What Caused Your Bad Day?
July 28, 2022
Imagine you have an important meeting early in the day and are rushing to the office. As you leave the house to get into your car, you notice another car parked right in front of your garage. You honk in vain. No one is there in the car, and nothing moves. Finally, you get out of your car enraged. You are getting late for your meeting.
Upset, you go back into your house to figure out what to do. “Maybe I should call a Grab/Uber'” you think. As you are wondering, your spouse comes over and wants you to do some household chores since you seem to be free. You get irritated and respond aggressively. A short verbal spat follows. You are seething, upset with your wife, and upset that that day has started so rotten. You go back out one last time to check if the car obstructing your garage has moved. Ahh, It is no longer there. So you rush to your car and start driving. Because you are late, you speed going at 120 Km an hour in an 80 Kmph speed limit area. Unfortunately, at the other end of the road, a traffic policeman is waiting for you to hand you a speeding ticket. You finally get to your workplace almost an hour late. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, you forgot your briefcase at home. Your day has started terribly, and it seems to be getting worse. Your lousy mood lingers throughout the day, and you struggle with all your meetings. By the afternoon you are desperately waiting for the day to end.
The question to ask- What was the root cause of your bad day?
A) Was it the person who parked the car in front of your garage?
B) Was it your spouse?
C)Was it the traffic policeman?
D) Was it you?
The answer is obviously D.
You had no control over what happened with the car parked in front of your garage. But you had control over how you reacted in those 5 minutes in the morning.
Let me present an alternate scenario. Here is what could have and should have happened. In the morning, you rush to your car, and as you back up, you notice a car obstructing your way. You get upset and honk and wait for the person who parked the car to come and take the car out. You wait for a few minutes in vain. Finally, you realize that you are getting late to work. You get back into your house. Instead of rushing to the office, you call your colleagues and inform them that you will not be able to make it to the office and will take the meeting on a zoom link. You are peaceful, and the meeting goes well. After about an hour, you drive to the office, avoiding the rush hour traffic. The day seems to go well for you.
Can you notice the difference between the two scenarios? Both started the same way but ended differently. Why? Because of how you REACTED.
That someone parked the car in front of your garage was not in your control. But what you had control over was your choice over how you reacted. When you reacted aggresively, all upset, it had a ripple effect on the rest of your day. When you reacted peacefully, everthing seemed to run smoothly.
Whether you have a good or a bad day is often your own emotional doing !!