Just because something doesn’t go well doesn’t mean your whole day is ruined. As I explained in my previous blog post, sometimes we plan things out perfectly and yet still things can go wrong. We planned a day of cutting wood for winter and both of our chainsaws stopped working. I had a job interview that didn’t end with me being hired. In the midst of these set backs, I still had a great outlook on life and enjoyed the rest of my day fully. Here are a few things that I keep in mind when I run into less than ideal situations in life. I have a few pointers on how to maintain a good attitude and keep your way of thinking upbeat.
- Nothing is so big that it should ruin your whole day. (Please understand that there are serious issues like a death in the family. That will probably ruin a few days and then some. I am focusing this post on the regular things that can go wrong in your average day to day life that can cause us to hop off track for a little while.) Having your plans fail means you must move on and make new ones. When things don’t work out for me I work on a project that I never seemed to have the spare time to get around to. I will take the opportunity to finish things that need to be completed. Consider your redirected plans as a chance to try again. Get things done, don’t think too long on failures. Failures can be turned into exceptional occasions to find success in your day even if it isn’t in the way you originally planned.
- Keep your attitude a positive one. I know this is an overused phrase and it may sound cliche but, there is always a silver lining. I talked about this in my previous post a little but when I didn’t get the job I applied for only motivated me to try again. I have better information on what I can expect from my next interview. If you have a camping trip planned, you are all packed up and you begin your drive out of town and for some reason plans just get shot. You drive back home and think, what on earth could the silver lining of that incident be? Maybe you missed out on a bad car accident, maybe you just lucked out of a terrible storm at the campground you were going to or maybe the only thing you can consider the silver lining is that you had a few precious moments talking with your family or friends. I would give every penny I own to have one more talk with my Dad that died two years ago. Consider your silver linings, they are always there you just have to really look for them.
- The best piece of advice that I have ever heard about stress and frustration has stuck with me for several years. Think about that one thing that is causing you anxiety or anger and ask yourself this one question. Will this thing be bugging you in a week from now, in a month from now or a year from now? If your answer is no then why are you wasting your precious time today that won’t even matter hours from now? How many times have we focused all of our attention on things that we thought were extremely important and we can’t even remember what those things were today? It happens far more times than it should. Don’t waste any of your valuable time on things that don’t last. Live fully and move on quickly. Learn what you can from mistakes and failures but ALWAYS move on swiftly.
- People have told me that I am a very happy person. After six months into one job my fellow co-worker looked at me and asked, “Why are you so happy all of the time, I have never seen you in a bad mood.” I had simple answer, I am happy, I have a good life and after I had my Dad die that really put my life into perspective. The idea that I don’t have to live through that horrible and gut wrenching day again makes me understand that every day since is an amazing opportunity to have a great day. When you live through your darkest day you will find every single day after that brighter than the sun. When someone asks why you have such a good attitude, ask them why wouldn’t I? The day is too short to waste anytime on being anything other than thankful and happy.
- The very basic and most helpful thing I do to keep positive is simple, I find three things I am thankful for. It is impossible to be having a poor day when you are thinking on things that you are truly blessed by. Right in this moment I am thankful for my health. I haven’t had to go to the doctor in almost two years. I haven’t had a cold or the flu and every single day I am feeling fully alive and in tip top condition. Number two, I am thankful for fall coming right around the corner. I love making soups and baking when the weather gets colder. I can’t wait for Halloween, then Thanksgiving and before you know it Christmas is here! I love watching a good movie, cuddling my husband and the two dogs and having a fire burning in the living room. Lastly, I am thankful for my Avon First Christmas candle from 1967 that I was able to track down on eBay. As a child every Christmas I looked forward to finding the box that had that candle in it. I would walk into the living room every morning and open the top of the candle and take a big sniff of the wonderful aroma of frankincense and myrrh. It was an exceptional and memorable experience every single time I lifted the gold top off of that beautiful red candle. Last Christmas I missed that memory so I looked online for several weeks and finally found it. It had been the best $25.00 purchased I made in the last 12 months.
I challenge you next time you run into a bad day or experience to find three things you are thankful for. Start with the last step first and then traipse along to the other options and see what works for you. Having a good outlook on life can feel like work at first but anything new isn’t necessarily comfortable. Keep at the hard work and you will find yourself in a better and effortless tomorrow soon.