Wed, 3 June 2015
“So, what do you do every day? What's typical day like in your life?”
I am asked this question, or something similar, often enough that I thought it might be worth answering in a podcast episode. This show is entitled, “A Day in the Life of Ray”. Other reasons to listen:
No More Bad Days
Recently I've seen two friends go through a battle with cancer, and I saw first hand how we are in control of our response to what happens to us. Regardless of your circumstances, whether you have a good day or a bad day is really up to you
Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet that, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (NASB)
There are 3 keys to stepping into a life with no more bad days.
Key #1: Set Up a Rule You Can Always Meet In Order to Have a Good Day.
Tony Robbins tells the story of two different gentlemen who attended one of his exclusive seminars in Fiji.
One gentleman was a billionaire, a high achiever. The other was successful in many ways, but not someone with extraordinary income.
Tony noticed that the billionaire seemed to be miserable, while the more average gentleman seemed to be extraordinarily happy. So Tony asked each man what was required in order for him to have a good day.
The billionaire gave a long list of requirements that had to be met, including the amount of time he exercised, his target heart rate, his perfect diet, achieving certain financial milestones in his business, certain processes that had to happen correctly without fail, and a long list of things that must happen in order for him to have a good day.
When Tony asked the gentleman who was a more moderate financial success about his rule for having a good day, the man replied with a big smile: “It's simple. Every day above ground is a good day.”
You get to set up the rule for what makes a good day. Why not make it one you can meet?
Key #2: Change the Way You Interpret What Happens to You.
The lens we used to look at the world tends to control what we see. There is the story that is told about to traveling salesmen, each of whom had a conversation with the same farmer at the corner of his field near the road. The first asked him, “Hey! What kind of people live around here?”
The farmer replied, “Well, what kind of people did you find in the last place you visited?”
The salesman grimaced and said, “A bunch of dishonest, ornery, inhospitable scoundrels.”
The farmer nodded, and said, “I expect you'll find the same sort of people around here.”
The next day, a different traveling salesman encountered that same farmer at the corner of his field. This new salesman had a big smile on his face and said, “Hello! What a beautiful day, and what a beautiful farm you have! I wonder if I might ask you, what sort of people will I find around here?”
Farmer grinned, and asked, “what sort of people did you find in the last place you visited?”
“A lot of generous, happy, open hearted and welcoming people. That place was a real joy to visit!”
The farmer smiled, and said, “I expect you'll find the same sort of people around here.”
What we expect informs our interpretation of what we experience. The environment inside our heads controls the environment outside our heads. What we think about tends to be what we experience.
Key #3: Have Biblical Hope.
The word “hope” means something different in the Bible than what we typically mean by the word hope in our culture.
In modern culture, “hope” is a wishy-washy, half in, half out milquetoast way of thinking. If we say we “hope” something will happen in a certain way, what we are really saying is, in effect, “I wish it would happen this way, but I know it probably won't.”
On the other hand, typical hope can be defined as “the positive expectation of good things.” That's why our life of faith is referred to as “hope that does not disappoint”. And there are plenty of reasons to believe this hope of the Bible is for real.
In the book of Romans, we are told that God makes “all things work for the good of those who love Him.”
Jesus exhorted us not to worry about things we need in everyday life, but to trust that our Father in heaven is a good father, and he knows how to take care of his children, and that he will always give us what is best for us.
Sometimes we may not be able to see how that is true, because we don't have his perspective. Just as a child might be upset when a parent roughly grabs them by the arms, yanks them off the ground, and throws them to the ground. The child may believe this was mean and cruel behavior, not realizing that their father just yanked them out of the way of an oncoming car, and saved their life.
What's more, according to the Bible we know that the things that we speak and think have spiritual power to change what actually happens to us. I would encourage you to think about things that are good and positive. You may not be able to control your feelings, but you can certainly take control of your thoughts.
The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
I don't have “zero bad days” just yet… But I have many more good days than bad ones, and that ratio is always improving. I believe it is because I use the 3 keys to unlock the door to more good days:
Tip Of the Week
SweetProcess is a service that allows you to easily build beautiful process documentation for your business and your team. 7 reasons I am back with them after a brief hiatus.
Feature Presentation: A Day in the Life of Ray
What's a day in your life like? What are some parts of your daily routine your consider non-negotiable?
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