Thursday, November 9, 2017

Special days

Imagine for a moment, the dreariest Tuesday you can; imagine it's overcast and chilly and there is a good chance of a cold rain turning to sleet.

What might make that day good?  What might make it special?

The fact is that there are many special days throughout our lives; good days that are good or special by design that can turn that Tuesday around.

That Tuesday might be your birthday!  Birthdays are special because (unless you are a twin) they are just for you.  Your very existence is celebrated.  The day is special because of you!

Tuesday might be a Holiday! Holidays are special for the opposite reason from birthdays: they are special because they are shared.  Friends and family (and neighborhoods and countries and faiths) come together to celebrate shared experiences and make new ones.

Relational holidays are almost a hybrid.  On Father's Day and Mother's Day and the like, we celebrate the individuals within a group.  You are part of something special and we know it!

What if that Tuesday is a Leap day?  One day, every four years, that is extra!  What an opportunity to make a tradition!  And if your birthday is on Leap day?  Magic!

Here's a surprise though . . . any day and every day can be special.

Try this exercise: When you are done interacting with someone don't tell them to "Have a good one," or "See ya later," or something similar.  Instead, wish them a "Happy Tuesday," or tell them "Have a very merry Tuesday."  See if that doesn't make their day a little bit better.  See if it makes them smile.

Pay attention to yourself too.  Is your Tuesday happier or merrier?  Is it more special? 
Is today a more special (good) day?

Saturday, November 4, 2017


We live in a society that is always going.  Oftentimes it is good to stop . . 

Stop complaining.
Stop thinking "worst first"
Stop rushing
Stop waiting
Stop looking for perfection
Stop trying to be perfect
Stop wasting time
Stop wasting effort
Stop worrying
Stop wishing

Stop thinking that a good day is dependent on the day
Stop thinking that happiness is outside you

Start stopping the things that prevent you from finding joy

Friday, November 3, 2017

"Nothing went wrong"

Some days it feels like our day or our lives are filled with literal or emotional gray clouds.
We feel like they are just blocking out and hopes or joys.

What happens if we examine the day though ?
What happens if we spend time reflecting and writing down all the bad things that happened or are happening that day, hour-by-hour?

"5:00 - 6:00 - Alarm went off.  Snoozed"
"6:00 - 7:00 - Prepared for work"
"7:00 - 8:00 - Commute"
"8:00 - 9:00 - Worked"
  . . .
"10:00 - 11:00 - Went to bed"

The details of each hour will have ups and downs.  The commute might have been long or work might have had a non-productive event.  Lunch may have been rushed or someone sid they liked your hair.

For some or many of those hours though, the best that might be said is "Nothing bad happened." 

"Nothing bad happened" is not ideal.  In fact, it's far from ideal.
"Nothing bad happened" is barely OK.  Sometimes OK is the best we can have though.

"Nothing bad happened" is not a way to live our lives.  It's not nearly as good as "Today is a good day" but not every day feels like a good day without some effort.

"Nothing bad happened" is a tool to help us not be overwhelmed by the gray clouds in our lives.

It's also important to remember that behind those clouds . . is the sun.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our story thus far . . .

Here is TiaGD as it stands right now.
  1. Today is a Good day.
  2. Tell a friend
  3. A smile is a sign of a good day
  4. The best day ever
  5. Good days are made of small happinesses
  6. Mondays aren't all bad all the time.
  7. Now is a good time to make today a good day
  8. Counting the days
  9. Who are the people in your neighborhood?
  10. Life's little hassles
  11. Having a good day and making a good day
  12. Love the ones you're with
  13. Death and good days
  14. You gotta have faith
  15. Being thankful for good day contributors
  16. Now is the moment
  17. A Good Day Emergency kit
  18. Resolve to have a good day (and other things too)
  19. The Jedi don't know everything . .but they know a lot.
  20. Listen for the good days.
  21. To Dream the Impossible Dream.
  22. Reach out and touch someone
  23. One [whatever] at a time
  24. The lives of kids are made of Good Day stuff
  25. What do you live for?
  26. Let's get funky!
  27. Save game!
  28. Fear is the mind killer
  29. Being touchy can be a good thing
  30. When life give you lemons . . .
  31. You are what you eat
  32. Being a part of something good is great
  33. A list of good things at 9:30 in the morning
  34. Good deeds are not just for Boy Scouts and Superman
  35. What may seem ordinary may not be.
  36. Live life to the fullest
  37. Working for the money?
  38. Make yourself smile
  39. Go out and see the World
  40. Yawwwn.
  41. Pre-catastrophic priority evaluation
  42. "I scream, you scream"
  43. Change how you think.
  44. Special people make for special days.
  45. Just do it!
  46. Dirt. Grass. Sky.
  47. Can you be "whelmed"?
  48. LOL. Really? Really!
  49. Water. Electricity.
  50. Reward yourself.
  51. Who are you?
  52. Nothing lasts
  53. Don't delay the happy.
  54. Rituals help.
  55. Start Something New
  56. Light
  57. Special needs
  58. Are you looking?
  59. Holding on.
  60. It's all about perspective
  61. Compare and Contrast
  62. If you can't say anything nice . . .

Monday, April 30, 2012

If you can't say anything nice . . .

 . . you are doing it wrong.

A while back a federal task force met in Detroit to discuss violence and children.  The findings were that pervasive violence has become a norm in some communities and when children grow up with violence as the norm it becomes easier to increase that level.  Communities are destroyed.   The task force went on to describe ways to counter that violence early.

The low-level negativity about people's lives is similar.  In situations where people describe how they dread Mondays or their job or their family or how they are tired of the same ol' thing for lunch (when they pack it themselves).

The best counter to that attitude is to . . . . counter it.  It's not about countering the comment (something I do and need to control better) but to counter the attitude.  there are so many good things that happen every day in our lives.  Talking about good things has it's own power.

Making today a good day is more than *not* saying anything when you can't think of something nice to say. Making today a good day is about going above and saying something nice.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Compare and Contrast

One of the staples of primary school writing assignments is the compare and contrast paper.  The student take two things and has to writ how hey are alike and how they are different.  The complexity changes as the children grow up.

Judging if today is a good day is also an exercise in comparing and contrasting.  Deciding what you are going to compare and contrast with may be critical to how good your day is going to be.

If you want to be unhappy today, compare your life to the best life you can possible have.  Don't compare it to the best thing you've ever had, compare it to the best possible.

Compare your breakfast, and your job, and your vacation, and your bed, and whatever you else have to the best of those things you have ever seen or imagined.  Your life will fall short and you'll be unhappy.  Congratulations.

On the other hand, while not focusing on "worst first" thinking, contrast your life to what it might have been had you made other choices.

If you are dreading your work on Monday, imagine your life without a job.  If you are tired and don't want to make dinner, imagine not having a choice of food or food at all.  If your family is driving you crazy, imagine your life without them.  Maybe now is a good time to watch or re-watch "It's a Wonderful Life".

So next time you feel that your life is not what it should be, don't compare it to that magical world where everything is perfect, contrast it to what it might be and be grateful for what you have.  And, for bonus karma, do something kind for someone who does not have everything you have.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's all about perspective

There was a study at Purdue University that showed that golfers that overestimated the size of the hole when golfing sunk more putts.

Further, when using an optical illusion in the lab, golfers sunk shots better there too.


Perception matters.  And positive perception matters if you are trying to have a good day.

What we see and how we choose to perceive things can make a huge difference in how we do and how we feel.  
If you go into a situation at work (or school, or home) and expect that whatever happens is not a bad thing; not an attack against your happiness or your peace you'll see and hear it differently.  You will react to it differently.

In the same way, if you assume that Mondays will be Mondays or that every day not the weekend is less than the weekend it is likely that you will make it so.

None of this is a surprise.  But making a choice to see things differently may have surprising effects.

What's the worst thing that can happen if you change your views?  You'll make today a good day.