Today was a tough day. It was just one of those days. You know we all have them. Some would say we shouldn’t admit to having them. Especially those of us viewed as “successful”. But every person in this world has bad days. Tough days. Difficult days. Challenging days. Days during which things just get to us. For whatever reason, there are days when things that we would normally laugh off just get on our very last nerve. Admit it. You know exactly what I mean. It has nothing to do with gender. Phase of the moon or whatever! It is just what I think of as general systems overload. All those little things (and the big ones) cumulative build up in our system…piling, piling, piling up until BAM! Bad day alert!
You wake up and the bad is in your face. The mail arrives and every envelope is filled with bills. Every e-mail is something to do or even worse SPAM that has magically made it through your spam filters and all of your legitimate e-mails from clients and people you want to hear from is somehow in your spam box amongst the “old” type of spam…you know the stuff your spam filter knows how to catch…Then there is the phone. Ringing, ringing, ringing…with telemarketers, political pollsters, and wrong numbers…It begins to feel like your phone number as been written on the great cosmic bathroom wall. And to beat all…it is Saturday and you are in the office to “catch up”. What were you thinking!
From Bad to Better – It Takes Conscious Adjustment of Gratitude
Now planning to catch up on a Saturday is something we choose to do…out of necessity. If I have to give up a Saturday, then it has to be for a specific purpose and falls into one of four:
I was out of town and couldn’t get my “remote access” to connect…or there just wasn’t time. This is truly checking to see what needs to happen with the clients.
A client has a special project deadline due to an audit, merger, presentation, or other immediate “emergency”.
There is a writing project deadline.
There is an event taking place.
For the “regular” business catch up days, it is just a matter of getting in and getting it done. Taking care of business and focusing on what must happen.
For special projects it is making sure that the information is available and the clients are lined up to provide whatever inputs may be necessary.
For events, it’s about the people. Once you are there, the energy and making it about your customer and audience reminds you why you love what you do.
For writing, it is about taking the time to remind yourself of all things that are right about all the things that are “wrong”. For instance, the mail is full of bills. That means you are doing things to generate those bills…and when you have the ability to pay them! Wow doesn’t that feel good!
SPAM, so what…It could be worse…They could be killing trees and mailing it to you along with the bills…or they could be calling you (RING, RING)…or they could be coming to your door (KNOCK! KNOCK!).
Clients driving you nuts! Great! You have clients!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go! Isn’t that what you wanted when you started the business? Okay, so now you have clients. They drive you nuts. May be now you can become more selective in which clients you accept. May be it is time for a price increase…or how about saying “no” to some of those temperamental clients?
Some Days…It Doesn’t Work
I have to admit. No matter how many blessings I count, no matter whom I call to turn my attitude around, no matter how hard I work at it — some days I still have a down day. So I have several choices. I can keep working. If things still need to get done and promises need to be kept, then I get things done and I keep my promises. Eventually the day and the mood will pass. If, however, there are no urgent deadlines and things can wait, then I may just take time out to adjust my attitude. Maybe I’ll read a book or a magazine. Maybe I’ll study something I’ve wanted to catch up on. Maybe I’ll call a colleague and go to lunch. Maybe I’ll call a friend and go to lunch. Maybe I’ll take the afternoon off. Maybe I’ll do something for someone else who I know is struggling…I’ll stop in at a local business struggling to survive and talk with them about how things are going. I’ll call a peer who is searching for a job. I’ll do something to get out of the world of “me”.
Success isn’t about every day being wonderful. It is about what you do with the days that aren’t so great. It is about the journey and the process and being willing to say “I’m having a down day.” Then getting beyond it.
Grateful for the Lows and the Highs
I can’t say I enjoy the down days. I’m grateful for them when they are GONE! OVER! and DONE! It is inevitable that no matter how successful we become there will be days that get to us. The lows make us that much more appreciative of the good days and the great days! And when we turn the corner and suddenly realize things no longer look quite so blue or gray, then we are truly grateful. That is what it is all about. All things have a season. The rains come and they go. The sun shines and the clouds come. When it is cold we wish for warmth. When it rains, we wish for sunshine. When the rains stay away too long, we pray for rain. It is our nature not to be grateful for what we have in the moment. I’m old enough to recognize I need to learn that lesson and young enough not to have it perfected. The good news is…I plan to be grateful for every day I get to practice.
Copyright © 2008 Lea A. Strickland, F.O.C.U.S. Resource, Inc.