You can read the last couple of year’s blog posts of ours and not find much about having a bad day. You might start to think, these guys are just too happy with their “every day is a gift” philosophy! In fact, we, like everyone else in the world, have had, and will have days we wish had come with a gift voucher so we can return it. So what can you do with a day you’d rather not have?
A perky, curly haired, red-headed broadway character would say when you have a day that’s cloudy and gray, to stick out your chin and say, the sun’s coming out tomorrow, that tomorrow’s only a day away. Profound advice from a spunky 11 year old. But is it something you can do when it’s 11 in the morning and you’ve made no progress on your day, or worse, have only the dumb mistake you started the day with that keeps tapping you on the shoulder to remind you that tomorrow is a long way away?
Here’s a different thought. Today isn’t over, it just has to start again. The whole idea behind the “tomorrow is another day” reasoning is giving up on today. Surrender it! When you say “oh well, tomorrow will be a better day,” what does that say about the rest of today?
Let’s say it is 11 in the morning and your biggest accomplishment so far today has been to give your teacher an incredibly incorrect answer in front of the entire class, embarrassingly fall while trying to climb into your co-worker’s full size SUV during the morning car pool pick up (in front of the whole neighborhood), work out that there won’t be a trip to your favorite family theme park this year unless you hit the lottery, put salt instead of sugar into your coffee, or sugar instead of salt onto your scrambled eggs. You can live in the embarrassment of the moment over and over again as you replay it a11 day long, and ultimately scrap the day because you’ve done nothing but dwell on the perceived failure from the start of the day.
Let’s examine another situation. You’ve gotten to work bright-eyed and ready to put in another productive day working toward the assignment you were given at the beginning of the quarter. The boss calls you in and informs you the project that was originally due at the end of this month now is needed by the end of this week. And it’s already Wednesday! You’ve just been told you have 3 days to complete what you thought you had three weeks to finish. After floundering for a few hours re-prioritizing and setting new task deadlines, you convince yourself that it is just too much so you do nothing.
Both, the early morning failure or the overwhelming day, seem like good times to check out of the rest of the day and wait for a new day to reestablish a mind-set conducive to a successful completion of – well, of anything! But you aren’t ready to give in. You are made of tougher stuff and you know the sun that will come out tomorrow is still shining today. You only have to open the blinds and let the light in!
Instead of saying “tomorrow is another day,” you declare your new day to start right now! Instead of relinquishing all the rest of today, you give yourself 15 minutes to clear your mind then begin today all over again.
Perceived bad beginnings simply are that – beginnings, and only perceived. A mistakenly given answer to a question, a clumsy trip and fall, a realization that this year’s bank account is not as flush as previous years’ are single acts in a day that will be made of many, many acts. And while success most often is measurable, failure is most often defined by whomever denotes it as such. You may be the only person who even noticed the proverbial slip of the tongue to the professor’s query or the literal slip off the running board. There will be many more chances to succeed and if you begin your day at your lowest point, its only way to go, proverbially and literally, is up!
Who says the new day must start at 9:00 tomorrow morning. If you want to start a new day at noon today, go for it! The sun that will come out tomorrow is already up there. All you have to do is let the light in. So sorry young lady, I don’t gotta hang on till tomorrow. It’s today that is only a day away!