How to have a bad day

Bad days exist. But how can you have a good one?

 

A good, bad day sounds like a paradox. Like fiery ice an oxymoron. Although from our experience we know this is not true.

 

We all have used the phrase “it turned out alright in the end”.

 

Contrary to the average CV multitasking is not a human skill. Humans experience decision overload. Too many decisions and we’re lost. It is partly the reason why we associate fewer choices with quality.

 

The University of Minnesota showed in a study in 2008 that we only have a finite number of good decisions in a day. Famously CEOs such as Mark Zuckerburg will wear the same clothes each day.

 

This avoids using a decision.

 

Often a bad day will arise simply. A few decisions to be made causes an overload. Magnified by a mood this can appear as a minor emergency.

 

This challenging fifteen minutes is then allowed to grow.

If we imagine life experience as a beautiful sailing trip. The wind will always blow. The severity and direction appears random. Yet we navigate.

 

We navigate by learning to trim a better sail.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have nothing on our to-do list, to have no problems?

 

Would you really like that?

 

It might seem calming. However it is unlikely we would enjoy this experience. With nothing to-do humans get bored. This is demonstrated every year by the retired that return to work.

 

Like the wind, we cannot control problems. Problems will always exist. In fact we will only have more of them. As we advance and take on more responsibility our to-do lists will grow.

 

“Life is mostly about solving problems”

(Sam Harris)

 

Sometime soon a device you rely on to do your work will stop functioning. Your plane will be delayed. A friend will snap at you having had little sleep.

 

It can’t be any other way.

 

An acceptance of this can allow us to re-frame a problem. To see it for what it is. An inevitable. A gust in the vast expanse of ocean.

 

If we react in this way. If we do not fight the inevitable. We have more energy to set intention. To navigate to our destination.

 

Let’s be real. See problems for what they are. Not greater than they are.

 

In life we often remember the journey, rather than the destination. So embrace the challenge, enjoy the gust. You might miss it when it’s gone.

 

Michael and The Chaka Team

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