Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Albert Einstein once said "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity", simple but powerful words. Recently a significant chapter in my life came to a close. A chapter that consumed nearly a third of my life and in many ways was a big part of how I defined myself. It was time to close this chapter, I felt it in my heart. Those closest to me could see it, on more than one occasion encouraging me to share my gifts and passion and pursue a higher calling. For a host of reasons, I resisted, always finding some justification, or maybe excuse is a better way to put it. The day I finally turned the page moving on to the next chapter of my life was extremely difficult. I was filled with uncertainty, flooded with emotion, and weighed down with disappointment. Believe it or not, it was a good day, not as good as others, but a good day none the less.
Growing up my father instilled many great lessons in me, but one more than any other, has profoundly impacted my life.
I distinctly remember my father being greeted by friends and strangers alike with some variation of the all too common polite but often hollow “how’s it going”. In good times and bad, he always responded genuinely with the 12-word phrase “every day is a good day; some are just better than others”. Only looking back do I recognize how significant it was for him to respond with this simple phrase, regardless of the situation.
In my youth I didn’t appreciate or grasp just how profound “every day is a good day” was or understand it was a mindset, not just some corny saying. In times of adversity, it was easy for me to embrace the victim mindset. Focusing on my misfortune. Pleased to tell my world how I was suffering, how I was wronged, seeking sympathy, unappreciative of all the great people and things surrounding me. Everything changed once I recognized, its wasn’t the situation that was important, but my perspective and mindset.
It does not really matter what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems, fulfill our purpose and live as we are inherently intended to live. This is only possible when we have the right mindset. This simple philosophy, “every day is a good day, some are just better” continues to help me be thankful for what each day brings and be open to the opportunities I’m presented.
We are all faced with adversity; we are all battling something in our own way. The adversities each of us face, are uniquely our own. The circumstances may be similar, but the experience and sentiments are exclusive to the person. In times of adversity, whether it be personal or professional, due to our own actions or no fault of our own, it can be difficult to find the good in each day. It’s in these times having the “every day is a good day” mindset is critical to discovering the unique opportunity that lies before us.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
Taking this perspective does not mean being irrational about our situation, telling ourself everything is going to be ok or pretending we are not feeling pain. It simply means there is meaning and significance to be found in each day. No matter how bad the day may seem, there is always good to be found, if only we are willing to look. Don’t get me wrong, there are difficult days, days that shake us to our core. Days that will make us question everything. Days that will come close to breaking us, leaving us scared and wanting to give up. For me, those days serve as an invaluable reminder of how good the good days really were and will be again. They force me to search for meaning and often come with great opportunity.
Every day, every hour, every minute holds with it opportunity. The opportunity to make a decision, a decision which thrusts us closer to discovering our meaning, bring us fulfillment, or pulls us further from it. We must keep aware that we have the ultimate of all freedoms, you and only you have the power to choose your mindset in any given set of circumstances, to choose your own way.
Our mindset will define the way in which a we accept our circumstances, all the triumphs and adversity our life has to offer, determine the extent to which we are able to recognize and take advantage of our opportunities.
This article is dedicated to my truly amazing wife, family and friends. You are, have always been and always will be the good in each day. To those of you who expressed their belief in me, encouraging me to take a risk and follow my calling (you know who you are) I cannot put into words how thankful I am for all you’ve done.
To those filled with uncertainty, fear, pain, disappointment, searching for meaning or struggling to find the good in each day. Good is all around you if you’re willing to see it. If you don’t know where to look, or don’t have the strength please reach out to me and we will find the good together.
RJ Ulrich, Founder Eudimonia