The Good Bad Day
As a recent session with a client was coming to a close, he noted that next year at work he needed to “delegate more and lower his standards.” We agreed that lowering his (very high) standards would create more ease. And then we had a great laugh about how everyone’s new year’s resolution should be to lower their standards.
Joking aside, perfectionism is pretty much the opposite of ease, and we could all lighten up a little and be kinder to ourselves. In don Miguel Ruiz’s life-changing book The Four Agreements, agreement number four is to “ always do your best” – with the understanding that your best is wildly different on any given day based on how you are feeling, how well you slept, what your mood is, etc.
It’s simply not possible to perform at the pinnacle level of our best every single day. By definition, if there’s a best, then there has to be a worst day and a whole bunch of average days in between.
This is where writer and entrepreneur Daniel DiPiazza’s idea of the Good Bad Day comes in. Imagine you have a goal and you are also having one of those below average days, a day you might even call “bad.” How can you have a good bad day? Maybe you intended to go to the gym because you’re trying to get in shape? Then go get on the elliptical, even if it’s just for ten minutes. Have a report you’re trying to complete? Then write one paragraph.
Do the smallest thing you can so you can say you showed up. And be satisfied (i.e., kind to yourself) and accepting that you had the best bad day you could. Because if you string enough of those days together, and if you consistently show up despite not being at your best, you will still make progress.
So where can you lower your standards and allow yourself to show up as less than your very best on days when you may not be feeling great? What’s the smallest thing you can do to move a goal forward and maintain consistency? And how will you treat yourself when you’ve done what you could on a good bad day?
Good luck – and have a fabulous day!
p.s. For those of you who believe attitude is everything and every day is a good one, right on! Thanks for being a role model for the rest of us!