“If you are having a bad day, have a bad day, because tomorrow is a new day” - Luanne Cameron
Those of you who have been reading my blog or attended a 110 Philosophy training session will be familiar with the exercises that we talk about in the book. My goal is and has always been to help others to learn about new concepts and tools, and to help integrate them into work and life. As we create new goals and experience new challenges, the 110 Philosophy concepts, exercises and techniques will help you to manage these situations and continue to experience more happiness all around. We know it is through repetition and consistent practice that we strengthen our skills and develop new, good habits. Whether you are using the 110 Philosophy in a work or personal setting, remember that it is a journey! Change happens when we are open to discovery, exploring new paths and ways of thinking, and trying new methods.
The 110 Basic Tool is a problem-solving technique that can help you determine when you are off-course and what needs to change so that you can progress towards your goals and priorities. When you are facing a challenge, this tool helps you dissect a situation, ask questions, and look at the facts about what is going on. It provides a disciplined way to figure out what to do differently in order to regain control of your life and create more happiness.
Do you know why it is easy for me to allow myself to have an occasional bad day? I can because I am very clear on my guiding principles, and I am confident in how I think and how I live The 110 Philosophy. I use the tools in the book every day! I know that I need to look at why I am having a bad day and then reflect on my own chaos with the intention of making the most of tomorrow. I can navigate stress better because I know the universe is NOT picking on me. I know there is something bigger. For me, "something bigger" is my connection with God. When I am overwhelmed, I pray and I believe I am connected to a bigger purpose. It may be something else for you, and that's fine! It's the knowing that you are connected to something bigger than you that is critical in the darkest of days.
It's important to understand that when I say it's OK to have a bad day and to reflect on the reasons, I don't mean that you should be dwelling on things being “off”. We need to be focusing on the end goal, where we are going, and what we need to do or change to get there. Trying to tweak certain aspects of the situation will only work if you have solid priorities and a clear grasp of your goals.
Here's an example. I've been training and preparing for the Maine Cancer Foundation's Tri for a Cure (Maine's only all-women triathlon). My health is my number one priority - I am clear on that. I’ve been working out, eating well, and focusing on the steps I need to take to get to where I want to be. Do I push myself? Yes. Do I get uncomfortable? Yes. Do I run on the treadmill when I know I am having trouble with my foot (as you know I have had numerous surgeries)? No. Because I want to get to the end. So, instead, I may swim that morning and look at what may have triggered the onset of pain, which may have been something that I had no control over. Sometimes, there is nothing we can do about certain situations, but we can control what we do while we endure them. It's important to recognize this as well so that we don't blame ourselves for the uncontrollable.
The 110 Philosophy tools seem so simple, but when you read between the lines, they are much more complex and intertwined. They help us to have the ability to recognize what needs to change or be repeated in order to reach our goals and control our own success at work or in life. For me, a big piece of the equation is thinking about how my kids are doing, and how my family is. Remember that list we made in the book of our top 5 priorities? Like many of you, I find that my true happiness sometimes depends on how happy my children are...something that I can't totally control. I know and accept that. My vision and priorities are clear and I organize my life to control what I can, including how I react when things are out of my hands. The more you demand control of your own life while maintaining your priorities, the more respect people will have for your leadership and organization.
Life was not designed for happiness 110% of the time… for me, it is about capturing all of life's moments and dwelling on the GREAT ones. Focusing on when good things are happening, and using the tool to reflect on what made these moments great so that you can repeat them.
Next month: Shelf It