If I've learned anything during the course of my life, it's that you can't ever expect everything to go the way you planned. Whether you're talking about business plans, investing plans, relationship plans, travel plans--you name it--life rarely does exactly what we expect it to. Curveballs are a normal and expected part of life, and the sooner we get used to that idea, the sooner we can move on.

Rather than let those inevitable curveballs get you down, however, they are a great way to improve yourself--as long as you take the necessary steps to recover from the unexpected and keep moving forward.

When life throws you curveballs, doing these 3 things will make you feel better about the world--and yourself.

1. Re-evaluate how you used to do things

Sometimes, curveballs are actually a blessing in disguise, even if it's hard for us to see that during times of uncertainty and change. When something out of the ordinary disturbs our comfortable, daily routines, we're forced to think about what exactly we are doing. Does it make us happy? Could we change things up to be more effective? Do we feel fulfilled?

These are all questions worth asking--but ones we're not usually pushed to without an outside force.

2. Find new solutions

When tricky situations arise, you need to think outside the box in order to solve them. What you normally do--or how you might typically approach something--won't work. Instead, you're pushed to dig a little deeper to find answers you might not have thought of beforehand.

Curveballs encourage you to dig deep into your problem-solving skills and tackle any situation, no matter how difficult they may seem. Brainstorm novel ways to approach the dilemma that you hadn't before; perhaps you didn't see a side someone was taking, or you wrote off a product before giving it a chance. Regardless of the circumstance, find a way to get past the obstacle--you'll walk away stronger and better because of it.

3. Grow from the situation

The only people who truly fail in life are the ones who don't make an effort to begin with--so don't be one of them. Rather than give into the difficulty of the struggle, work to move past it. It'll be hard at first, but you might even find that you enjoy solving problems life throws at you--and you can and will find a way to succeed.