A Good Day
What constitutes a good day in your world? And what makes a bad day a bad day?
It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?
There’s what happens and then there’s how you view it. Some see snow falling and cringe. Others admire the beauty.
I happened to hear a talk show guy on the radio the other day say that any day that you don’t suffer some kind of serious setback or personal tragedy is a good day and you should be very happy with it.
Hmmm … you mean I shouldn’t get upset if the app I want isn’t available for my device or my Starbucks creation isn’t quite right and the barista seems a bit too distant to care? Got it.
But what’s the threshold? When do your personal circumstances justify giving in and resigning yourself to the fact that you’re “having a bad day?”
What if you’re in pain? That’s a tough one. Pain can take the joy right out of a day and … when it persists … right out of a life. Illness? Ditto. But how about losing a client or watching your investments fall? What about your car breaking down or finding out you need some expensive and painful dental work?
Who could blame you if these things put you in a funk and you were to declare to anyone who was interested that you were having a bad day?
And yet, how bad is that problem that’s causing you to have a bad day? In most cases, there’s almost always someone who has it worse than you do … and many of them are having better days than you are. Doh! How can that be?
Because while circumstances do matter, what matters far more is how we relate and respond to them.
Look, it’s hard not to react with anger to things that seem unfair. It’s hard not be sad and discouraged when things turn out differently than you’d hoped. It’s hard not to feel put upon when you get loaded down with additional burdens. It’s hard not to feel like a victim when you get hurt … physically or emotionally.
Almost everyone reacts to changing circumstances with pretty predictable emotional responses. You almost can’t help it.
What differentiates people is how they respond once they’ve had a chance to process what’s happened. You’ll have more good days and fewer bad if you see most “bad” things as minor misfortunes as opposed to tragedies … and resolve to get over them post haste.
My advice is to set your threshold for having a bad day very high. How high? Well, how about high enough that you won’t have to try to get sympathy. It’ll come automatically, because the circumstances speak for themselves.
Set the threshold so high that you’d have to be really hurting, really sick, truly bereaved, or somehow in extremely dire straits before you ever give up on that day and call it “bad.”
Because while days seem a dime a dozen, they’re actually as precious as pearls. And you wouldn’t throw away a pearl because it has a tiny blemish, would you? No, I didn’t think so.
For some special people, there are no bad days. Every day is a good day. Those people truly know how to live. I admire them. I’m learning from them. I want to be more like them.
I could have said, “I’m trying to be more like them,” but as Mr. Myagi famously says in the Karate Kid … No try … only do.”
Tomorrow is my next chance to “do” … my next chance to make it a good day regardless of how well or poorly things go … regardless of any misfortune that happens to come down the pike.
It’s your next chance too.
Let’s make it a good day.
P.S. What makes a day good? It’s usually the little things … the simple pleasures … like this.
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