How many times do we hear people saying one of the following?
My day could not get any worse! – Nah, I’ve had better days! – It could be worse! – It goes from bad to worse! – Bad things happen in threes!
Does it sound familiar?
To most of us this is a daily occurrence when we engage in conversations with others. There are even times we fall into the trap and we find ourselves too whinging non-stop!
What if I told you, from the second we wake up, we are making the choice to either have good or bad day? It may sound too good to be true, but is a true, sadly for most.
I will explain how what we do and think shape the decisions we make.
But first I would like to share with you a little story. Back in 2002 when I moved to the UK from The Americas I found myself in a new environment, with far too much time in my hands and I had nothing to kill it with, inevitably it affected my self-esteem as you could imagine; crazy thoughts invaded my head, and I would try anything to walk away from solitude, boredom and having to learn a new language. That’s right English isn’t my first language, so I apologise in advance if certain things do not make sense, or words are the other way around!
In one of my low moments, after constant self-sabotage I decided to man up and tackle the issue at hand i.e. the way I felt so I went onto the net and on the search engine bar I typed “What is the secret of happiness?” I was gobsmacked to the fact that people had thought of asking the very same question before and worse still an answer or many answers should I say, had been uploaded onto the net!!!
So I proceeded to read and there were two stories that did really stand out, I will only touch on one for today though.
It went like this, how many times I hear people complaining and whinging about their lives! People having a bad day at work, hating their boss, missing the bus or simply having to queue for a coffee! So, what I’d do is to say, do you mind if I ask you five questions? To which many would reply yes (quite confused!). Did you have breakfast this morning? An affirmative reply would be mumbled. Do you have a roof over your head? Same again. Did you wake up to a nicely ironed suit? At this point I could see many people’s faces starting to change, and in many occasions I would not even have to finish the questions as by this point they would realise their worries or problems were not that important.
It was reading this that I had my eureka moment or epiphany. Whether I had a good or bad day it was all down to me. If I chose to let my next door neighbour get on my nerves, I made that choice, likewise if I decided to let it go and ignore it, it was my choice too.
Sadly it took me a little longer than I imagined to really figure out what was meant on that article. I read it for the first time at the age of 19 and it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I really “got” it.
With my background in sciences, my passion for spirituality, management and leadership skills I was open to the “nonsense” of choosing to have a good day or a bad one. In my mid-teens I read a book on NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming – where amongst learning styles there was a section on self-esteem and limiting beliefs, which stayed in the back of my head for many years. So I guess I was not at all ready to apply what I “thought” I knew.
Many years passed, life passed, I grew older and experienced more of life. Or perhaps, it would be more accurate to say life taught me a few lessons, which thank god I chose to pay attention to.
And after having woken up and practiced what I knew, rather than preaching it, I started to see a change in the way my days went on; my relations and communications with people improved, and better still the way I felt about myself changed forever and continues to be. I simply chose on a daily basis to have a great day, nothing drastic or major, just small steps to feel better and enjoy every day as it came.
In the last 2 years I have reaped the benefits of choosing to have a good day and I would love to share it with you, so you too can feel the benefits.
So here is a quick summary of some key principles of what I have learned in order to have a good day or in this case to choose to have a good day:
- Open you heart. I used to say to people, I love you with all my brain, as I used to believe the brain controlled the heart, how wrong was I! The brain has its own memory and according to some researches the heart receives information before the brain does. When you look at someone lovingly they perceive it and send love back to you, and the opposite is also true, if you remain closed emotionally people will also notice it and treat accordingly, treat people the way you would like to be treated, with love and kindness, and all of that starts with the self, You, if you have been hurt, maybe, and I stress maybe, the person you haven’t yet forgiven (and perhaps the most important of them all!) is You. Begin by accepting and loving yourself for who and what you are. When you learn to love yourself and accept your flaws you will start to notice the difference, your heart will heal and open.
- Mindfulness. Another misconception I had was that mindfulness was just being mindful of other people and their emotions. Mindfulness is all about being present, living the now, letting go of the past and not worrying about the future. It is as simple as enjoying drinking a glass of water, being aware of the water in the glass, the water touching your lips and not forgetting that what you are drinking is water; another example giving your full attention to someone, putting the mobile phone down during dinner, etc.
- Use affirmations, or positive talk. Rather than punishing yourself and abusing yourself 24/7, be your best cheerleader by using affirmations and use positive language. An affirmation (which should be stated in the present and positively) is a sentence we repeat over and over, so it sinks into the subconscious mind until it happens or become true. Repetition is the key to success, remember success mean different things to each of us; being kind to yourself can be tricky and the biggest success you will ever achieve.
- Eat well. We constantly hear, we are what we eat yet no one really explains what is meant by it. I understand we live in a very demanding society where at work we are expected to do much more than we are paid for, commuting, the stress of the current economic climate, etc., I get it I have been there. Food is energy, if you eat heavy meals your body will demand much more energy to digest the saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, etc., so rather than working with your body and using its natural engine, you are working against it, wasting fuel, wasting energy and with each mouthful of food you are slowing yourself down and feeling worse off. Eating well also means keeping yourself hydrated, not with fizzy drinks or caffeinated drink, but water, which helps detoxify the body and reenergises the engine.
- Smile. Yes Smile! When you wake up, look at your reflection in the mirror and smile at yourself, set yourself up for a great start. If you consciously say to yourself, that’s it, today I will not let anything spoil or ruin my day, I will be present, open my heart and respect myself, I choose to have a fantastic day; you will notice your day will go smoothly or at least better than when you wake up complaining of the day ahead. If you feel you can’t smile, guess what you can do? Fake it till you believe it, fake it until it comes naturally, trust me it works!
- Meditate, reflect upon your day. One thing I found many of us, myself included do not do enough of, is reflect on the day gone, think what could have I done differently? What could have I said differently? Run the movie in your head of what it would have been like had you or the other people involved done it the imagined way? There is an incredible therapy called Matrix Reimprinting where you can rerun the movie in your head and build it the way you would have liked it to be and reap the benefits by surrogacy. Another method of achieving similar results is by meditating and getting in touch with our godly essence and learn from it, the more we practice it the more we get into the zone, where there’s no worries or fears, and all is love and possible.
- Be compassionate, empathetic. How many times do we forget other people have lives too! We forget people struggle the same way we do, people have financial worries, lose loved ones, people generally have bad days too!!! Fact! So deal with it. You are not alone, Bill next door has his own issues to deal with, why not rather than locking horns when something goes wrong, just say: It is OK, not to worry we can sort it out later! Discuss it another time or simply approach it in a calm manner, like adults with understanding and empathy. If you have a volatile personality, leave the room, walk away from the situation until you cool down and can tackle it more objectively. It isn’t easy but practice makes perfect, try it one day and the next, and the next until it becomes a habit. Your overall health will thank you for it.
- Practice gratitude! How often do we take for granted everything we have? I can honestly say I forget too often! Be grateful for the roof over your head, your health, your family, your job (although you may not feel it), your vision, your hearing, for making it through the night alive. I grew up in a family that use to say grace before every meal, and because I was immature I could not realise what grace was all about. It took me almost two decades to figure it out, “to get it”, that grace is just that gratitude for our daily bread; we have no idea of how many people around the globe would die to have our leftovers, or a fraction of our plate. So why not honour it and thank your boss for employing you, your wife/husband/maid for cooking it, the grocers for stocking the ingredients up, the farmer for growing the vegetables and rearing the animals, the wind for spreading the seeds so the plants could grow, the sun for allowing the seeds to spring, and the list goes on and on. And do not forget to thank the most important person in the equation, yourself, for working hard, earning the money and providing for your family.
- Exercise, mobility and fitness. When was the last time you went for a country walk and smelled the freshly mowed grass? When was the last time you ran for miles that you forgot how good it feels to be alive? When we exercise we release endorphins and these endorphins send signals to the brain that make us feel happy, content and satisfied with the world and ourselves. When we exercise we are present and nothing else matters, we may do it for many reasons, vanity, necessity, companionship, etc., it doesn’t matter what your agenda it, either way you are oiling the engine up, you fuel it up when you eat, and exercising allows it to run how it is meant to, effortlessly. We hear often enough, our bodies are our temples, so why not look after it, keep it in good condition. Would you like to live in a building that is falling apart or in a modern, funky and exciting building? The choice is yours. Walk whenever possible, breath fresh air, do some stretches. Your joints and muscles will thank you in the long run.
- Finally, and I find it is the most important piece of advice I can give you educate yourself. What? I can hear you say. How does the saying go? Knowledge is power… So why not gain that knowledge and use the power to our advantage? There are countless books in so many subjects, they may all seem different, but the underlying message is still the same, to improve and better ourselves. We have come so far as a civilization, from our cave days to an era of incredible and mind blowing technology, we all we need is at our finger tips. Knowledge isn’t about being a know-it-all, a brainiac or a nerd, knowledge is about understanding, but of the self. Think, how can you be better? What can you do to make your day better than the day before or a year before? The more we learn and apply what we learn the more responsive we become, our overall attitude towards live changes, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change, I am a great believer we don’t change, we evolve, not only biologically, but spiritually and mentally too. When you educate yourself you realise, there is no need to lose your temper or swear or cry; let it be, let it go and learn from the experience, analyse it and say to yourself what can I do differently tomorrow so it doesn’t happen again? Try it, give a go, pick a book up, and with an open mind absorb its message.
I firmly believe if you use these key principles, one at the time, two or more at the time or all of them at the time you will feel and see the difference. We hear people often say, I wish this or that person could change, but what about us? Are we 100% perfect? Don’t think so. In fact no one needs to change, we ought to evolve and strive towards our magic essence, the divine perfection we all have deep inside of us.
A great role model and inspiration of mine, a public speaker Jim Rohn says we are the average of the 5 people closest to us, take a good look at the people you are spending your time with, are they propelling you towards where you want to be? Or just hindering your every move? I am not by all means saying you must alienate people from your life, rather watch and listen to them, are they positive, optimistic people who choose to have a god day? Or a complainer, whinger and moaner? If the latter is the case, then think; do I want to be like them? Continue to choose to have bad days? Ask yourself, how can I help my dearest and nearest to be positive and optimistic?
Be the beacon that shines the light of optimism in everyone lives. Be the one who always has an amazing day, because you choose it to be that way. Be the person who everyone wants to hang out with. Be the best version of yourself.
Hey, I am only here to advice you on the little I know, the choice is yours.