Good morning! I hope your day is starting off well.
Yesterday was one of those days for me that I hope not to repeat any time soon. It happens. And it was nothing major. Just a lot of work on tight deadlines with no common understanding of the processes involved, accented by a couple of disappointments that normally would have been no big deal. But as I said, it happens. We dust ourselves off and move on.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you have days like that. If it happens a few days in a row, it can skew your perception to the point that you get up in the morning expecting a frustrating day at work. And that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Little things that would normally go unnoticed become just one more piece of a puzzle nobody wants to build. But we do it anyway.
Frustration and disappointment aren’t bad, in and of themselves. It’s our reaction to them that makes the difference between solving an issue or wallowing in it. Most of the conveniences we enjoy each day were made possible because somebody faced adversity and worked through it. Imagine trying to invent a light bulb when none of the homes you intended to light even had electricity.
I’ve often wondered about inventions like radios and TVs. I guess it would be safe to assume that radio stations were built before the first radios were sold. Otherwise, all a radio could have done is generate its own static. And I doubt many people would have lined up to buy that. “But wait! In a year or two, it’ll actually play music!” Yeah. You’d get faster results by getting your kid a guitar.
Which means somebody had to go out on a limb and build a radio station, staff it with a disc jockey and sound engineer, buy records (at least we had the Victrola), and start broadcasting music to … nobody. They had to sit there and pretend somebody was on the receiving end until that first radio was sold. And what if nobody had bought that first radio? Talk about an exercise in futility.
I remember years ago when NASA sent one of its first probes to land on Mars. It was years of design and development, followed by a three-month journey that ended in a brief moment of utter dismay when the probe crashed onto the planet’s surface at almost three times the intended speed. All because the final distance and velocity calculations were in feet instead of meters. Wow.
I can imagine those folks went home hanging their heads that day. All that time, money, and effort, down the drain in a matter of seconds. And I’m sure there was a point where somebody said, “Why isn’t it slowing down?” Imagine being the guy who made those final calculations, watching the scenario unfold as you realized why it was happening. I think I’d need a stiff drink after that.
But those people came back to work the next morning, determined to figure out what went wrong, and to try again. And the next probe landed without incident. With each excursion, we’ve learned more about our nearest celestial neighbor. And I have little doubt that sometime within the next twenty years, a human being will walk on the surface of Mars.
Frustrations are just part of the job. If we face them head-on, we can fix the underlying problems and make life easier tomorrow. Mostly. There will always be issues we just can’t fix, whether it’s because of people, equipment, or the processes involved. But when we fix those things over which we do have control, it makes the other problems a little less troublesome.
When your day just won’t go right, think of the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I think it’s that last part that has the greatest impact – the wisdom to know the difference. If something is completely beyond your control, let it go. Focus on the things you can control. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for increasing frustration and, sooner or later, a complete breakdown in your relationship with those around you.
I often tell people, “This will be an awesome day! I’ve decreed it, therefore it shall be!” Okay, the forces of nature don’t always recognize my authority in the matter, but it sure sets the tone for how I face my day. Give it a try. It may not make all the problems go away, but it’ll make it a lot easier to clean out the clutter around them. And sometimes, that’s enough.
Whatever happened yesterday is in the past. Let today be a new day. Face each challenge with a fresh mind and spirit. It’ll make the day go better, and you’ll be that much better equipped to solve whatever issues may arise. And with each of those wins, that’s one less problem you’ll face tomorrow.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved