2018 / 30 August

How do I Rebuild My Life from Ruins?

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I was asked on Quora – How do I rebuild my life after getting ruined almost fully due to a bad marriage?

This question rings a bell with lot of people who suffered due to a bad marriage, financial losses or another catastrophic failure.  Many of us get too focussed on something that we know will not help us in the long run.

It is understandable as this situation almost ruined you and all your thoughts keep turning towards it. I can suggest following way forward:

  • Capitalise on what you have: You mention that you were almost ruined. The good news is that you are not ruined and safe now. So start building on it. Take small steps to start putting your life together. I will suggest few later here as I don’s believe in hollow advice but concrete steps. But the first step is to realise that you are saved and you have a chance to build your life.


  • List down what do have: This could be your health, whatever money, education, relationships you still have. These are your pillars like the structure of a building ravaged by fire. Maybe the interiors and furniture are all burnt down but you still have the structure. Let’s get down to taking stock of what we have, list them on paper (preferably in a new notebook, you will need it more if you choose to read this answer further). Take your time go slow. Rome was not built in a day.


  • What are your Dreams? Before jumping headlong into action, devote some time to introspect. Think peacefully – what are your dreams? what is it that gives you satisfaction? what is it that you actually desire? Many times we run after something, just to realise that it was not something that we actually wanted. True, nobody knows what they want. It will just be what you think what you want. You can always change that in future, if you realise that you know no longer want it but for now, write down top five things that you would like to achieve or your dreams, that are most important for you as of now. Use the same notebook.


  • Work out your goals: Associate a timeframe with each dream. Now, work backward to see what you need to achieve in one year, two years etc to achieve your dream of five years. For example, if you want to have house of your own in ten years, you need to estimate the money that you will need to buy that house in ten years. You can break this into short term goals like – I will have ten percent of the money required in two years, 40 percent in five years, 75 percent in eight years and 100 percent in ten years. This gives you the wealth or the money target that you need to work towards. Another example of a dream – I want to lose 20 Kgs weight in two years. This can be broken down as – I will lose 3kg in six months, 8 kg in one year and , 15kg in eighteen months and 20 kg in two years. Remember at this stage we are only writing our dreams and breaking them down into timebound goals. We are not limiting ourselves by our mental, physical or financial constraints. Again, use the same notebook or diary. Its your life mate.


  • Figure out action points: Now for each set of dream with its associated goals, write down what are the actions that you need to start taking. If it is money you want to earn – what is your plan to earn money? is it some business idea? Do you need some education to qualify for some job that will enable you to earn that money? Do you have a skill that you wish to hone and offer to others for a fee? Go into as much detail as possible. As a life coach, I work with people to help them do this. If it is weight loss – What is your exercise plan? What is your diet plan? write down in great detail. List all action items, their frequency and any learnings needed.


  • Start with why? You may say, at this point, that the action plan may fizzle out and it may not be sustained. But the crucial difference in this approach is that you are starting with your dreams, breaking them down in timebound goals and then listing the action items. Once you start with why, the action plan is much more sustainable and you motivate yourself to take action. Before pushing yourself to go to gym, you know why? Before going to your job in a packed local train, sandwiched among sweat laced people, you know why? Before waking up at 5AM to go for a run, you know why? Before declining to eat french fries, you know why? Before sitting down to write your dream novel, you know why? Before investing hours into making that dream video, you know why? Then, thinking why is not a pain. Acting on why gives you pleasure.


  • Keep your focus and concentration strong: I routinely suggest the Trataka exercise to make your focus and concentration strong. You can see this on my youtube channel here:

You can read about it in one of my previous answers also.

Ashutosh Mishra’s answer to How do I study with focus and concentration and avoid distractions and procrastination?

  • Meditate: To keep yourself permanently centred and in touch with your being, please meditate. I have talked about meditation in many earlier answers, you can refer to the following answer among others:

Ashutosh Mishra’s answer to What is the one thing you did/started doing in life which changed everything for the better?

  • Final word of Caution: If you follow the above roadmap diligently, you will be able to build your life. But remember, life is not a deterministic mathematical formula. You may start out with a particular dream or goal in mind but life will throw googlies, you will need to keep moving and keep adapting. Don’t change your path at slightest resistance but don’t persist in the face of a tsunami. It’s a fine judgement that life will teach you and any teacher or coach cannot impart that judgement to you. This journey of keeping moving forward leads you towards your purpose, whatever that may be. And the purpose of life also keeps changing for most people. You may refer to the following blog to read about how to find the purpose of your life:

How Do I Discover My Purpose? –

Good luck with your journey!

Ashutosh Mishra - YouthCoach & Author

A seeker and explorer in the quest for lasting happiness, health and well-being. An MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi. Has been a senior banker with large global banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and ANZ Bank. Working in these demanding global institutions with a gruelling schedule and plenty of business travel. Was fortunate to realise the importance of health and wellbeing early on. Learnt and practiced many wellbeing tools and techniques to focus on his own well-being while balancing the demands of a high-profile career and a lovely family.

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