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Today doesn’t have to be the best day ever

Here’s an insight I’ve learned, and continue to learn, from my observations of people (including myself) who live healthy and deeply fulfilled lives:

You don’t have to be in an enthusiastic, celebratory, stereotypically happy mood all the time in order to live an amazing, adventurous, and meaningful life.

Let happiness come to you

One of the great insights of contemporary positive psychology is that happiness, like money, is usually most successfully achieved through indirect means

This doesn’t mean that happiness can’t be your #1 priority in life. I, personally, am of the persuasion that nothing matters more than consistently feeling as good as possible in a variety of ways that are both healthy and stimulating. However, too much direct focus on being happy can lead to an obsessive preoccupation with attempting to analyze and manage one’s emotions.

C.S. Lewis once wrote “the man who tries to measure how quickly he’s falling asleep is likely to remain awake all night.”

Sometimes you have to focus your attention on something other than the result you wish to achieve in order to create that result.

Banging your head against the wall for a solution while judging yourself for not being where you want to be only solidifies yourself in the same state.

When you feel unhappy, that means you’re alive

Being in an uncomfortable or low mood state is not a sin that needs to be forgiven nor is it a disease that needs to be cured.

It simply comes with the territory of being an evolving person who’s here to learn, grow, and actualize their creative potential.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do when you’re in a low mood state is to simply accept the fact that you are where you are and then engage in some form of action that redirects your attention.

Get your energy flowing

Take a walk, go exercise, journal, blog, work on an unfinished project, or anything else that isn’t directly aimed at “studying” your unhappiness.

Consistent, concentrated, and creative involvement in relationships & activities that you find meaningful and challenging is one of the most time-tested routes to a joyous life.

While you may feel some resistance about getting started, you are far more likely to feel better once you begin to build momentum.

Furthermore, when you do something that you consider valuable, you tend to feel positive emotions like pride, confidence, and appreciation afterwards. These are among the richest of emotional rewards.

The life you love is still there even when you’re not in the mood to believe in it

If today or any other day seems to be a drag, do the best you can, within reason, to feel better. If your best efforts don’t work, then let it go and try not to attack, criticize, or hate yourself for this.

Today doesn’t have to be the best day ever, but it can still be a decent day for respecting yourself, nurturing your health, and showing up to do the work you love regardless of how you feel and irrespective of how little you may accomplish. 

Besides, pretty soon you WILL feel better. When that moment comes, you’ll thank your low mood self for hanging in there when times were tough.

At least that’s my two cents.


T.K. Coleman

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