How to NOT have a perfect day, but definitely a better one by following these 10 rules to be happy and find success. Free printable motivational quotes too!
There was a time I almost lost everything I loved. I almost lost my husband. I almost lost my sweet little baby kids including the unborn child in my womb. I almost lost it all because a guy who was high on methadone and drunk on booze decided to drive a van through my neighborhood. His impairment caused him to drive up onto the sidewalk where I was walking with my little son and pushing my pregnant belly to get my oldest child from school. His decision should have killed me. But it didn’t and through the grace of God I was given a miracle and a second chance to live my life with a new perspective. Those of you who’ve had a close call, a family miracle, a hardship, or maybe even watched a loved one die, you will know what I mean when I say: it changes you.
Ever since that day, I’ve found myself getting lost in deep thought. I think more about what matters. My perspective has changed. I realize more that TODAY MATTERS . . . kind words and good deeds should not be suppressed, dreams should be lived, and small moments of joy should not be taken for granted. Yes, all that stuff is definitely true. BUT I also learned that sometimes we have a strange perspective that life should be perfect. And we think that if it’s not perfect, then there is no happiness. But this is wrong. For some reason having my scary accident experience taught me that life is not supposed to be perfect. It’s supposed to be MESSY, and CRAZY, and HARD. Life is supposed to challenge us, and we are supposed to just keep working at it every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Life is about taking a day at a time and seeing if we can make it good–not perfect–just good, or maybe just a tiny bit better than the day before. Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we just end up having a crappy day. And that is totally okay.
But yet, I also learned that even though life is not supposed to be perfect, it is what you make of it. And you can control some things to go well in your life by changing your mindset. My kids think I’m an optimist, as I constantly remind them of what is good in bad situations. I found optimism to be much easier after going through the trial of my auto/pedestrian accident. But deep down inside I know I’m not a always optimistic. I CHOOSE to be optimistic. Well, I choose it as much as possible. The inner self-talk in my head is always trying to push me towards negativity. I’m hard on myself, just like you. But I’ve learned I’m happier when I CHOOSE to find the positive; when I CHOOSE to challenge myself; when I CHOOSE to not give up even if that just means going to bed after a lousy day and getting up in the morning and starting again.
Quite a few years ago, I found these 10 Rules for a Perfect Day and I kept it. I don’t know who originally wrote it. If you know, please tell me because I’d love to give them credit. I would like to change the name to 10 Rules for a BETTER Day, since I don’t believe in perfection anymore. Before my accident I would have tried to do all of these rules at once–searching for the perfect. But now I see that that is not the point. The point is to pick one of these and try it for a day and see how it makes you feel. See if trying one of these things will make your day better. If not, then move on and try something else. At least, that is my take on it. What are your thoughts?
I’ve also added one of my favorite poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson (yep, English major nerd here) called Success. Seriously, this is one of the best poems written. It really puts life into perspective of what makes life successful.
I’ve made both of these into a handy FREE printable (8.5 x 11 size) for you to print and keep and remind yourself to just keep going. It’ll all work out eventually.
Click on link at the bottom of this post below for access to my FREE PRINTABLES . . .
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10 Rules for a Perfect Day (or maybe just a better one)
- Just for today, I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problems at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep at them for a lifetime.
- Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within. It is not a matter of externals.
- Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.
- Just for today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it and not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.
- Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. i will not be a mental loafer all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.
- Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways. I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anybody knows it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggest, just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but just for today I will not show it.
- Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize no one nor find fault with anything, and try not to regulate nor improve anyone.
- Just for today, I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from two pests–hurry and indecision.
- Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour, all by myself and relax. In this half hour sometime, I will think of God, in order to get a little more perspective to my life.
- Just for today, I will be unafraid. I will especially not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest critics and the endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give of oneself;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived
–this is to have succeeded.