Do You Ever Have Bad Days?
So I had this question come in from Bill Buckholtz. It says, “Thank you, Jeff. You really do add value every time you post. So, do you ever have bad days anymore?”
If the stuff I publish makes my life look perfect, I can assure you that it's not. I certainly have problems and challenges, and complications. Life is not perfect. Just because you have a successful business, just because you have a large income, just because you have achieved some level of freedom in your life doesn't mean the challenges go away.
I would say, yes I do have bad days, but I have spent a long time working on this. I would say that it's very, very rare for me to have bad days. It's more common for me to have bad hours or bad minutes, but the reality is that in almost every circumstance the situation isn't nearly as bad as you're making it in your brain. You have an immense amount of control over how you react to a situation. When you start to take control over how you react to situations, then you stop having bad days—or have many, many fewer. Did I get that right? Many fewer. So yeah, many fewer bad days.
It all comes down to framing, and it all comes down to training your brain. I started doing this in my late teens and early 20s. I started going through this process of rewiring my brain. I've been doing it intensely for the last 25 years. I personally think meditation is one of the best ways you can get yourself to be less reactive to bad things—to negative things happening. I think gratitude is an amazing practice.
I was just listening to Sam Harris, and he was talking about a time he had dinner with his family. He said they were all sitting around, and no one was in a great mood. Everyone was a bit disgruntled. Just wasn't great energy in the room. Somehow, he reflected. He's like, “If I had actually passed away, if I had died the day before that dinner happened, what would I have given to be at that dinner? How much would I have savored being with my loved ones in that situation?”
The thing is almost every situation has the seeds of something great in it. Almost every situation, every negative situation, every complication, every bit of chaos, has the seeds of an incredible learning in it, of incredible growth in it. If you just look back at the difficult times in your lives, how many times has that been something that allowed you to grow, that allowed something to open up? These are the type of games I play in my head.
Sure, it's easy enough to say, “Oh, you should just think positive. Be positive. Be happy.” And you hear someone saying that kind of stuff and you just want to punch them in the face, right? You get sick of hearing that kind of stuff, but it's so true. You're in control of your reaction. You're not in control of every situation in your life. Even when you have the kind of business I have, when you've achieved the kind of success I've had, and the kind of freedom I've had, and the kind of income I've had, you're still not in control of everything.
The world is going to throw stuff at you. There will be problems. There will be complications. There is chaos. There is chaos every day in my life, but I've learned to just deal with it, to frame it as something … to define the positive, to know that I've faced challenge, after challenge, after challenge for all these years and that I'm going to be able to get through the next one. That if I'm stuck in traffic, and I'm late for an appointment, that that's not the worst thing that's ever happened. There are far worse things that could happen to me.
Yeah, I have bad days, but it's incredibly rare. The reason it's rare is not because I have a successful business or a big income. The reason it's rare is that I've put in a lot of work to train my brain to turn the situations around.
I'm Jeff Walker. Wherever you're watching, just scroll down and leave a comment for me and let's go get 'em this week.