Choosing to Face the Day
When you woke up this morning, it was in those brief moments after first opening your eyes when the course of your day was determined. Those first minutes of your day, when you were weary-eyed and possibly a bit sluggish, were pivotal in the way you decided to approach the day. This is the part of the day when you unconsciously told yourself, “Today is (or isn’t) possible.
Think about it. If you woke up at, say, 6:00am, and you go to bed at 10:00pm, that’s 16 hours of to make something happen today. And, although that’s two-thirds of a day for you to accomplish something great, it’s also two-thirds of a day for a lot of things to go wrong. Because if you’re honest with yourself, very seldom do plans go exactly as anticipated.
Based on the decision you made when you first stepped out of bed, you have either placed yourself on a path to embrace the day or a path that will easily self-destruct as the day unravels. Then, for the next 16 hours, known and unknown circumstances, situations, and events will be hurled in your direction. When this happens, you will have an important decision to make.
You can choose to let go of all things out of your control, or you can take control and hang on tight.
Letting Go and Hanging on Tight
Choosing when to let go and when to grab life by the horns isn’t always easy. It’s a decision that has you at odds – in game of tug-of-war with your head and your heart. It’s a battle of logic versus emotions. It’s a conflict, that, at the end of the day, there is a winner and a loser – and you’re both. So, does that equal a ‘tie’? What does that mean?
These internal struggles are something that you are constantly up against. The struggles never seem to get easier, always seeming to compound with time.
But, you know what?
The internal struggles are something that you do have control over. You do can alleviate the tension on the string that’s connecting logic and emotion.
But, how you ask?
By understanding when to let go and when to hang on tight when the day tosses a curveball at you in the batter’s box. And, if you decided when you woke up that ‘today is going to be a good day’, then you’ll knock it out of the park – smiling, enjoying, and appreciating the day. On the other hand, if you said, ‘today isn’t going to be a good day’, then you will likely swing and miss.
Determining when to let go and when to hold on is an easier decision to make when you can identify which events throughout the day that will make your life better or worse.
There are thousands of factors that you have no control over. It always strikes me as interesting that the things that we have no control over are the things cause the most anger, frustration, annoyance, fear, and aggravation. It could be something as simple as having to take a detour on the way to work because of an accident, or something more complicated such as whether someone will follow through on a commitment they made to you.
In these moments, you can choose to let go and press on with the day, or you can let them stir up negative feelings that will only compound the more you harp on them. In these moments, ask yourself, “Will my day be better if I just let go of it, or will my day be worse if I hang on to it?”
On the flip side, your day will present you with additional circumstances that you didn’t expect. However, these are the situations that present opportunities – not obstacles. These are the moments that, although unplanned, will make your day better. While it might interrupt ‘plans’ that you had made, the long-term gains will counter any short-term losses.
In these moments, you can choose to let go of the opportunity and proceed with your plans, or you can be flexible and see the benefit in the last-minute change. In these moments, ask yourself, “Will my day be worse if I just let go and pass, or will my day be better if I grab this opportunity and run with it?”
So, here you are. Back to this battle of logic and emotion – head and heart. If you’re honest with yourself, the last thing you want to feel when you lie down to bed at night is anger and frustration. If you can’t let go of the things that are out of your control that make your day worse, then it’s likely to be a restless night. But, if you can learn to hang on tight to the uncontrollable events that make your day better, then you’ll find a sense of peace and joy when your head hits the pillow.
All that’s left is to wake up tomorrow. And, when you do, tell yourself, “Today is possible because I will let go of what I can’t control that brings me down, and I will hold on tight to the things that build me up.”
I’ll promise you this, and I will say it again:
If you continue to hold onto something that you should let go of – day after day – it will compound and get worse. It will weigh you down, and each day you will wake up feeling defeated. But, if you hold onto the things that bring you purpose – day after day – it will also compound, however, your life will continue to get better. Only with the latter will you wake up each day feeling accomplished.
Defeated or accomplished. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.