#2. The Bad Stuff Has a Payoff
I talk a lot about the brutal circumstances I grew up with, and one of the more common questions I get from readers is "What would you change if you could go back?" Truthfully, I wouldn't change a single thing because, as horrifying as it was, it all led me to where I'm at right now. Take away the addictions, and my writing gets rooted in something else entirely. Take away the past abuse and poverty, and I lose my reason for writing at all. I once spent a few days homeless in the middle of January, which led me to my current town and the eventual births of my three children. If I had never attended the ritual that night, I'd have never acquired this enormous penis.
Thank you, Goddess of Blade Props.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not preaching fate. There's nothing mystical or supernatural about the idea that the most seemingly insignificant event can completely change the direction of a person's life. Every bad thing I've been through has taught me something, from the simple "fire hot -- no touch fire" to the complexities of relationships and finances.
It turns out that the positive reinforcements of life don't work nearly as well as the negative. For instance, getting a raise at work is awesome. For the first couple of weeks after you get that pay bump, you're in an awesome mood, and you work your ass off because of it. But eventually, the excitement wears off, and that pay scale becomes normal to you. That's what promotes growth ... the idea that there's always something better than where you currently are.
Someday, baby. Someday.
However, add in the threat of being fired, and suddenly the motivation for you to continue your hard work is kicked into overdrive. Spikes in the pit can make you climb a ladder much faster than gold in the sky.
I'm not expecting you to do back flips in celebration every time something bad happens. If you're doing that, there's something severely wrong with you ... or you're Andrew W.K. But you'd be a fool to just blow it off and try to forget about it. When someone throws a punch at your head, you learn to duck. What you don't do is take the punch and then immediately forget that the person is still there, winding up for another one.
Also, that the person is just a giant disembodied fist.
Trust me, there is value in that pain that you will find nowhere else in life. You will experience more tangible growth from a car fire than you ever will from being given a new car. But the main reason your day isn't going to suck is because ...
#1. You're Going to Make It Not Suck
Have you ever gone to a fast food drive-through and been met with some jackoff who's obviously working there part time because his parents made him? He's such an unbelievable douche, and the only reason you don't report him is because you're running short on time. So you speed off, and now your morning is shot as you weave through traffic, mumbling under your breath about what you'd do to that cockhole if you ever caught him out in the real world. He's lucky your throwing stars were at the polish shop today.
Or that you didn't check your inside pocket.
Not many of us give much thought to someone else's bad day. We think, "I don't care about your personal problems. You're working a job that deals with the public, and if you can't handle that, you need to be fired!" It never dawns on us that he may have been called in on his day off after four hours of sleep. Or that maybe his dog died, and the manager could give a shit less because "Dogs aren't family. Get in here or find another job." And 700 days of spotless service mean nothing compared to that 20 seconds of completely justifiable weakness.
Now, consider this: The very next person to talk to you (while you're in that mood) is going to think the same exact thing about you. They weren't there to witness the circumstances behind your bad mood. They just see an insufferable prick being rude for no reason. Guess what's going to happen with the rest of their interactions today?
Two seconds after this shot, that man's head was facing the opposite direction. His body was not.
You have to be the link that closes the end of that chain, because nobody else is going to step up and be the adult. You have to be the badass who grits his teeth and says, "Shit happens. I'm not going to let it get to me. I have too much to do to let something insignificant like that wreck the rest of my day." And then fly off into the horizon, fighting robots by shooting bald eagles out of your fists, because at that point, you totally deserve to.
It is not the world's duty to make your day better. That is totally on your shoulders -- to understand how and why you react a certain way to certain stimuli and recognize where you need to make changes and adjustments. Are you man enough to make those changes? Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I'm addressing just the men here. Ladies, are you man enough to make those changes?
Today is going to suck a whole lot less if you are.
For more Cheese, check out Quitting Smoking: 6 Things You Notice About the Stupid World and 7 Terrible Life Lessons Learned from 'The Neverending Story'.