This is my thought for the week: have a good day!
Not a day when everything goes right, because you can't control that... But a day when whatever goes wrong, you'll handle it, smilingly, elegantly, gracefully learning its lesson, rising to the occasion with grace and gratitude - because you are having "a good day", because you have chosen (just for today) not to let anything faze or frustrate you.
Already, that breezy American throwaway greeting Have a nice day is seeming a little harder to achieve isn't it?
The very notion that we get to choose to 'have a nice (or a good) day' is a bit of shock, to start with, then there's the immediately hot-on-its-heels notion, that maybe as well as having to choose to do so, we're going to have to work at it! What seemed like an inane wish from a stranger is slowly becoming an injunction.
Yes, that's the size of it. I'm not wishing you a good day. I'm injuncting you to have one: challenging you to create one.
Even Tolkien's Hobbit-friendly wizard, didn't stretch the idea quite that far, when in response to "Good Morning" from Bilbo, Gandalf said “What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” He didn't add "Or that you mean I should ensure that I and / or others have a good one?"
Adding that last bit – and not just for the morning – for the whole day.
So: let me repeat: have a good day!
Resolve to have one truly good day this week. Commit to it. Then make sure you honour your commitment by creating it: one truly GOOD day.
The first problem most people come up against with this exercise is that they don't even know what a really good day would be. Sometimes they know when they've had one; it takes them by surprise when they stop in the evening and think "you know what, that's been a really good day".
Worse than that, from talking to people in a completely unscientific research fashion, my impression is that many don't even get that far. Too many of us don't even spend five minutes late in the day assessing whether the day we've just experienced was good, bad or indifferent. If we can't spare five minutes a day to evaluate how we're spending our time, I suspect there's a good chance we're not spending it well or wisely.
Most of us know when we've had (to be polite) a "rubbish" day. Or at least the people around us do. We come home, kick the cat (or the sofa), shout at the wife (or the husband or the kids or the TV), generally whinge and moan and vent… all of which is understandable and some of which is acceptable (for avoidance of doubt: the bits involving inanimate objects). But even then, do we stop and wonder: why was it rubbish?
Not "what was rubbish about it" – that's the easy bit – it was the boss or the underlings or the government or the weather or the customer or the supplier or the landlord or the tenant or the technology or…whatever.
But that doesn't answer the question. Why? Why did all of those things that went wrong during your day make it a rubbish day?
Because even on that rubbish day, I can promise you there were glorious, beautiful, life-affirming, joyful, pretty, humorous, supportive, loving, and lucky things happening too.
The only difference between a good day and a bad day is what we choose to notice. What we choose to make 'matter' in the shaping of our day.
Ok. I'm not Pollyanna. I do know that some days are really hard. And that no amount of refocusing your attention is going to suddenly turn them into blissed out sequences in your life. What I am saying is that even in the midst of the darkest of times you can give yourself the gift of one good day in a week.
That's less than 15% of the week. Surely you owe yourself that much?
So: how do you do it? Supposing you take up the challenge, how can you make sure you do have / create one really good day this week?
Honestly, I have no idea. It's a personal thing. Only you know what a good day for you looks like.
But here are some of the things that work for me:
So go on. Work out what makes you smile and do it (or seek it out). For a whole 24 hours.
And have a really good day!
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