Each day you can choose to make it a great day or leave it in the hands of fate and risk having a bad day. While there are things that happen to us, good and bad, it’s how we choose to react that really sets the energy and the tone for your day.
Consider ‘one of those days’ where things just go wrong. You can’t seem to get out the door; the kids are running late, the dog ate your favourite pair of shoes, the hot water stopped working. And that’s before you even leave the house.
Then you have to contend with traffic jams, trains cancelled, planes cancelled, the barista getting your coffee order wrong.
Then in the office the internet is down when you have an important meeting planned, you didn’t save your presentation, you have an annoying colleague with a bad attitude to contend with… the list goes on.
It’s easy to understand that your day ahead seems bleak and overwhelming. “Why me?” you could ask. “This is going to be a terrible day”. And it could be, you’re right. But the choice is still in your hands.
All these unfortunate things that happen to you on a daily basis can actually be triggers if we let them. It was how you chose to react to these triggers and your attitude to them happening which determines the energy you choose to embrace and your perspective of the kind of day you are going to have. With this kind of start to the day, are you going to tell yourself such things as ‘today’s going to be a bad day’, or ‘I can’t stand this job’ etc…
Having a bad day will simply become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you believe it and let it unroll that way. You will look for people to blame, you will look for opportunities to be a victim to circumstance and you will indeed, have a crappy day.
Set the energy to have a good day
We can’t stop things that are outside of our control. Traffic, the internet dropping out, contending with grumpy people; these are all things that do happen to us.
But we don’t have to feel like a victim. Victim attitudes and behaviours are centred around
denying, blaming, justifying and quitting.
When we consciously try to stop the victim mentality, we can embrace mindfulness and endeavour to breath, stay calm, be more considered, less reactive, and create positive spins to every-day challenges and frustrations.
In fact, we can be more considered every day and choose to have a good day for ourselves, today, tomorrow and the next day.
Here’s an example of mindfulness and having a considered approach to a common obstacle. You are stuck in traffic and you are invariably going to be late to work, late to that important meeting. Without being considered, you might ordinarily feel intense frustration, beep the horn at the car ahead who isn’t moving fast enough, blame the other drivers on the road, swear, and sit in misery thinking about how much trouble you might be in for being late.
With a bit of control over your emotions, and a determination not to let this situation be the end of you, you might think to call your boss to let them know you are running late, you might turn on the rest of that podcast, or your favourite tunes and just try to breath and relax and accept the situation and ride out the waves of frustration in the knowledge that there is nothing to be gained from getting angry and taking on the negative energy.
Don’t allow yourself for this situation to set the tone for the day ahead. Instead of getting to work and frantically racing to your meeting and arriving in a fluster, park your car and quickly make your way, apologize once and move on with your day and put the situation behind you quickly.
In the wise words of the great Italian preacher from the twelfth century, St. Frances of Assisi “Grant me the courage to change that which I can, the serenity to live with that I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Here are just a few daily practices you might like to adopt in order to embrace this concept in your daily life, a practical way;
- Each morning think of 3 things you are grateful for. Don’t grab your device straight away, don’t jump straight into getting ready, give yourself five minutes to be grateful and set the right tone for the day ahead.
- Be conscious of your triggers and actively try to resist the urge to react quite so negatively to them, turn down the volume on your reactivity dial.
- Put a positive spin on negative experiences where possible; wish the grump colleague a good day, smile at people, listen to relaxing music in traffic etc..
- Each day as you’re travelling home or finishing up spend 10 minutes reflecting on (i) what was good about today (ii) what was tricky about today (iii) what I can do differently tomorrow
- Each day to find an opportunity to let 80% be good enough.
- Each day to schedule in some downtime/unavailable time/ focus time
Could your team do with one of my tailored workshops? Get in touch today. I’d love to help.