Ad infinitum we say and hear the phrases, “I’m having a bad day,” and/or, my personal favorite, “The world’s against me.” Is that truly the case or do we instinctly– as a result of our constant aptitude to shy away from blame– find the easiest scapegoat, even though the “scapegoat” is nonexistent? Naturally, we take the less painful route, by blaming our distress on luck, e.g. “I have such bad luck,” “Everything’s going wrong[ly],” etc.  I, though, have come to realize that these peculiar inflictions are usually caused by ourselves, not luck. Yesterday, I ended up running late to my business meeting– 25 minutes late– which isn’t a very admirable impression on your superior. Then, I miss the bus to the meeting, and as a result, I had to walk. If things weren’t going badly enough, I stumbled and tripped on the stair steps on the way to the Red McCombs Atrium. Once there, my DM tells me to come back at 4:30pm because I’m too late. Not what I would ordinarily consider a “good day.” But, viewed from a different perspective, the world wasn’t against me. I chose to sleep at 5am the previous night, I chose to ignore my alarm clock by turning it off instead of getting up, I chose to not organize my contracts the night before and hence missed the bus by doing so the following morning, I chose to run my way up the stairs, causing me to trip midway, I… you get the point.

Instead of seeing such situations as an attack against you by “superior forces” of which you have no control, think of it as something on which you can improve. Don’t blame it on bad luck when you trip over the shoe you decided to toss to the middle of the room out of pure laziness, rather, walk those 2 extra steps and put it on the shoe rack next time. Life really is just a series of cause and effects, and depending on which path you choose to take, the outcome can either be advantageous or a pain in the rear. 

(Originally Posted 4/6/06)