I’ve had some really bad days -- I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share. It’s the worst when your day starts off horribly, as it sets the mood for the remaining hours. I’ve had several days, even recently, that started with horrible news.
I'd wake up, sun hitting my face while I peeked out the window, I'd reach for my phone, read a few emails I wish I hadn't, and then watch as the skies darkened, the remainder of my day clouded with a numbing haze. And all of that before my morning coffee.
Having bad days is a regular part of life. Luckily, there are two little facts that can help us get through those difficult and uncomfortable of days -- without having to rely on unhealthy habits, such as drinking, drugs and hiding under your covers until the storm passes.
The first fact is this: It’s all in your head; bad is only bad if we choose to dub it as such. The second tidbit to keep your mind focused on is the fact that no matter how awful you may feel like your day is going, there’s only a finite number of hours until it’s over.
You only have 24 hours in a day, and as you sleep for at least a quarter of that time, you likely don’t have more than 16 hours of unpleasantness ahead of you.
The thing about problems is that they only really seem important the day they become apparent.
Sure, most will then stretch out the issue by focusing on it and running through different unpleasant scenarios in their heads until the problem is blown entirely out of proportion, but that’s a choice each individual makes him or herself.
A problem is only as big as you decide to let it be. In fact, a problem is only a problem if you see it as such.
A problem is really only a link in a chain of events. Where that link falls is up to you. It’s an occurrence stemming from a cause that then goes on to cause an effect of its own.
While you may not be able to prevent the problem from occurring, you can most definitely decide what follows.
You can decide that the problem is the last link in the chain and that the entire chain is broken, or you can decide to find the next appropriate link in the chain of events -- a link that will allow you to continue progressing towards your original goal.
All of a sudden, you've managed to turn the problem you had into the cause for a solution. Sadly, most people are unable to see the events and problems in their lives in such a way.
It’s not because their problems are so large that they are overwhelmed by them -- whatever your problems and issues are, there have been, continue to be and will be others who have bigger problems that they themselves manage to overcome and find the solution for.
What’s eating you up inside isn’t the problem itself, but your perspective on the problem and the fact that you are focusing on the problem instead of the solution.
There may only be 24 hours in a day, but spending the majority of them consciously focusing on your issues, your mistakes, your bad luck and your failings won’t do anything but guarantee further pain, further sadness and further failure.
It’s entirely up to you whether you have 24 hours of productivity a day or 24 hours of hell -- you are the one who decides with every thought and every action.
Feeling discomfort when problems arise is not only natural, but necessary. That stress you feel when things go wrong is your mind telling you to get off your ass, calling you to take action and to change your circumstances.
This feeling can be overwhelming. And sometimes you need to dwell on that feeling for some time before you're ready to take the necessary course of action. I’m here to tell you that you are only allowed one day.
If you want to bitch and moan, soak in your sorrow and misfortune, then please go right ahead and do so. You are allowed to wallow in your misery because every person has a right to do so when faced with potentially life-changing situations.
However, once you go to bed and wake up the following morning, your mind must be clear. Once you wake up, rested and refreshed, it’s time to move your focus off your problem(s) and onto the solution(s).
Changing your focus, above all else, eases your pain and worry. We worry about problems because we believe them to be just that: problems. But they aren’t.
They are solutions waiting to happen -- but only if you make them happen. And making them happen won’t be possible if your focus remains on the issue instead of the necessary steps for change.
We’re all allowed to brood when life throws us unpleasantries. Yet, you don’t have a right to call it quits, to wallow in your misery for the rest of your life because you are going to cause even more damage.
Not just to yourself… but to all of those that could have likewise benefited from your accomplishments, from your greatness.
You have 24 hours in a day to accept your problem. Once the 25th hour hits, it’s time to get your hands dirty.