My Worst Day

A topic very near and dear to my heart is perspective – why it matters, how people lose it, how to get it and how it just frames the every day experience of life so beautifully.  It’s just one of those things that when I am doing my best at cultivating it, I feel unbelievably blessed to have the life I do.

I have bad days, just like anyone else. Days where I feel beaten down or stressed out or lacking motivation or just feeling a bit sad.  I just generally accept this as being part of life, but I do my best not to dwell on these kinds of moments… at least not for too long.  Stopping for a moment, clearing my head and gaining some of that valuable perspective is always the best way to move past these kinds of events and feelings.

Why?  Because when I do step back and look at my life objectively, how can I not see how good I have it?

This video excerpt from the CBS show “Undercover Boss” does a perfect job of showing why perspective matters:



Boom. If you’ve always had it good, it gets reaaaaaally easy to not appreciate the fact that it’s not always that way for many people.

And the video is also a perfect and powerful reminder that the absolute worst of the worst days I experience in my life are a dream to hundreds of millions of people.  Not hundreds. Not thousands. Not even millions… but hundreds of millions.  And it’s not because I am just so amazing and everyone should aspire to be me and that I have the ultimate secret to success.  I don’t and I would hardly qualify as anything amazing… but I like to think I qualify as someone with a healthy sense of self-awareness and understanding of my place in the world.

I hope and pray I never lose sight of that fact so that it keeps me grateful, humble, balanced and reflective with a willingness to always help out those around me.

Perspective defined

Because if the above oft-shared poster is even half true, I should never, ever have something to complain about.

Explain, But Don’t Excuse

I was hanging out with a very good friend of mine not too long ago and we were chatting about a mutual friend who has recently been through some rough patches. The problem is that while they are going through these patches, their behavior towards others (certainly me) has not exactly been ideal.

As my friend and I chatted, I gave my personal view on the why’s and whatnot’s of that other friend’s situation. But the more I did that, the more the friend I was hanging out with seemed to get agitated with me and eventually said, “You really shouldn’t make excuses for what they’re doing.”

My response was something I’ve said to myself many times, but I’m not sure I’ve often said it to anyone else… “I may explain, but I don’t excuse.”

I tend to be a rather empathetic sort of soul. I can see and feel what others are going through somewhat well and I try to be mindful of that when viewing someone else’s actions… but to be clear, if you’re just being a jackass, there’s really nothing acceptable about that. I will try to show some extra patience or give you space or seek to listen to your woes, but the point at which your ire inexplicably turns on me is when my explaining stops flat out. Otherwise, you’re just a doormat.

So remember to try and see through the eyes of another, especially during their troubled times. They will return the favor for you if they are a real friend. And if they don’t? Well, at least your Christmas card list got a little shorter.

Just don’t make excuses for them because while we all faces life’s myriad of challenges, we always, always, ALWAYS control how we respond to them.

I just happen to respond to them with overwhelming amounts of personal awesome, so don’t be hatin’.

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