Whether you’re a leader, entrepreneur, small business owner, or any and all of the above, some days bring you to your knees. Resilience is often required after the worst of days to keep you going on your quest, but it’s not so easy to find. I’d like to share a simple two-minute habit I’ve been using and teaching for many years now.
After a 30-year career as a leader, entrepreneur, small business owner, and employee, I’ve run the gamut of emotions after a wide variety of days. And I’ve learned a powerful survival technique for those days that end with me feeling pretty crappy about something unwanted that transpired. Take two minutes at the end of a tough day to say to yourself and reflect upon these two sentences.
1. “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”
This is a quote from author Charles Swindoll that I first discovered when I was a young leader. It resonated so much I printed the quote out and taped it to my office door.
What makes reflecting on this thought so powerful is that it immediately reminds you that how you view the day’s events is a choice. Your choice. You can imbue it with a sense of positivity, recovery, and helpful perspective or spiral downward.
Here’s a trick, when you’re lamenting about what went wrong, crystalize in your mind two distinct choices you have for how to view it. Here are some examples:
- Did the day weaken you to the point of ruin or make you stronger in some ways?
- Did the day cause irreparable damage or was it a minor setback you can recover from?
- Did the day cause others to truly doubt you or merely you to doubt yourself?
- Did the day highlight what a complete loser you are or simply that you’ve gotten a gift–something you can work on to improve?
You get the idea. Forcing granularity of two choices at opposite ends of the spectrum forces you to see there are two choices, at opposite ends of the spectrum. You’ll instinctively want to migrate to the positive end.
2. “It’s gratitude that turns what we have into enough, and more.”
This is a shortened version of a quote from author Melody Beattie and it’s step-two, the second minute of this two-minute habit. It’s all about acknowledging that, sure, not everything went right in your day. But enough did to remind you that you are enough. And that you have enough.
Give yourself another 10 seconds to grieve for the day you had then turn the tables to think of all the things you have to be thankful for about your day (and in your life for that matter). I’ve found that no matter what your day was lacking, no matter what went wrong, it’s impossible to feel as bad about it when you view it stacked up next to the profoundness of all you have to be appreciative for. It’s an instant reframing.
So take two-minutes to change your day. It will change more than you think.