You must have felt this way: All plans and expectations come to nothing: People start to speak of you with doubts: Personal life goes out of control. How to get back on track? Our new columnist, political leader, publicist and writer Irina Khakamada gives some directions on how to analyze what's going on and make the right next steps.

Each day we start renewed with the energy sleep brings. If it didn't happen that way we would be like the British author Susan Townsend's character who refused to get up, or in Russian literature, Oblomov. Some find just enough to drag through until the end but others find within themselves strength that is a part of their character and personality.

After ten years as a member of the Duma, I stood as the head of the Union of Rightist Forces in the 2004 Presidential Election. The result was a profound failure politically for the party and for me personally. Still reeling from that blow came another, my daughter was diagnosed as having leukemia. No longer entitled to a government dacha, we had to move to an apartment bought six months before as a contingency if things went wrong but it needed extensive repair work and became a nightmare.

My husband and I analyzed our position and soon understood the uselessness of regretting me leaving politics, when you're gone, you're gone. My child's illness could have made me loose my mind but that wouldn't have helped her, we had to accept the condition and fight for recovery instead of sinking into apathy and blaming our faith. While the repairs were going on we can live in a friend's house.
The important thing was to draw on all the past successes and the learning from the recent failures and find for me a new professional direction because only with this would I have the mental energy to see my daughter through to health. And it happened, and best of all, she entered into a period of remission.
Remember Rule No 1. With you or without you, the world is still going to go on. Except to those that love us, no one is indispensable. For those who drift with the current, they will float into a backwater. Only to those that can strive will new meaning be given.
In politics it is sometimes said the worse the better. Conditions for change can only come when society realizes current patterns are unacceptable. As with politics, as with ourselves. People change when they really reach the bottom and do not want anything anymore. Until you reach this state nothing can change. Many descend deep into desperation and see a way out. This is moment you should realize that if you go on living like this you will metaphorically die. And then you can start to move.

Rule No 2. Pause and give a task to your head, brain, consciousness by asking a question: "What do I look for, what should I do in my new life?"
Here we enter into a mix of the subconscious and the conscious. Put away information, watch movies, read books, listen to the music  whatever for two hours. You are not allowed to communicate with people, total solitude is needed, switch off your cellphone. Then wake up in the morning and visualize wide borders that could radically change your life. You need the borders not to be torn apart. For example, you want do it in Russia or not in Russia. You want to change your job or company. You want to freelance instead of being hired or on the opposite you are sick of everything and want to work for someone. You want to divorce and look for a new happiness or you reloaded yourself a bit and according to this change you are ready to look differently at your marriage.

Rule No 3. You have to expand your communication. It's late to find yourself in career as a new worker, you're late everywhere. Everything develops too fast, you won't find information about the way. So, in the epoch of chaos, fasten chaotic communication. Become a man of chaos: communicate and get acquainted initiatively with everyone around no matter their position, social and material state, gender or age. You don't look for husbands, wives or sponsors, you just communicate with a crazy number of people. And one day, one moment you will realize what exactly to do. You realized your power and what provides it to you and here you are, you start. You describe yourself your next steps, count the minimal economic model which allows you to act and you begin.

In my case it occurred to me that the most important thing in my life was to turn my beliefs into professional and creative selfrealization.
This is my power. Not my family, not my children nothing ever else doesn't play this role. All the rest is pulled to it. That's why everything turned good in the story I told. That was the time when I found out that if I am "packed": I am loved, my man has money, I am protected formally, I have a family and I stay at home this is the end to all of my power.

Only in order to those that can strive will new meaning be given
— Irina Khakamada