Do you ever have one of those days?
You know what I mean.
You either wake up feeling off or in a foul mood. Or you wake up fine, but something (unexpected and unwanted) occurs. And what started as a normal, or even good, day becomes one of those days.
Ruining your entire day. Maybe even your week.
Yesterday could have been one of those days for me. I had an early morning appointment. But when I tried to start my car – crickets (well, there were a few clicks, but the important part is that my car wouldn’t start).
And, because my kids had to be somewhere at the same time, I couldn’t take my husband’s car.
We tried to jump it, but couldn’t. That’s a long story that I won’t bore you with, but suffice it to say that both of us were irritated.
And this one event had a ripple effect on my entire day – even my week.
I had to cancel my appointment, take my kids to camp (while my husband dealt with my car), and push back several items I was working on. And pushing back those items affected other appointments and work I needed to do.
Much of my schedule for the day (and the next few days) had to be revised and re-thought.
So, what did I do? I didn’t allow this set-back to rob me of my sanity or happiness.
These events were out of my control. And I couldn’t change them. But I could control my attitude and how I decided to move forward.
So I chose. I let go of the irritation I’d been feeling, had fun with my kids while driving them to their camp, rescheduled my appointment, revised my schedule for the week, and went about my day happily.
You see, happiness and being happy is a choice. And allowing unwanted events to make us unhappy is also a choice.
How often do you have one of those days – allowing an unexpected and unwanted event to cloud it?
You can’t control everything that happens to you. But you can control how you respond.
In fact, what you want to do is respond instead of react.
Responding is taking control, thinking through your options, and not allowing emotions to cloud your judgment. It’s about accepting what is and understanding that you’ve got a choice.
You can choose to allow yourself to be taken down or you can choose to let go and move past it. And when you respond you choose the latter.
Reacting is to allow your negative feelings to take over. When you react, you don’t take the time to think clearly. And you give up your control.
This last point is what finally gave me the “aha” moment I needed to stop reacting so much to life and start responding more.
For a long time, this wasn’t something I did well. I knew that I didn’t want to react to things so much (and preferred responding), but I still had trouble choosing to respond.
But when I started to understand that I was giving up my control, I changed. You see, I HATE giving up control. Especially over my emotions.
And if I can do it, so can you.
So, the next time you feel like you’re having one of those days, do the following:
- Identify what’s out of your control and accept it (you must acknowledge and accept that you can’t control everything and this happens to be one of those things)
- Ask yourself what you CAN control and choose to take control over what you can
- Choose to be happy, regardless of what’s happened to you
This doesn’t mean that you can’t be irritated or angry for a moment. It’s more about learning to let go and move on. So that your entire day (or week) isn’t ruined.
If you find this article helpful, I ask that you share it. You may just make someone’s day a bit brighter.
Until next time…