When your day just plain stinks, find the meaning

I work for the government. On some days, my day – my job – my environment just stinks. This week has been like that.

I am just frustrated with how things work (or don’t work). I am feeling very unmotivated. I can’t see how the things I’m doing really matter.

It just stinks. Well, that’s how I was feeling today.

Do you ever have days like that? With your job? Your kids? Your spouse? Your business?

We all do.

So how do we get past that? How do we get back to where we can move forward. How do we get past just wanting to quit?

Find meaning.

Find something that you can move toward. The whole thing is still going to stink. Today, it just stinks. Tomorrow you may get past that. But today, it just stinks. But not all of it.

Find one thing about it that you can see as a meaning.

Find one thing that you can focus on to actually get excited about. Not the whole thing, just one thing.

The whole thing doesn’t have to mean something to you. The whole thing stinks right now, remember?

But if you can (and you can) find one small thing that is still meaningful.

In my job as a SQL programmer, I still love the actual code writing. So today (and many days) I just forgot about all the things that stink about my work environment and just focused on the code. I ended up having a great day at work. The coding means something to me. It means learning, improving, working through logic obstacles, and producing something useful.

So as you get in a funk with something in your life, change your focus. Stop thinking about the parts that stink, which may be most of it in that moment.

Focus on the little part that has meaning to you.

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