The Perfect Day?

I woke up five minutes before the alarm clock sounded and I felt great, a full eight hours of restful sleep.  The morning paper arrived on time on my front doorstep and my wife had the day off so she got up early and prepared my breakfast.   

On the way into work, it was nothing but green lights as my favorite music played on the radio, a fresh summer breeze flowed through my open windows, and my car hummed along running smoothly.  My arrival at work was greeted with a full pot of just-right brewed coffee.  As I sat down, I saw sitting on my desk a small note of thanks from a colleague whom I recently assisted on a project.  I checked my email and I was pleasantly surprised with a message from a client, whom I had recently contacted; they were giving me the thumbs up on a nice project.  Just as I thought things couldn’t go any better, I was told by a colleague that one of our long-standing clients had just referred a new prospect our way and their company’s motto is, “price is no object.” 

Unfortunately, the real alarm clock now sounded.  My eyes were swollen and I was groggy with another restless night of sleep.  I stumbled down the stairs, and the dang cat kept bugging me until I fed the little monster.  As I stood in the bathroom trying to get ready for work, frustration mounted as I couldn’t get my left contact lens in my eye, and now the sink was clogged.  As I walked out to get the newspaper, I walked straight into some cobwebs on the porch only to find the newspaper wasn’t in the box. 

On the way into work, I got behind one person that wouldn’t go faster than 30 mph and the person behind me felt compelled to drive within six inches of my rear bumper.  And every time I looked at my speed, I was reminded that the check engine light stayed on so I adjusted my view so I wouldn’t see the annoying light.  And what was that smell, another dead skunk?  When I walked in the office, it is ice cold and so is the coffee…from the night before.

I checked my email and voice mail, neither person that needed that proposal IMMEDIATELY had responded.  My knees hurt from my exercise yesterday and now my right contact was now fogging up.  Oh, and someone dumped some “stuff” on my desk after I left; no note or anything.  I am just supposed to figure out who the heck dumped it on MY DESK and figure what exactly they want done with it.  Ugh, I need coffee, hot coffee!

Life is RARELY if ever one of those “perfect days” we have pictured in our mind.  It is an imperfect world in which we live and we have to deal with aggravating issues from home life to work life every day; that’s life.  That’s why there are so many self help books ranging from how to deal with angry customers, to avoiding road rage and coping with your kids from terrible twos to the rebellious teens. 

But we tend to bring on more aggravation ourselves by somehow being delusional and thinking we should not have troubles or trials.  We overreact when a client complains or a project doesn’t go smoothly.  We need to learn to deal with situations as they arise. Don’t get upset when things don’t go perfectly, it is the norm!  By increasing our blood pressure over these normal events of life, we only punish ourselves and those around us, who likely did nothing to cause the current situation.

So if the project does not go just as planned, if you don’t get along with everyone perfectly all the time and agree with everything that everyone says, and you get your share, (and sometimes more than your share) of trouble, in a given day, congratulations; you are wide awake and participating in the day.

 As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes,”…there is nothing new under the sun…” Our trials are not all that unique; really they aren’t.  If we are to grow and move to the “next level,” whatever that next level is, we need to effectively learn how to deal with the issues that confront us.  That next level for which we are striving has even more difficult issues.   Bottom line: Success results in effectively dealing with these difficult situations, not in spite of them.

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