You Have Had A Far Better Day Than You Realize
You have already had a far better day than you realize.
For starters, you woke up. Don’t underestimate that – many people throughout the world didn’t. Maybe they’ve gone on to an even better place such as Heaven, maybe not. Maybe maybe maybe. But fact is, you did. You woke up and have the gift of another day to sing poorly but jubilantly in the shower, to feel the sun or rain or snow on your face, to laugh at the antics of a child or a pet, to build something, to experience the mystery called people, and to just be.
Furthermore, chances are very good you’ll wake up tomorrow, too, and receive all of this potential yet again. That’s more great news among a bunch of other great news for you.
You’re a lucky duck.
But perhaps you’re like many people -- most people it seems – and you’re thinking, “No joyful quack here. I’m no lucky duck, Brian. Life pretty much sucks.”
Maybe you’ve faced a lot of difficulties lately, or over a long period of time, and it’s worn your spirit down. Maybe you still want to believe life is good, but that belief is dangling by a single strand of spittle.
Or maybe somehow you’ve just come to believe it’s not rational to be upbeat. You’re too brooding, too in-the-know, too sophisticated to see the bright side and so “Bah humbug” and all that.
In which case I ask you – or actually, because I really like you, I urge you – to indulge yourself in the following three experiences:
The First Experience: Name one good thing – aside from waking up, I already covered that – that happened to you today.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve only been awake for a few minutes. It doesn’t matter if you are reading this from a hospital bed with your entire body in bandages, or if you just walked away from the argument of arguments with your spouse or ex. One good thing (in addition to waking up) has most certainly happened to you today.
Just in case you need help answering, here are a few possibilities to consider:
You ate some toast and jam. You got to hear birds singing outside your window. Your car started. No one fired a gun at you. You were able to walk. You got to smell something nice. Someone you care about was still here to say “Good morning” to you. You have a roof over your head.
A few more:
You still have opposing thumbs. Someone said something that made you laugh. You got to wear something cozy. There were no thumbtacks waiting for you on your chair. You got to read this article. You heard your child giggling. You drank some wine or water.
“But those are just small things, Brian,” you may protest. “That is just typical, everyday stuff.”
And that is exactly the point.
No, you probably didn’t win the lottery today, and you probably never will. They probably haven’t invented a cure for jerkiness as of this writing, so you likely encountered a couple people being jerks again today. And I’d bet that God didn’t throw one of his more unusual miracles – the kind that’ll get you on Oprah -- your way, either.
But once again you did get a multitude of typical, everyday miracles. Cool water, warm smiles, deep breaths, new or refreshed perspectives, the ability to walk, talk, see, smell and sing. A fresh cup of tea or coffee. Life. Yet again you got loads of things that your already quite good life is really made of … the small things.
So go ahead and do it -- name one good thing that has happened to you today. And then proceed to the next experience.
The Next Experience: Name nine other good things that happened to you today.
Go on, you can do this. For the sake of lifting your own spirits, you should do this. In fact, with all that is good and miraculous about your life back in proper perspective, I am sure you could name thirty-nine good things that happened to you today. And I am sure you can predict the other good things that are yet to come.
The Final Experience: This one is simple but – as our perspective tends to warp too easily under stress and wayward desires and bad-news media and jerks -- very important to do.
Grab a piece of paper and a marker that writes in your favorite color. Then write, “Remember 10 Good Things You Have Today.” Tape this piece of paper somewhere that, during the heart of your day, you will be compelled to read it and do it. Above your computer monitor? On your refrigerator door? On your dog’s hind quarters?
Even better, go ahead and write it on several pieces of paper and tape it in several locations.
Yes, it is a simple device, but the most useful items usually are. And the point is, when you feel the health challenges, financial challenges, boss challenges, existential challenges or whatever challenges you are facing dragging you down to that “Life pretty much sucks” place, this simple device can work wonders at helping you realize how good your day has actually been anyway.
You are a lucky duck. Me too. To live a good and happy life, we should strive to keep all the reasons why in mind.Quack quack.
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