How to Have a Good Day

Have you ever noticed that people often tell you, “Have a good day!” but they don’t tell you how to have a good day? Doesn’t that seem a little odd? It’s like telling someone, “Have a million dollars” and then walking away without telling them how. Wouldn’t it be great if they said, “Have a good day…and here’s how you do it”?

Maybe it’s because we tend to think having a good day is like playing Wheel of Fortune. You spin the big wheel and hope for a good day, but who knows where the wheel will land. You could lose your turn, you could lose you money, or you could wind up winning. We tend to think the possibility of having a good day lies at the feet of random chance and circumstance.

But what if you have more control than you think over whether you have a good day? What if there is a way to improve your chances on the wheel?

I believe there are two main ingredients to having a good day.

The first ingredient to having a good day is RECOGNITION. Think about what you pay attention to throughout the day. Do you pay attention to the good things, the little pleasures, the simple blessings, or do you pay more attention to the frustrations, the complications, and the things that went wrong? We tend to find what we’re looking for (let that sink in a minute) and what we look for tends to set the thermostat for our day.

Another reason we have trouble recognizing what we need to in a day is because we’re too busy focusing on the days behind us or the days ahead of us. We get so hung up on past regrets and future fears that we fail to fully soak in all that’s before us. Regret and fear can keep you from really recognizing all the good things before you.

The second ingredient to having a good day is RESPONSIBILITY. We want to think that having a good day is something that just happens to us. The problem with this view is that it relieves us of responsibility and leaves us the victim of random circumstance. A football team doesn’t wander out of the locker room on game day saying, “Maybe we’ll win. Maybe we’ll lose. Who knows. We’ll just have to see what happens.” No. They come out of the locker room intentional. They come out of the locker room knowing that the responsibility is on them to make the game good.

You can’t control everything about your day. There are some things that are just out of your control. But you can control how intentional you will be in the day. You can control what you focus on and how hard you work. You can control whether you act with kindness and generosity. These are just some of the parts of a good day that are your responsibility.

Recognition and responsibility are the keys to having a good day. This doesn’t mean you will be able to make every day go the way you want it. This doesn’t mean there won’t be trials and difficult days. What it means is that in the midst of every thing…easy or difficult…you will be able to find the good and respond in a way that will make it better.

On another level…

Psalm 118:24 is a familiar verse for many Christians. The verse says, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” At first, this verse may sound overly simple and easy, but tucked away in this verse are the two demanding tasks which are the ingredients to having a good day.

  • Recognition (“This is the day the Lord has made.”)
  • Responsibility (“I will be rejoice and be glad in it.”)

You can start small. Find one way to recognize God in this day, then find one thing to be thankful for. You can have a good day…even if you have to make it.

Share the small and simple ways you’ve found to have a good day. We could all use them.

Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg