On some days, when life is far from the perfection we had imagined, when things breakdown, delays pile up and unexpected tasks overwhelm, it’s good to consider how this can be a good thing. Messy is not the opposite of happy, hurried is not the opposite of success.
Our own expectations often trip us up. On days when we are too busy to even think properly, we expect somehow that our abilities will remain unaffected and that everything movie-like will work according to the plan. So – answer honestly – how many days in the last month has your day gone exactly the way you expected it? Most people are at 30 to 50% of happiness with how their day evolved. So if that is true why are we setting us up with false expectations that only lead to disappointments?
A different way is needed. We need to adjust our attitudes so a certain minimum standard and consider all other achievements of the day as bonus. For example, a day is super successful if 1) you wake up on time, 2) manage to find breakfast food and coffee and 3) have the right clothes to wear for the occasion. At this point, a pause to celebrate success would be appropriate – 100% achieved already! Everything else that is good that happens that day becomes additional points beyond that – you can get 120% or 150% or even more than 200%!!!
And – anytime you get frustrated with your far from 10 out of 10 performance – either embrace your inner Fool the way Dr. Rubin recommends in this quote, or consider what advice you would give in the exact same situation if this were not you, but someone you loved – like your sister, brother or your child. Or how you would react if someone else said to a person you love the things you are thinking about your performance and constantly saying to yourself.
Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, mother of three, CEO and Co-founder myBestHelper