“Have a good day!” It’s a cliche we regularly use with little thought. It’s a nice thing to hear and say. Obviously wishing someone a “good day” is better than the alternative — wishing them a “bad day!”
But what is a “good day,” and how do we know if we’re having one?
Most often we think of a good day as one that goes well — a day when good things come our way. It’s a day absent of bad news, bad feelings, bad interactions, bad attitudes and bad behavior. We think of it as a day when the right things happen to us, and the wrong things don’t. As some would define it, a good day is a day when “lady luck” shows up.
The downside to these descriptions is that they put us at the mercy of outside forces — other people, outside circumstances and uncontrollable events. When all these are positive, we’re good, and when they’re not … !
An important step on the path to maturity is learning to live from the inside out rather than from the outside in. It’s learning to be a “thermostat” rather than a “thermometer.” The difference between the two is that the first sets the environment, the latter simply displays the conditions of the environment. A “thermometer” has no power of influence; no control over anything. It’s good for one thing, and one thing only, reporting. A “thermometer” reflects what is. A “thermostat” determines what will be.
What does all of this have to do with “having a good day?” Everything. Life changes for the better when we realize that the quality of our day can, in very significant ways, be determined by us. We’re not at the mercy of outside forces or “lady luck” for happiness. We can set the environment of a day by internal choices and attitudes. We can think and act in ways that create a “good day” for us and others rather than hoping or wishing it would “happen” to us.
How do we do this? How can we set ourselves for a good day, everyday? Here are a few simple suggestions:
- Turn your worries into prayers. Give your cares and concerns to God each day and leave them with Him. He’s capable of handling your life. He’s trustworthy. Nothing is impossible with Him or too hard for Him.
- Be grateful. Count your blessings. Name them. Express appreciation to God and others for the good things you have been given.
- Pray for others. Think about people who are facing tough stuff. Take their needs to God in prayer.
- Practice kindness, grace and generosity. Purposely plan to be kind. Decide in advance that you’re going to be gracious to people when they mess up, and to yourself when you mess up. Be a forgiver. Give something to someone everyday. Pass along good things to others, if it’s just a smile, an encouraging note or comment. Plant seeds of kindness, grace and generosity all day long. Take the Golden Rule seriously.
- Read your Bible and reflect on it. If it’s only for a short time each day, get into God’s Word and let God’s Word get into you! If you’re not familiar with the Bible, check out the Gospel of John, the Psalms and the Book of Proverbs. These are great starting points. (By the way, there are lots of great Bible apps for your mobile device. Here’s one: www.youversion.com)
- Turn the events of your day into life lessons. There’s wisdom all around us, if we’ll look for it. Become a student. Learn everything you can from life. Anticipate new thoughts, new ideas and new personal growth everyday.
- Practice praise. Praise includes appreciation, but it’s more than appreciation. It’s expressing to God your love for Him just because of who He is, for what He’s done for you, for what He’s doing for you (remember, even when you can’t see it, He’s working!), and for what He’s going to do in and through your life. Praise Him for His promises to you. And don’t forget to pass praise on to others also. Be generous with your praise. It helps shake us out of selfish and self-centered thinking.
Having a good day is something that, in large part, you have control over. Be a “thermostat” rather than a “thermometer.” Things will be better for you and for the other people in your life.
Have a good day!