I spend my days writing and talking about wellbeing and productivity. That is my job.
Today I had neither.
I was in a crappy mood and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get any momentum going in relation to my writing. Other than this post, I probably only got 500 decent words written today (and at least 1000 terrible ones).
A few years back, that combination would have left me feeling pretty dejected by the end of the day. Thoughts of being a failure or being useless would have stirred and I would have finished the day looking into the bottom of a large glass of wine.
Now, admittedly, I might still go the glass of wine option (people in the Blue Zones do!) but my mental attitude towards such days is quite a bit different now.
In the old days, I’d turn the experience inwards – turn on myself and think myself into a funk. Ruminate on my flaws. Ponder on my weaknesses.
Instead I am going to try to turn the experience outwards, that is, use the experience as subject matter for this blog.
For example, when it became obvious that I wasn’t going to end the day on a productive note (I worked this out at about 3.25pm), I decided to write this post instead.
Will this post be any good? Probably not. In fact I think it’s going to be a stinker. 200ish words in and I am already disappointed with it and want to hit the ‘move to trash’ button
But it doesn’t matter, cause the power of this post won’t come from me distilling my experience down to 5 perfectly formed golden nuggets of advice that I pass onto you like a wise sage.
The power of this post will come from you seeing me flail around like an idiot and then rocking back up again tomorrow to have another crack.
You see, even though I am employed to write intelligently and elegantly about wellbeing and productivity, I have complete failure days. In fact, I have a lot of them. For example, I’ve been going around in circles on my Mental Fitness course for the last couple of weeks, with no real relief in sight.
But deep down I am not worried.
Cause I do things nowadays that I didn’t do before during times like this:
1) I own it, without shame – that is the purpose of this post – openly acknowledging my piss poor writing efforts today.
2) I return to work that I am struggling with regularly. I know that avoiding it will only make things worse, so I keep revisiting it until the way forward becomes clear to me. I’ll finish that Mental Fitness Course, just you watch!
3) I remember that I am capable of doing good work. Yes my PhD now holds the spare room door open, but its actually not a bad read.
4) I laugh about my monumental failures with colleagues as we walk around the lake at lunchtime. Strangely it seems to bring me closer to them.
5) When I walk out the office at the end of the day, I’ll leave this day behind and do my best to start tomorrow with a fresh set of eyes.
Oh shit – look at that – 5 perfectly formed golden nuggets of advice!
Who da thunk it