Have you heard people say, or have you heard yourself say “oh, I had a bad day today.”
What does that mean? Did the earth swallow up your whole family in an earthquake or did someone take your car park? Or does it mean you had a plan to suck some happiness out of your work and it didn’t happen? I mean what does a bad day look like?
My friends in Nepal could tell you that a good day looks like the earth rumbling, running outside, watching your house melt into a pile of bricks, crushing every possession you have, switching off all the electricity and water supply, losing your job, disconnecting from all mobile phone services and standing there in your shorts with three kids and a wife wondering what to do?
When things don’t go the way we want it’s great to go down to the cancer ward of the children’s hospital. Put some perspective into our life.
This doesn’t mean we need to be guilty about how happy we are or how lucky we are. Everybody has their karma to deal with. Two sad people don’t make one happy one. Two stressed people don’t make one healthy one. Your stress is not my stress. Guilt is a really rotten place to act from.
If you are having one of those “gee I’m having a bad day moment” the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop and take stock. You can still fart and not dirty your pants, you can still drink without an IV. your eyes can still see a flower, you heart is pumping and your legs go one in front of the other when you demand it. Drill down.
God is in the details – but this quote is so often used we forget what it means. It means be thankful for the smallest things and if the big things don’t go the way you planned drill down and get thankful for the small things – smaller and smaller until you are in this moment of time, this fragment of the existence of the universe thankful for this very next breath.
Ironically, it’s where religions that believe in God and where religions that don’t believe in a God completely intersect, in the solution to having a bad day, drill down, get into this moment and be thankful for small mercies.
I am not trying to diminish your problems. No, in fact I think some of our problems are really emotionally challenging. But what I am saying is that a problem loaded with emotion becomes two problems – one, the issue that needs to be solved creatively and two the impact on you, physically, emotionally and spiritually. To solve the problem you need to preserve the integrity of the latter, and I’m listing some ideas for that below:
- Build stamina and health now so you have some health in the bank if things go pear shaped
- Learn how to process emotion to sustain gratitude as your daily “state” under all circumstances
- Get out into nature four times a day and connect with a flower, learn how to drill down to this moment in time
- Thank your lucky stars for what you’ve got. If you don’t appreciate what you’ve got – you lose it.
- Be a whole human … there are seven areas of life. Prioritise them but never ignore them.
- Balance each area of life not against each other but within each one. (dump work life balance as a really, really, really stupid idea.
Gee, I’m Having a Bad Day – Stop take Stock – In Summary
- There’s no excuse, if you can read this email, you are lucky compared to someone
- Keep your problems in context
- Be thankful for what is, rather than what isn’t
- When things don’t go the way you want – reframe your possibilities – don’t blame
- Under pressure – thank your lucky stars
- Count your blessings – take your family to support children in a cancer ward
- Know that in this second of time there cannot be anything but gratitude