We all have those days. The ones where it feels like you’re in a backfiring Pinto with torn seats and a sticky clutch. And then there’s the days where you feel like you’re in a 4-wheel-drive sports car effortlessly gripping the road and cruising through the gears.
Work-wise, both days are the same—stressful coding challenges, managing several projects at once, leading your team, working on getting new clients, you name it.
So what’s the difference?
The Bad Days
For me, the difference is my perspective on my work.
Some days I’ll be dreading the work ahead of me and not enjoying the tasks. Those days I look at everything I have to do and it feels like I can’t get traction. My Pinto is stuck in the mud and don’t have the horsepower to get out of it.
Every meeting you feel deflated and unable to get a coherent point across. Communication is inexplicably difficult, coding is a chore and simply being in the office feels like a vacuum hose sucking the life out of you.
Just getting up to face your day feels like the hardest thing you could do.
The Good Days
Other days however, your mindset is completely different. You feel refreshed and have a renewed focus on work and the overall goals of your organization. Your words come easy, people seem engaged in what you’re saying and your whole day just flows.
You get up with vigor and energy. You face challenges, but they’re not hard, just hard work. And you don’t mind the hustle.
Perspective Makes The Difference
The difference is perspective. Perspective means the difference between a good day that’s easy and flows and a bad day that drags and you can’t wait to get over with.
Here’s the secret: Focus on your long range goal.
Look, you’re doing all this work for a reason. Whatever your long range goal is, if you’re staring at your feet (aka focusing on your huge todo list) each step seems tiny and pointless. You won’t seem like you’re moving very far.
Lift your head, look forward and reminded yourself of the ultimate end goal—your major why for all the work you’re doing.
The other day when I remembered this piece of advice it made me realize these days I’ve been working are a major step in my company’s development, and more importantly, that we’re making progress.
Remembering slow progress is what wins races gives me the drive to keep pushing this ball forward. Make progress every day and you’ll reach your goal before you know it.
It’s often said, but it’s true: the longest journey is made up of small steps.
Why have a Why?
Secondly, this why gives you purpose. Purpose gives you energy and drive. That energy and drive gives you the ability to think clearly and face what’s in front of you, no matter how daunting.
Stop staring at your feet while you’re walking. Lift your head and start seeing the road in front of you. All of a sudden, the small steps you’re taking don’t seem as daunting, and you can see points along your journey getting slowly closer—a major shift in perspective.
And remember your why.