We all have them. . .days when everything in our life seems to have been flipped upside-down overnight. Either the person we love has just dumped us, we just received a rejection slip from the literary magazine we were hoping would decide to publish that short story we worked so hard on, or maybe. . .well, maybe the kids just spilled grape juice all over the new carpet. There isn’t any simple advice I can give you about how to make a bad day into a good one. To be honest, if you know me at all, you’re aware of the fact that I have just as many bad days as good days. So, how do I make it through them? Well, I haven’t always made it through them easily or effortlessly. Sometimes it’s been more a matter of counting the hours until I was able to go to sleep, rather than trying to accomplish any of my goals. I don’t think any of us have to be tremendously damaged or emotionally unhealthy people to experience bouts of depression. Hey, life is depressing, isn’t it? All you have to do is turn on the news and you’ll hear about people dying and riots breaking out. There are also murders you can find out about and other treats in store for you, none of which probably brighten up your day, unless you enjoy hearing about bad things happening in other people’s lives. I would assume that if you’re reading Success Diva’s blog, you wouldn’t be the sort of person who would derive pleasure out of the suffering of other people, even if they are merely strangers to you. So, what’s my advice?? First of all, don’t turn on the news but once every day. I know Jodie Foster, in an interview she gave several years ago, spoke about her addiction to CNN and how she kept it on nearly 24 hours a day. Well, Jodie is a fantastic actress and a remarkable and very smart woman. But even if you admire her, that doesn’t mean you have to emulate her. Another thing that helps you if you’re going through a bad day. . .or bad week, as the case may be. . .is staying away from people who are constantly saying negative things and/or telling you about all the horrible things they just heard about on the news. You don’t have to be rude and say, “Leave me alone” and there’s no point in telling them how negative you think they are. It might not hurt to suggest that they focus more on the positive aspects of life and the world, but you must realize that you aren’t going to be the one to change an innately negative person. The post I wrote prior to this one gave two links to toxic people, and I hope you at least clicked on those links and browsed the sites for a moment or two. There are several different types of toxic people, and toxicity, like nearly anything else, can be found in different strengths, given the person in question. Some people are what the Success Diva would call mildly toxic. That is, they’re the type of person that leave you feeling vaguely sad or depressed after you’ve spent time with them. Perhaps they’re always using phrases such as, “I worry that. . .” or “I’m just afraid that” or they seem to always be telling you that the world is going to be coming to an end sometime soon because everything is in such a horrific, chaotic state. If you should be unfortunate enough to know someone like this, stay away from them as much as you can. Am I telling you to avoid them at all costs? No. Preferably, you should avoid them, but, obviously, if they are your spouse, your parent, or one of your children this may not be feasible. However, you must at least psychologically distance yourself from them, which means that you need to keep reminding yourself every time you speak with them and/or see them that they are dissatisfied and discontented, and, whether they are doing it intentionally or not, they’re wanting to bring you down along with them. Well, don’t let them. Easier said than done, you say? Well, yes, it is always easier to say something than to do it. Or haven’t you noticed??
The bottom line is this: you will never create happiness and success, much less the life of your dreams, if you allow the negative thought patterns of other people to influence your life and the way you see the world around you. This may not be a perfect world we live in, heaven knows. In fact, it’s so far from perfect that you have to wonder if it ever was anything close to perfect in the first place. At the same time, here’s the news you’re going to have to accept: this is the only world we’ve got. So, sitting up and complaining about how bad everything is won’t help anyone, including you. I’ll admit it’s always tempting to keep very well-informed, and the news is a wonderful way to do that. But there are simply things you’ll hear on the news if you watch it constantly or even more than once a day that will prevent you from fully enjoying life. When I talk about enjoying life I’m not speaking of merely existing. A person in a coma is existing—but is a person in a coma really living?? Are they able to walk outside and breathe the fresh air? Do they have a chance to read a really magnificent book or see a movie that they’ll always remember? Do they hear the laughter of children and smell the fragrance of fresh flowers? You know the answers. You’re smart. And you also know that your Success Diva is giving you some really great advice.
I know there will be people reading this who will be saying, “But the Success Diva doesn’t understand how bad a day I’m having. I mean, this is the worst day of my life!” My response to you is that there are many days that will feel like the worst day of your life. Many days, I said—not just one. That isn’t the comforting reply you wanted to hear, is it? Believe me, it doesn’t make me feel joyful to have to tell you something so disheartening. But since I have had many a day in my life so far that I could have said was the worst day of my life, I can safely assume that you’ll have more than one day that feels that way, too. There are, of course, certain things that can happen in our lives that are so utterly devastating that we truly don’t know if we will ever be happy again. Perhaps we have lost a parent or child or our husband or wife walked out without so much as a “goodbye.” These are events that truly do make us feel that our lives have suddenly come to a halt. However, unless you’re going to kill yourself, you must go on. One of my very good friends is a big admirer of the American writer and poet, Dorothy Parker, and the title of Parker’s autobiography is aptly called You Might as Well Live. I say aptly because Dorothy Parker had more than her share of troubles over her 73 years. Although she was brilliant, witty, and incredibly gifted, Parker had a knack for getting involved with toxic men (she was married to one of her husbands two times), and she attempted suicide several times. Ultimately, she died of a heart attack at a reasonably ripe age. Thus, it appears that her personal philosophy was summed up in the title of her auto-biography, You Might as Well Live. And even when you think that you can’t live another day, that you have no reason to get up in the morning and no reason to smile another time, you, too, must decide that you not only might as well live, but that you also must live with enthusiasm and passion. Nothing is ever achieved without these two things, and even though such traits as persistence and determination and self-discipline are extremely important in reaching the pinnacle of your personal success, if you don’t feel excited about anything, are you really going to pursue your dreams with gusto? You know you won’t. In fact, I don’t really think you can (and remember the difference in what you can do and what you will do, something I made a mention of in my first post at Success Diva’s blog). You must meet every day as if it is the first and last day of your life. Sure, you have your goals mapped out for the next 1, 5, or even 10 years. . .and, yes, you have dreams that may not become a reality for a decade or longer. But today, this moment, is the only time that you can be absolutely certain that you still have. So live. Start treating life as the gift it is instead of merely as something to be endured. I know you can do it. After all, you’re still reading this blog, aren’t you??
Your Success Diva