Ever had “one of those days?” This week’s blog post, A Story About a Bad Day, is about one that I had recently and the valuable lesson I gained through the experience. Below is a written version of what I said in the video.
I was driving to a client appointment while drinking a cup of coffee. Stopping at a light, I wedged the coffee cup into my lap and proceeded to fix my lipstick. The light turned, I stepped on the gas, and suddenly felt the sting of hot coffee, which had spilled everywhere. As I was getting onto the freeway I realized that I was about to go into a meeting looking like I had just peed my pants. So I rolled all the windows down and turned the heat on full blast. When I got to my destination, I slowly and carefully slinked to my seat carrying one bag in front of me and another behind me.
I tried to console myself with the thought that things could only improve from here. Unfortunately, they did not. I came home to meet a refrigerator repair man to find that it would cost more to fix my fridge than buy a new one. Shortly after that I went to lower some blinds which came crashing down when I touched them. I then realized that I had to get my daughter to a group photo where she was supposed to be wearing a t-shirt with a horse shoe transfer ironed onto it. Not knowing which direction the transfer was supposed to go, I quickly pulled it out of the package, and slapped it on the t-shirt to find later that she was the only little girl with the horse shoe pointing down instead of up. AND I had made a permanent horseshoe indentation on the built-in cabinet I just had painted because I was in too much of a hurry to put something underneath it. On my way back, I cut the corner coming into my driveway too short and scraped my car against the retaining wall.
I decided I’d call to see if I could get the blinds fixed. The repair woman asked me to carefully and gently un-wedge them from the wall. At that point I told her I didn’t think I should be doing anything like that today and proceeded to tell her about my day. She started laughing and quickly apologized, commenting that it was good to know other people had days like that. Then I started laughing. And it felt good. We joked that maybe I shouldn’t leave the house — just order pizza and call it a day.
But after I got off the phone I realized that I didn’t need to be afraid to leave the house. In one way or another I had gotten myself into a frame of mind that was affecting my whole day. Whether I was conscious of it or not, I believe I was drawing more experiences to myself that confirmed my belief that it was going to be a crappy day, which is exactly what I was having. Once I lightened up, I was able to let go of that and things got a lot better. And I learned something valuable.
My experience demonstrates the power our thoughts have over the way we see and experience things in the world, which directly influences the actions we take as well as the results that come of them. I’ve written more about this dynamic in my new book The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be. It is now available on Amazon. For more information or to download an excerpt, go to http://www.PinocchioPrinciple.com.