It seems obvious. If we have a good day we’ll remember the positive emotion, the joyful things we did, and more readily be able to emulate them. It can also seem like an impossibility if we are going through a rough patch. Some days everything seems to go wrong, we have no energy to do the things we love, and it seems like no one is around to help. How can we believe the next day will be different? How do we break out of the cycle?
There is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer. What I do know is it will require intentional hard work. The best things in life often require the hardest work to achieve. Countless hours of practice put in to perform on stage, late nights at university working towards a degree, putting the right kind of effort into the lifelong commitment of marriage, writing, rewriting, and editing a manuscript, working to understand our own mind to be with us rather than against us.
We all have things that to us seem more hard work than for others. For me one of these things used to be cooking dinner. It’s still a work in progress, but I now feel capable even in unfamiliar kitchens with a some unfamiliar ingredients. I look forward to the challenge, especially if I’m working with someone else to concoct the culinary delight. In the flip side we all have things that for others looking in seem effortless for us. It appears I can play or coach ultimate frisbee even when my mind is struggling to find the energy to get out of bed or make a cup of tea. Some days even finding the motivation to play ultimate is difficult, but I always seem to have the willpower to do it.
Life is a process of ongoing improvement, learning how to spend our time more and more wisely. One of the next steps for me is to find a way of making this the case for more of my life, encouraging motivation for all things I do. Things I enjoy and find it easy to do, as well as things I find tough and less enjoyable. Applying for jobs, working well in the job I get, finding a flat, working hard to be part of that flat family, writing and writing and writing, playing music, recording music, creating music, and very importantly reducing the time I spend being idle.
It is difficult to separate each day from the one before and the one after. Yesterday will be fresh in our minds, both the obstacles we overcame and those which caused us to stumble. Pushing ourselves to be a little better than yesterday by making small changes will help us see potential for progress, instead of seeing big insurmountable challenges. Tomorrow can seem far away, like we can always pick up the slack then, or wait until then to get started. Remember, today is tomorrow’s yesterday, so we must do all within our power not to squander it.
Get stuck in today. When we look back tomorrow we will see more of the good things, more of the positive encouragement that will keep us working hard and intelligently using our energy reserves. Some days I still struggle to do this. On these days I pray, often just to lay down my feelings of inadequacy so I can start one good thing. One often leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another.
Keep going dear reader. You are worthy of time.
Dream big. Embrace peace. Love always.