Monday, April 30, 2012

How to Turn a Bad Day Around

Are you having a bad day? If so, hang on...I'll be right back. If not, hang will be here shortly.

We all have bad days. I know that because you're reading this post. I once heard that the only people who don't have bad days are in the graveyard. And even then, for some of them, it only got worse...

I was recently listening to Michael Hyatt talk about handling setbacks and he referenced the notion that how we respond to challenges will set us up for future success or immediate defeat. The best indicator for how that will turn out are the questions we ask ourselves and maybe to others.

As I pondered this notion, it occurred to me that the easiest way to identify how prepared I was to handle setbacks was was to listen for the nouns in my questions.

"Why did they not like my proposal?"
"Why won't he consider me for the new project?"
"Why won't she give me a little attention?"
"How does management expect us to complete this task on such a small budget?"

What are the subjects here? ("they", "he", "she", and "management"). If the subject of your questions center around another person, place or thing, then you have a challenge. The questions we should be asking are ones where we are the subject.

"What could I have done to make a better proposal?"
"What skills am I lacking that are keeping me from new opportunities?"
"How can I give her extra attention?"
"What are some creative, inexpensive tools we can use to make this project work?"

Did you catch the subtle change in the subject? Instead of assigning responsibility for the bad circumstances in our lives to external factors, we should realize that change begins with us. This is not to say that we are to ignore the influence of external factors.  The best way to respond is to begin with the one factor we know we can

What do you think? Is the first step to turning your bad day around to look in the mirror? Have you ever had to do this?

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