Looking for the upside

So often, I get to the end of a day and all I can focus on is what I didn’t get done that day.  Blog posting wasn’t written, demo wasn’t finished, meeting wasn’t scheduled.  All reminders of the failure that the day was.  But I recently read a quote on a friend’s blog and it reminded me that there is an opposite and even more compelling story to be told about the day.  The quote was from Ilan Shamir and it said “A thousand things went right today“.  And reading it flip flopped my perspective right on it’s collective patootie.  It made me think about all the things I did get accomplished that day.  Maybe not all of the things that I had planned to get done, but instead were opportunities that presented themselves and couldn’t be ignored.  Like the great TV show looking for a host in my age range that had remodeling skills.  Or the software I finally got installed properly in spite of being disconnected 6 times trying to reach the tech support people.  Or the sound effects put together for an audio book for my nephew that made me laugh.  Not quite a thousand things yet, but you get the picture.  Changing the inner monologue from the negative to the positive isn’t easy but it’s so necessary.  It’s too easy look at the glass half empty instead of half full. What doesn’t get accounted for in all of that is the chipping away of self esteem and confidence with each little nick at the “what didn’t get done” board.  The other things will still be there tomorrow and I’m pretty sure there is going to be a tomorrow.  Paying attention to what did get done instead of what didn’t starts the momentum in a positive direction.  And with momentum, it’s just as easy to build up as it is to tear down.  It takes discipline to focus on what did go right today instead of what didn’t happen but the payoff is well worth it.