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Thoughts on tough days

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I decided to take a minute and share some thoughts on tough days. Often I get the question from my students on what to do when tough days show up. The question has also been asked do I get them?  The answer to that is HECK YA! in fact, I’m experiencing one today and that’s why I’ve decided to write about it right now. Everyone one gets tough days – even the most successful people who have ever walked the planet. Think of all the people you admire and maybe even mistakenly believe that everything for them is going perfect and I guarantee that they will have had tough days in the past.


Let’s begin by maybe clarifying what I mean by a tough day.  The following or all of the following can contribute to a tough day and I’ll be honest I haven’t experienced them all but I have experienced quite a few of them. Thankfully they did not all occur on the same day: (This list is from my own life, friends or family or the experiences of my students) But they could happen to anyone:

Comments from a hater

news that a “best friend” betrayed you

A death in the family or of a close friend


A lawsuit

A car accident

Mean comments from a dissatisfied customer

Unfair comments from someone who has never met you

Someone steals your laptop

Your laptop shuts down and ALL the information is lost

You find out your spouse has been cheating (look up above at divorce again – maybe an option)

You receive an unexpected bill

A business partner cleans out the accounts

Someone steals your bike

Your kids mouth off

Someone steals your license plate and the cops pull you over

Did I mention a speeding ticket?

Losing a really important client to a competitor

Getting fired or downsized

Being informed you have an illness or terminal situation

being told one of your children has an illness or is terminal

Losing everything in an investment

Getting evicted or having a vehicle repossessed

Being bullied

Threats of violence or abuse

Acts of violence or abuse

Blackmail or manipulation from people who don’t get their way

Slander or gossip about you calculated to injure or hurt you or your family

I guess that’s a pretty good list. I suppose the first thing to start with is that we should be gentle with everyone we run into because we don’t know what they are going through. Life is tough at times and there’s no need for us to become a contributor.

Whenever I get hit by the negative energy that accompanies any of these kinds of things it’s very difficult to stay motivated or on task. I’ll be honest that as some of these things have hit me in life I have become depressed. At times I have become so discouraged that I couldn’t see any way out. My  mind at the worst of times has even contemplated extremes like suicide. If we are being honest in this conversation I think that at times everyone has felt like this.

But staying in that mindset is dangerous. That’s when things become serious and bad things turn to worse things.

The good news about all of the above is that they are temporary situations. Whenever I have a bad day the first thing I try to do is remind myself that these things are temporary. Even the super painful and hurtful things. Even the terminal things are temporary. We will all die but how we chose to live even makes a terminal situation bearable. Recently one of my student taught me that.

Unfortunately bad things do happen to good people from time to time.

But #1 in getting through this is to know that the bad stuff will go away if you move forward and try to create more good stuff.

#2 I have found this one really hard at times. It is to forgive and move on. I believe that even the worst hurtful and angry people in our lives believes they are doing the right thing. Sometimes they feel wronged by a mistake that may have been made or something that just happened by accident. But most of the time this can be cleared up in a safe conversation. If not, don’t sweat it. Try and forget it. Clinging to your hurt and the hurtful person that caused it just causes more hurt. If both can’t commit to repair you are destined to repeat. Send them good thoughts and find new connections elsewhere.

#3Take a break. This has been really important for me. If a day starts bad it seems weird that more bad stuff happens in that day and it gets worse as the day goes on. I don’t know if this has happened to anyone else. raise your hand if that’s you too? But often when something goes bad in a day it keeps going bad. If things go good they often keep going good. Sometimes if things start off bad I actually do a reset in the middle of my day. Pause, take a break. Go do something that couldn’t possibly go wrong and then bring that positive energy back to keep going.

Anyways, there’s the three things I try to do. Don’t know if this helps anyone. It certainly has helped from time to time. I can’t promise there won’t be bad days up ahead. I wish I could create that even for myself. but I’m sure that’s just part of being human. Keep that in mind and never get discouraged to the point where you quit. It’s okay to pause. But never ever quit.


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