So You’re Having a Bad Day

bad day

We all have them. Bad days that make us wonder why we do what we do, whether in our own business or for our employer.

Or we wonder why we’re with our partners when we have an argument. Or we see the size of our email inbox and wish we could just skip the day and begin again tomorrow.

But are we really having such a bad day?

I took my dogs out for a walk this morning, and one of them crapped on a snail. I mean, seriously – how bad does your day have to be to look up and find that someone is shitting on your house?

So, yeah, we may be having bad days. But do they compare to a child beaten and abused by their parents, or bullied at school?

Do they compare to a good, law-abiding person fighting terminal illness and wondering why that rapist lived to 97?

Do they compare to people that are jailed and tortured for wanting to live in a democracy?

Maybe we feel like nothing can be worse than the day we’re currently having. But if all we have to complain about is the noise of social media, or the commute to work, or the amount of emails we still have to answer, or the waitress not getting our drink order right, or a myriad of other things, ask yourself one thing.

Is it really all that bad?

image: DanRhett

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  1. says

    Danny,
    You are always finding the right words…how do you do that ?
    In French there is a quote that I use to think about when “I’m down” : “On a toujours besoin d’un plus petit que soi…”.

    As you may know, Social Networks have dramatically improved the “ego system”.
    The me-myself-and-I is becoming common, and we deploy more energy as we meet virtually so many people at a glance can keep us back when we feel lonely in front of life problems.
    Maybe we are not focusing enough on what is really good and the beauty of life.
    Go out people, there are plenty of things to do, life is more beautiful that you think.

    • says

      Life is indeed beautiful, Yael. Every morning that we wake up to is already a blessing and should be already help us deviate from thinking that we are having a “bad day”.

    • says

      Agree, Yael, it’s sad to see how much the “me me me” factor is there in social, especially when a lot of it is now coming from early adopters that rallied against it to begin with.

      But for all the “me me me”, there are good folks like you that just do, and that beats the selfish hands-down any time. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for the reality check. Now my broken glasses, commute being stuck behind a school bus, the dreaded ‘service engine soon’ light popping on, and the horribly depressing weather makes my morning look like a walk in the park. Great timing!

  3. says

    Bad is relative. But you are right Danny, once we go through some tough challenges the ‘bad’ just goes up a notch. So yes once the worst happens, everything else becomes smalls bumps.

    Thanks for this reminder and please spare the snails.

    • says

      Very true, mate – what may be irrelevant for us could be the worst thing for someone else. I should have made that clearer – cheers for the reminder, sir!

  4. says

    Danny, nope, it isn’t all that bad. It’s about perspective…something that we have total control over. Really, it’s about focusing on the 90% of our lives that are beautiful and rich rather than the 10% that sucks… and we all have 10% that sucks, I just choose not to acknowledge that 10%. πŸ˜‰

    If you’re having a great day, smile, it’ll get better. If you’re having a crappy day (like the snail in your post), SMILE, it’ll get better.

    Oh, and Renee, I broke my glasses today too.

    • says

      Great point, mate. I know I personally can improve on that ratio, as there are times I definitely don’t hit it. Cheers for the kickstart! :)

  5. says

    Danny,

    Yeah, there is always someone who has it worse. One of my friends has been battling leukemia, and had to have a bone marrow transplant a few years back.

    The cancer has returned, and is worse than ever. Her treatment options are not good, yet she wants to fight. THAT is a bad day. The rest of the problems many of us have are “high class problems”

    I had real financial problems when I was behind on my rent and struggling to keep electricity on. Those were real problems.

    Sometimes I lack perspective, and when that happens, I reach out to someone who is worse off and I often do feel better. Plus, most times they have helped me as much as I have helped them.

    • says

      Wow, Nancy, that’s so sad, and really sorry to hear about your friend – here’s to her being the fighter she has been up to now.

      And here’s to you and keeping the upward move, too. :)

  6. says

    I had to LOL at the snail. I mean that is hilarious and I try not to know what Roma poops on. I am just happy she doesn’t do it in the house :)

    I have to say that I had so many bad days that I kinda learned to make the best out of them and “delete” (only sometimes) the most of their negativity.

    Awesome as always, Danny!!! Your dog made my day :)

  7. says

    Hi Danny,

    The snail comparison is perfect. What can really be worse than that right? I agree it’s all about putting things in perspective. Even though something can seem so incredibly horrible at one moment; two weeks, months, years later it will be better. Allowing time to pass can be trickier. My husband passed away a little under four years ago and I never thought I’d ever be able to move on with my life, let alone be happy. However, things did move on and now I am truly happy (and appreciate all the little things too!).

    Thanks for the great post Danny :)

    • says

      Hi there Samantha,

      Wow, I never knew that, and so great to hear that things are moving the right way for you. It’s “funny” how often the greatest things in life come from darker periods – so glad yours is moving ahead the right way, miss. :)

  8. says

    Danny,

    I love seeing the turn in your writing! I could read these “Danny Brown {Parables}” all day long!

    I agree with our friend John that: “Bad is relative” but you are right when you ask, “was it really that bad of a day?”. As you know I work with a lot of .org’s who are doing amazing works around the world to help people who are truly having a bad day everyday of their life. It puts it in to prospective for me. I would say I’ve had 5-10 Bad days in my life. 10 for 11,680 is not bad odds if you ask me.

    My question to all of us is: “What are we doing with what we have to help the people who are truly having a bad day?” It can be the people in our towns or states, not forgetting the millions of people around the world who could use a little help.

    Thanks for a great post Danny Brown!

  9. says

    It is all relative and when some little thing makes you think you have it bad, just open your eyes.

    I did two recent posts on refugees and the Blue Key Program and my volunteerism w/ the Guardian ad Litem program. These people deal with stuff we can’t even imagine; that’s real suffering and a ‘bad day’.

    I will concur however, that was an extremely bad day for the snail; maybe day he should have stayed in bed.

    Just keep things in perspective and really ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’.

    • says

      I agree with you, Bill. We would only have to open our eyes to see that our bad days are actually good ones compared to others who are suffering far worse fates than we are.

    • says

      Hi there Bill,

      Couldn’t agree more on the relevance point, mate, and in hindsight, something I probably should have made clearer.

      Blue Key is an amazing program, too, doing incredibly important work – here’s to more like them!

  10. says

    Danny,
    I love they way you can say things so easily (seemingly) and simply when the topic is so important. Yes!
    There is so much to share, but what really matters is you are right. It’s not so bad. I wear a Blue Key and explain what it is whenever I am asked or notice someone noticing… Lord help us to help each other.
    Thank you for the words we all may not want to hear, but are nice reminders…to read. ~Amber-Lee

    • says

      Hi there Amber-Lee,

      Love Blue Key and looks like you and Bill above are both doing great things. Like you say, if we’re in a position to help, it kinda becomes a no-brainer.

      PS – if you still need help on the sheep Klout, just holler… πŸ˜‰

  11. says

    I think I need to read the “my dog crapped on a snail” line every time I’m having a bad day and need a laugh!

    You’re so right though – whenever I’m feeling down, it helps to think about how fortunate I am and how other people in this world are suffering way more than I am right now. That helps me realize that I need to suck it up and plow through whatever it is that’s bringing me down.

  12. says

    Uh oh, my dog sometimes EATS snails! How’s that for a bad day? Me, I try to stay optimistic. Occasionally, I’ll get frustrated by small issues and my productivity will subsequently take a temporary dive. It’s important to be able to snap back from these setbacks. Thanks for sharing Danny!

  13. says

    I get your point, I really do. The bad manners of a waitress and the size of the inbox are not really difficult important problems.

    But how about those things harder to deal with, where do you draw the line from the examples above? If something goes wrong (a broken finger maybe, or a leg), the world suddenly becomes more complicated and hard to deal with, we do have to compare the new conditions to the previous and figure out how to move forward. Complaining over difficult times in this situation is perfectly fine. This has nothing to do with other, less fortunate people or animals.

    So, when does the perception of a problem stop being trivial and become real?

    • says

      Tor, that’s a great point, and I should have made it clearer in the post it’s down to relevance.

      You’re so right – I know when I was mugged back in the UK, and had my right hand mashed up with three broken fingers, it severely impacted how I operated my day-to-day life.

      So, yes, what may seem insignificant in the bigger picture can still be hugely significant to that person.

      Thanks for the reminder, sir.

  14. says

    Taken from your perspective, Danny, I can say that I haven’t had bad days at all. There are definitely worse things out there compared to whatever bad day we went through. Great post, mate! Makes us swallow our petty thoughts and just get on living with lesser complaints, eh?

  15. says

    Hi, Danny.

    Bad and good days are matters of choice. If we choose to smile and have a good day even if we woke up on the wrong side of the bed with our hair sticking out (I’m referring to myself with the hair thing, hehehe), then our day will be good. But, if we wallow in our misfortunes and fail to see the suffering of those people who don’t have homes, food or are even dying, then our day will definitely go from bad to worse.

    So, even if a good day for me would be one without this excruciating back pain, one without having to watch what I eat so that my colitis will not flare up, one without having to take tons of meds so I wouldn’t have another mild stroke or a full-blown one, that does not mean that I wouldn’t have a good day when I still have to endure all these things. I choose to start every day with a smile, even when there is really nothing to smile about. Some may say I’m crazy for doing this, but hey, I wouldn’t die by being positive all the time, right?

    • says

      Wow, Kim, your examples are inspiring. Just goes to show we never know what others are going through – I don’t know if I could be as positive as you are. Kudos, miss!

  16. says

    Whoo can I relate a bit to this, as life in the past two years has really taught me how to keep the bad in perspective. Looking back prior to those year, my β€œbad” were merely inconveniences mainly because life was more about me. To get outside myself and my deal, I deliberately began to submerge myself in circumstances that let me see and feel the bad of others and what a sobering, humbling experience. I’ve learned a lot since; life is far less about me and more about β€œwe” and that changes everything (of which I feel incredibly blessed and grateful). Good post Danny … thank you.

    Best day to you,

    Elena

    • says

      Sounds like you’ve had quite the trip, Elena. Without knowing the details, and probably guessing wrong, but from the pictures of you and your mum together, I’d say some of it has really cemented that relationship?

  17. Tom Chapman says

    It’s good to have a quick reality check when you are starting to feel that a day is bad. Getting soaked in the rain on the way to work (this morning) isn’t great but it’s also not bad when you look at the bigger picture. At least it might have washed that snail clean!

    I do think you have to be careful in comparing “bads” – there’s no comparing a mild illness that will pass in a few days to that of a life threatening condition, but different people’s thresholds vary and it’s not always fair to use the same yardstick to measure everyone.

    • says

      Hi Tom,

      So true mate. As Tor mentioned above, different people can have different tolerances and experiences, and relevance plays a huge part in that.

      Thanks for the reminder, mate. :)

  18. says

    Awesome post Danny.

    As people have their core interests at heart, something that is relatively unimportant can become a more important issue to them because it affects them. Even though, in reality, their small problem pales into insignificance compared to problems faced by billions of people across the world.

    Tor makes some good points above. Where do we draw the line between complaining and just getting on with it?

    I think the most important takeaway from this post is that most stress is unnecessary, and a bad day is just that: one bad day in every hundred or so.

    Concise and insightful as usual.

    • says

      You know, that’s a great attitude, Robert. Like you say, mate, we all have bad days, and depending on relevance to us, some can be worse than others.

      But if we’re still here to tell the tale – well, was it really that bad? πŸ˜‰

  19. says

    Excellent post…it’s one of those wake up calls that we all need on occasion to put things back into perspective. Loved the story of the snail…it’s a modern day Aesop’s fable….a great lesson learned..

  20. says

    Perspective. That’s what this life is all about Danny. Some of us have none, others are in and out a state of semi-awareness and appreciation, and then there are the select few that are able to put all things in perspective at all times. As for me, I’m a work in progress, but I know that there have been times, like you mentioned above, that I felt bad for all the email in my inbox…..but yet did I think of that guy or girl that would kill for just one sign someone actually knew they existed??? Of course not….but I darn well should.

    Thanks for this brother.

    Marcus

    • says

      “… for one sign that they existed.”

      Man, that’s the gold right there, mate. So much difference we could make just by that simple act of acknowledgement.

      Thanks for keeping us grounded, mate.

  21. says

    I don’t have bad days. I just can’t put myself to be so selfish to say that I had a bad day. How could I when my wife and kids are healthy. I’m healthy. When I was blessed enough to wake up in the morning. Some people don’t get that benefit of waking up.

    I wake up every single morning with a smile. And go to bed the same way. In the delta (the time between) – I surely face obstacles that upset me…I stump my toe, bang my ankle and all that – but I live in the scheme of things…my perspective is in a place of appreciation because I know that EVERYTHING that I have today, can be gone tomorrow. So since I still have it, not matter the fat lips I get or the punches in the chest – it was a pretty good day.

    PEACE

  22. says

    Seriously Danny, you can’t be taking me on an emotional roller coaster like that. You went from having me literally lol about the snail-shitting to feeling bad about laughing the very next sentence.

  23. says

    Great post and awesome comments! I think @Tor Lowkrantz makes a really good point, though. Sometimes, our frustrations or pain shouldn’t be explained away with “it could be worse” comparisons. Nor should we minimize another’s story with that approach. I think bad days serve a great purpose because, without them, we wouldn’t appreciate the simple beauty of an uncomplicated day. But when we start to see ourselves as “The One Who Has Bad Days” and the victim of our circumstances, then we become a pathetic excuse of a person denying our full potential. So how do we tell which we are? Listen to the way you describe your life. Do you talk about the simple joys, the small victories and the good that can be found in even desperate circumstances? Or, are you Eeyore on two legs helplessly sustaining one blow after the other waiting to be rescued? At times, we’re a little of both and need a good friend or a Danny Brown post about a snail, to snap us out of it! As my delightful spousal unit says, “Somedays you’re the windshield and somedays, you’re the bug.”

    • says

      “Sometimes you’re the windshield and somedays, you’re the bug.”

      Awesome, Mimi – I think I want that on a tee-shirt! And perfect analogy, too. :)

  24. says

    yeah I’m agree too with John that: β€œBad is relative” but you are right when you ask, β€œwas it really that bad of a day?”. As you know , today I got a bad day from morning until afternoon i always make a mistake to my job and also my boss so fussy…uhh bad day , i hope tomorrow will be my lucky day

  25. says

    Hi Danny

    “Is it really all that bad?”

    Got a wife, got a job, got a family… got a blog, and Andy Murray is still in Wimbledon, pretty good really.

    Having said that, will you please allow me just the occasional rant and moan?

  26. says

    sorry, but I can never see you in the same way after the sheep video. done. You are forever a sheep expert in my mind.

    but in all seriousness – this is something we need to be reminded of every. day. so thank you. I whine a LOT about not being with my husband right now. a lot. I know. and yet, people lose their spouses forever, or they are overseas in Afghanistan and go years without seeing each other. Then I have to remember how fortunate I am.
    We have to put each situation in perspective and remember that we could be a snail. so thank you.

    • says

      Great points, miss. Like you say, there is always someone having a worse day than us (for the most part, anyhoo).

      That’s not to say our days aren’t as bad – but it’s nice to remind ourselves that it could be a lot worse.

      And yes… the sheep… πŸ˜‰

    • says

      Very true, Rajka – I see kids in raggy clothes going to school and know my day can’t be as bad as these kids’. All about perspective.

  27. says

    My girlfriend’s newborn at 5am decided to cough up the rest of her lung fluid through her nose and then almost couldn’t breathe.

    So I can not complain about no sleep.

    I spent 3 years volunteering doing street outreach helping homeless street kids with Stand Up For Kids.

    I never have a bad day.

    I watched a video to help with stress management in the 90’s. The speaker asked the audience to give a 1 to 100 number and rank things starting with gridlock traffic which people ranked as a 90. But as he brought up more serious things in the end Traffic wound up a 10.

    It is all situation and personal perspective and too many people forget they are so lucky they have no idea.

    • says

      Hey there Howie,

      That’s such a powerful example, mate. I feel for you guys – when my little boy was born, he hadn’t cleared the fluids properly from his lungs, so he was being pumped and massaged for what seemed like an eternity.

      Thankfully he’s okay, but it was really scary for a while. Here’s to kids, mate.

  28. says

    You must have read my state of mind this morning Danny because what you said here is very close to what I was thinking.

    You’re right in that we all have bad days – and we can sit and whine about them as much as we want – but if we take just one second and compare ourselves to those people who don’t have 1/100th of what we have then we’ll realize that our bad day is a blessing compared to others.

    I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. And while all I could think of is me, me, me and all that’s wrong in my life and what I should have and could have done better or more of – I took a small step back once I was done and laughed at myself. I reminded myself to think of the 98% that’s good instead of the 2% that’s bad. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all remember to focus on that 98 percent more often?

    It’s often a matter of perspective. If you can realize or acknowledge what you already have that’s amazing instead of what you don’t, then you might laugh at your bad day a little more often.

    I’ve lived in the third world so I know those people who are fighting for democracy are. The one’s who are fighting for the bare minimum.

    Material things don’t make our days. It’s our health and the people in our lives that do. I hope to remember that more often myself.

    Thanks for writing the post that I wish I had written myself. You continue to be such an inspiration my dear friend.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful weekend.
    Cheers

    PS – As for your dog and snail story – I think there’s an amazing story/lesson there that I’d love to read in The Parables of Business II someday ;).

    • says

      “Material things don’t make our days. It’s our health and the people in our lives that do.”

      There’s absolutely nothing more to add here, Ingrid – perfectly stated.

      And a snail parable, eh..? πŸ˜‰

  29. says

    Everything is relative. One person’s good is another’s bad, and when you look at everything in a vacuum, what’s really bad and what’s really good?

    Deep questions, Danny. Bring ’em on.

  30. says

    I agree with Ari – everything is relative. Whilst it may be too bad of a day for you but for some, it may just be ordinary. I could say having a bad day depends really on a person’s mood and physical state – sometimes it’s just a mind over matter thing. But what’s important is at the end of a day, you can still hope for a positive tomorrow.

    • says

      Agree completely, mate – the physical has a huge impact on the mental state. I know if I’m sore anywhere, it puts a huge dent in my day. When, in reality, I can just take an Advil and get on with it… πŸ˜‰

  31. says

    I feel you! We all have bad days but if we always look on the positive side, it will stop us from comparing our lives to other people.

  32. ryder says

    AT least you made my day..ha ha..just when I thought I was having a bad day. I woke up feeling so empty..for no reason whatsoever,…well the truth is there was but…

  33. Barry says

    Isn’t it true we all need a reality check sometimes? Often after checking the bank balance lol. I am reading a book that was shared to me called 90 Minutes in Heaven. I am not a deeply religious man (although leaning more as I am getting older) the man in the book is basically going through hell after a tragic car accident. The pain could get no worse. Now this part will sound crazy coming from a guy who’s tribe involved the parting of the red sea ;), but he then thought about Jesus and the pain he went though. Nothing could compare. Now even I can realize no matter what I believed, he was tortured without mercy. It actually made me close the book and ponder my own life. Seems since I just read your post and just reading this book, a message is trying to get through to me.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for posting.

  34. says

    To be honest, having a bad day, whether of small or gigantic proportion, has the same effect on the person experiencing it. I believe that looking at the bright side of life is the best way to veer our focus on such negative experience.

    Just a thought. :-)

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