When was the last time that you had a BAD day?
You can probably list a few bad days within the past week most likely. Shit, most people are probably having a “bad day” right now.
It’s interesting though. We live in 2018, the greatest time that this world has ever known (to our knowledge at least).
We have access to the strongest computers of all time in the palms of our hands. Grocery stores FULL of fresh foods so that we don’t have to hunt in order to have a meal on our plates. Cars to get us anywhere we please without having to hardly walk at all. Dating websites that allow us to connect with others without even having to go out and socialize.
If you’re living in 2018, you likely have it pretty good!
It would only make sense that we’re happier than ever as a society, right? Unfortunately we’re trending farther and farther away from that. It seems that we’re more unhappy than ever as a whole.
There are a number of different factors that are playing into this downward slope of mental health. I’m not ignorant to this fact. There are so many different theories and ideas behind this. I don’t think it’s black and white at all. There’s no simple fix or answer unfortunately.
In my personal opinion though, I believe that a lack of existential threats in our day to day lives is a large benefactor in this equation. Our genetics are still used to fighting saber tooth tigers on the daily. Fighting other tribes for resources and food. For most of us, our biggest adversity in today’s life is the decision between Mcdonalds or Wendys.
This lack of existential threats has led us to have a lot more free time mentally. Instead of being relieved that we have enough food to live for another few weeks or that the tribe a few miles away isn’t going to be attacking us today, we are now at the point in our evolution where we lose our shit if our phones don’t operate correctly. Or god forbid the fast food worker gets our order wrong and puts ketchup on your burger.
As a society, especially here in the United States, I believe that we substantially lack perspective. I certainly know that I do. It’s easy to forget how great we have it.
This is why it’s important to define what a truly BAD day would be for us.
I got this idea while listening to a Keynote speech by Gary Vaynerchuk about a year ago. He said something that has stuck with me very closely ever since.
He was discussing his strategy that he utilizes when he begins getting caught up in the bull shit of daily life. When you’re self employed or an entrepreneur especially, you’re constantly dealing with daily turbulence that would lead most people to complaining and proclaiming it to be a bad day. Even if you aren’t in business for yourself, you’re likely dealing with up’s & downs of everyday life quite often, if not 24/7.
He said that when he can feel himself going down a bad path mentally, he immediately takes a step back and puts himself in a hypothetical situation. A hypothetical situation in which he receives a call alerting him that his wife and daughter had been killed in a car crash.
This may sound super dark and over the top, but it immediately gives you perspective in life. It reminds you what truly matters deep down. All of the money, self accolades, etc., mean nothing if you or your loved ones are sick or, god forbid, dead.
I do something very similar myself now. I use a form of this strategy pretty much daily. If I’m getting overly stressed about something I will take a step back & think about what a real BAD day would be like. What it would feel like.
I quickly realize that my situation isn’t all that bad at all. I take a few seconds to think about my loved ones and how great I truly have it. Then it’s back to work. Accompanied by a very positive and refreshed mental state.
Quite often people use a similar strategy when they hear others complaining about something. For example, it’s popular to tell someone to quit complaining about their food because there are millions of people across the world starving to death right now.
This is unfortunately true and extremely sad. Most of us just cannot connect with this idea though. It seems so distant from our reality.
Unless we’ve seen it first hand or have some sort of personal connection to it, it’s not gonna impact us as deeply as something happening to a loved one. This is a direct impact to our mental state. It cuts deep and gives you true perspective right away.
This is not to take away from the massive global issues that we face as a society though.
I understand that not every day is gonna be a rock star day either. Even when the worst case scenario does not happen, it can feel like the world is coming crashing down on top of us. We all have days where we just aren’t feeling it or some real stressful shit is going down. We’re all human and deal with these things. That’s life.
That being said, when you step back and define what a truly bad day would be for you, you then realize that 99% of our days here on earth are pretty fucking great.
The next time you’re dealing with some adversity remind yourself of this. It may not completely solve the issue that you’re dealing with, but it will certainly help put things in perspective.
Until next time,
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