Bob Goldman

Having a bad day?

If your answer is no, you are either the luckiest person in the universe or the dumbest. In this economy, every day is a bad day. It's just that some bad days show themselves the moment the alarm clock rings, while other bad days hide in the shadows, just waiting to leap out and surprise you with some truly primo awfulness.

Not even a resolutely positive person like me can keep bad days from happening to good people like you, but I can provide a link to Geoffrey James, the writer of the "Sales Source" column on Inc. com. James, who has been diligently thinking about positive thinking, recently came up with an article on "7 Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Day."

Even though I am having a real stinker of a day myself -- do you know how long it takes to get your Gulfstream G650 stocked with sushi and Stoli? -- let me share a few of these magnificent seven ideas. As Geoffrey James says, "Don't let a bad morning ruin your entire day. Use these mental tricks to change your momentum." (Of course, your slug-like career hasn't had momentum for decades, but hey, even a slime trail can seem brighter if you make an effort.)

Easy way No. 1 is to "remember that the past does not equal the future." In other words, just because every day you have gone to work at your current job has been a bad day, doesn't mean that your next day is going to be equally bad. Think positively! It could be much, much worse. In fact, it could be so much worse that you'll quit. Then you won't have any more bad days at your current job. You'll have bad days at your new job. It won't be any better, but it will be a different bad. (You could also catch a break and be eaten by a pack of disgruntled zombie muskrats while walking into work. Yes, zombie muskrats have bad days, too.)

Rule No. 3 is to "get a sense of proportion." And no, James is not talking about your lumpy silhouette. He's talking about the "big picture," which, come to think about it, actually could refer to your lumpy silhouette. Anyway, his thought is that no matter what chain of events is making today a bad day, "in two weeks, you'll have forgotten completely about whatever it was that has your shorts in a twist." This is undoubtedly true, since it usually takes about two minutes for you to completely forget what is happening to you, your job or your shorts.

Bad days will also evaporate, James suggests in easy way No. 4, if you "change your threshold for 'good' and 'bad.'" Totally agree, though I don't think you necessarily should follow his advice and "decide that a good day is any day that you're above ground." Think of the last HR training session you attended. Compared to that bad day, being six-feet under would represent a real upgrade.

Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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