What makes a day good or bad? Do you let events outside of your control define these labels? Or are YOU in control of your happiness?
Time and time again, on facebook, twitter, forums, in conversations, there is always someone that is having a bad day. Is it you? Well, if you are having a bad day, why? You locked your keys in your car? Slipped on the ice? People treated you badly? Woke up late? Stubbed your toe? Cussed out by your boss? Got a speeding ticket? Just feel like shit? Whatever the reason, no matter how small or large, you must learn to take responsibility and realize that it is YOU that is deciding to label the day bad.
Yes, many things can and will happen that are outside of your control. These may not align with your definition of a “good day”. There will be many events that occur that you oppose. This is normal, this is life. However, whether you know it or not, you are in complete control of how you respond to these situations.
Let’s say you lock your keys in your car when you’re already late for work. The event already happened, the keys are stuck and you’re late. Yes, this does suck. Yes, it is easy to be frustrated over this situation. There is nothing you can do to change the fact that you locked your keys in your car and you’re late. Time does not go backwards. Trying to fight something that can not be changed is simply insane.
If this were to happen to you, would you get angry? Would you be frustrated? Would this be a start to a bad day? If so, consider this – How you feel, at any moment, is completely your responsibility. Frustration and anger are not caused from the event, they are caused from your reaction to the event.
“But things just keep going wrong today!” Then why make it worse by labeling the day as bad? A day is nothing more than a day. You have to eventually realize that the day or experience is only bad because you are deciding that it is bad.
I find it interesting that when pointing this out to anyone who is having a “bad day” how often it is completely rejected. “It’s not my fault I’m angry!” Yes it is. “It’s not my fault I’m frustrated!” Yes it is. Denying this is completely irresponsible.
Note that you’re not taking responsibility for the event. It may not be your fault that so-and-so said such-and-such, or that someone stole your phone, but if you’re upset over the episode, it’s all on you. It’s completely insane and unconscious to claim that you can not change your reaction to a situation. Are you a mindless drone? Take some conscious action and stop acting helpless.
It may feel like it is beyond your control. It may be so ingrained in your mind that when x happens you need to react with y. Perhaps x = someone yelling at you and y = crying. The reaction could be unconscious, but you need to learn to shift this to your conscious mind. You don’t always have to follow x with y. You are a conscious self aware being after all, right?
I’m definitely not suggesting never feeling sad, upset, frustrated, or angry. I’m pretty sure I would sound crazy if that were the case. But the first step is to understand that you are reacting. Just become aware of it. Notice how it feels. The next time you feel your body switching into anger mode, shift into the present moment. Don’t just count to 10. Feel how you feel. Notice the reaction.
Once the awareness of your reaction becomes more apparent, it’s then time to shift from reaction to response. Yes, you can consciously respond to any situation in any way you choose rather than unconsciously reacting. Flail your arms in the air right now. Who did that? You did. In the same way, you can choose to respond to anything however you wish.
Of course, physical pain is completely different. If someone punches you in the face it’s not your fault you feel pain. You’re hurt because of the fist, not because you’re choosing to be hurt. If you catch the flu and are puking your guts out, you can’t just choose to feel healthy. But even in a situation like this, you can choose to not whine, complain and act helpless. You can still be happy even when you don’t feel like it. There is still a response you can give to something like this.
Hoping for a good day tomorrow goes against all logic. Why hope for a good day? Why not just decide to have a good day? And why tomorrow, why not now? Tomorrow never even really exists, you never live in tomorrow, you always live in today, in the now. So, instead of wishing a good or bad day, from now on I’m just going to wish for a day. You either have a day or you don’t and I’d prefer to have one.
I hope you all have a day today.