sure how you know me but glad you stopped by. glad to hear your doing well. hope to see you around more, we family here 🙂

  • Peet

    Sorry for be off-topic:
    Can you create a post or a video about creating angles?
    I’m not good at creating angles because i waste litarelly so much time on creation those but then when i think i have a good one, i check my stats and it doesnt pay off.
    I read the post from charles and finch (i think the only posts about angles on the whole web..) but yeah..maybe i spend so much time on finding THE angle rather then creating some few angles and test them.

    I like your blog and i hope you have a good day 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey Peet – i’ll put it on the list. no guarantees but it’ll go on the list.

  • Reid Yamamoto

    I’m sure it must be incredibly satisfying to you to see how your writing changes and improves people’s thinking. Affiliate marketing is cool and is interesting for other reasons, but in the end it’s more of a numbers/tech/psychology game that brings in money–which is a good thing.

    With your writing you’re changing your readers’ worlds and lives one post at a time. Your posts on “Learning Internet Marketing Skills” and “Reframing Failures” (not the exact titles) have made a huge impact on me. Keep writing awesome content Malan. 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Reid. the reaction to more personal posts is interesting. They actually get way more traffic and shares than the aff marketing stuff… and yeah, that feels pretty good

  • kn

    Im not sure what to say.

    I have been feeling extremely depressed the last few weeks and a lot of the emotions are coming to a head today. I am a long time digital marketer and have been doing affiliate stuff since 2001.

    Recently I have felt like my life is spinning out of control. No drugs, no deaths, and no addictions, but life has lost a lot of its meaning to me for some reason recently.

    I found this page oddly enough by typing “depression” into my browser and this page had been saved in my browser cached and matched up to it.

    It was nice to find it again and re-read.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey kn, sometimes the Universe brings you things just when you need them.


  • Mark

    Malan, I discovered your website 2 days ago and have been going through some of your articles…mainly on depression. I’m 24 years old working as an engineer, smoke weed on a daily basis, overweight. Need to rewire my brain after watching porn for the past 7 years.

    I have saved about $50,000 in 2 years and can afford to not have an income temporarily (I live at home so no rent) but everyone around me (parents + friends) look at me like I’m crazy for wanting to quit my job. No one is finding a job here where I live.

    Coming back from work, I have no more energy not due to tiredness but mostly due to wasting my energy on something I don’t like. So all my other goals are being put aside since I need my “free” time to recover. After reading this post, I have decided that I am going to quit next week despite just getting a $5000 dollar raise (before 44% tax) after 2 years.

    Thank you for the inspiration and even though everyone is gonna think I’m an idiot, deep down I know it’s the right step to make. Only concern is me not using this time after I quit effectively but this is where the battle begins….the battle to construct a future.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      good luck Mark – hope it works out. if you have $50k in the bank you have a really good shot. – Malan