Had a rough day? Consider how much of it is perception and how much is reality. #QuoteADay #Day294 #edchat #edu #KeepMovingForward
Today was a rough one. Happily, it was the first rough one I’ve had in a long time. At least I think so, because, as I’ve learned, rough days (and great days, by comparison) are some parts reality, and some parts perception.
Today had a number of fairly tense meetings going on with very little time in between to take care of the necessary “housekeeping” that any position has. In addition, there were a number of small “fires” that needed to be put out (or at least cooled down). This made for a day with little to no time (not even five minutes) to rest and reflect, and those days don’t sit particularly well for me.
But, I’ve learned in my life that the nature of a “good” or “bad” day is often created by how we perceive it. Sure, things happen that definitely make some days bad (or, not exactly good), but in many cases, how I react to those stressful situations is really what determines how “rough” a day is.
For that reason, here are two “mantras” that I always attempt to live by.
1. I always wait until a day is over to make a judgment on it. Even during those days that don’t seem like they will ever end, I do my best to wait until they do to decide whether the day was really “rough” or whether it was more my interpretation of the day.
2. When things go wrong, I focus on changing what I do, so next time, they go right. No matter what, bad days will happen. And when those days are bad by reality, then I use that as a means to making changes so they go right the next time. While this can involve quite a bit of work, it means that I’m not left in the exact same position when similar circumstances roll around again.
Remember that perception is both a blessing and a curse. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to infer and our extremely necessary “gut” feelings would be gone. But, with it, we fall victim to replacing what’s real with what we perceive. The best leaders need to remember that perception and reality can often be very different.