We can’t control the weather, the people we work with, the neighbor’s dog that barks at 4am, etc. The world we live in throws all kinds of circumstances at us that will happen whether we like it or not. The big question is… how do we handle everything lobbed our way? How will we choose to experience the world?
I’ve always been an optimistic person, which was a good start, but even the most optimistic people can sucked into situations and let circumstances, people, etc. choose our experiences for us. A simple example is the weather… a rainy day that changes plans can seem like a real bummer if we don’t see exciting alternative plans that reveal themselves if we look for them.
Sometimes I find myself saying I’m having a “bad day”. I used to chalk this up to circumstance, get through the day, and look forward to the next. However, this robbed me of what was in front of me… potential opportunities to make the day good instead of just trying to get through.
Now when I find myself thinking I’m having a bad day, I try to examine it… What’s going on? What is my part in this “bad day”? What can I do to make it better? When I do this I often find opportunities to learn, make the day better, and prevent other “bad days” in the future.
If I’m basing the “bad day” on something outside my control, like the weather, I try to refocus on the opportunities a change in plans may lead to… maybe I’ll see something new or meet someone really interesting. How about traffic? We can’t control it and it can make us crazy… but what if we use the time to do something? Maybe listen to a few extra songs, listen to another chapter in a great audio book, or enjoy silence.
Another area to examine is how much we allow other people to dictate our experiences. The boss, the co-worker, the spouse, the kids, the other parents, the friends, etc. We can’t control any of these people and trying just saps us of our energy. When we base our experience on whether or not someone else is in a good mood, shows up on time, gives us praise, is appreciative, etc., there’s a good chance we’ll be disappointed. If we instead choose to have good days regardless we’ll be happy and perhaps this will rub off a bit on the others!
Bottom line… we choose our experiences… there will always be things that we don’t like. Will we let them get under our skin, or will we focus our thoughts on something else? Will we look at the good the surrounds us or the bad? Each one of us makes this choice every day… imagine the world if we all chose to have good day!