On this topic, I happen to be an expert. I haven’t had a bad day in over a decade and I believe that living in this reality is possible for anyone. Before I explain further, I want to be clear about what I am not talking about. I am not suggesting a ‘fake it till you make it’ ideology that rests upon telling yourself that you are happy even when you feel like crap. I’m not saying life isn’t hard sometimes or that trials are all in your head. I’m not talking about surface level happiness, but something more profound, fulfilling; life changing.
We all have a warped perception of what is good and, therefore, what is bad as well. If we miss a job opportunity we say that it’s ‘bad’. If we get a raise, we say that it’s ‘good’ (nevermind the possibility that the raise we received kept us trapped in a job we already hated to begin with; in my book, that’s bad…). If you want to begin living a life filled with Good days you need to realize that you and I are poor judges of what good and bad are. Often times when we look back on the most difficult seasons of our lives we can see that the trials were exactly the tool used to shape us into the person we are today (this makes those seasons of value, or good). This idea is critical (at least for me) because it affords me the possibility of viewing every day as essentially good and something difficult happening that day doesn’t change its inherent goodness.
Secondly, not only do I recognize the inherent goodness in every day, but choose to focus on it and savor it. Mentally consenting to this idea is useless if you don’t live it. If you say, “Yeah, I think every day is inherently good” and then act like a whiny baby about every little problem that comes your way, or constantly see yourself as the victim, or the world as evil… you’ve missed the point. There has to be a conscious, moment by moment effort to see the world as beautiful. Sure there are terrible things going on around us, I’m not blind to this (so don’t bother sending me an email to inform me) but if you choose to focus on what is bad and ugly and dark instead of fixing your eyes on what is good and true and lovely, of course you’ll have bad days.
One thing that I have discovered to be of the most value in cultivating a life filled with good days is realizing that happiness isn’t the goal, but joy. Our culture is full of self-serving ideas about how everyone should be happy that are, in my opinion, nearly a complete waste of time. I’m not getting down on happiness, I’m a happy person, but under my surface layer of happy is a deep foundation of Joy that isn’t shaken by losing a job, a family member, rainy days, or being sick. Joy is sustaining and must be cultivated. It’s a spiritual reality that in turn leads to health for our minds and bodies as well. Joy is cultivated by realizing that you are actually loved, that your life makes a difference, that you and the world around you are inherently good and therefore inherently worthy of being loved. Joy is powerful. It has nothing to do with a stupid smiley-face bumper sticker on your car but with a deep sense of gratefulness, kindness and peace that one has cultivated through both the calm waters and turbulent seas of life.
Not having bad days means choosing to see the Good. I know this is no easy self-help note; it’s an invitation to change your way of thinking. I’m inviting you see Beauty everywhere you look and when someone gossips, slanders, or tries to point out what is wrong with the world or other people, you decide to only see what it right. It’s not blindness, it’s seeing more clearly. We’ve been blinded and brainwashed into only seeing everything that is going wrong, I’m saying let’s love one another and ourselves, unconditionally, and decide to focus on the Mysterious Beauty that fills everyone and everything that surrounds us.
May you have a ‘Good’ day.