I am so excited to welcome Cassie Jahn from DIY Jahn back to Painted Teacup! As you will remember, Cassie wrote a guest post here on Painted Teacup a few weeks ago called 20 Free Things to do to Make You Happy. It was a hit, you guys seemed to REALLY love it!
Today we have another awesome guest post from Cassie which I know you are going to love!
Now let’s turn it over to Cassie!
Making the Choice to Have a Great Day
A lot of people disagree with me when I say that being happy and having a good day is a choice. They often combat it explaining that bad things can happen even if you make the choice to be happy. Which, I concede, is true. However, there is validity to the point I am making. Let me explain by telling you a story about my very first car.
When I was 15, I was excitedly learning to drive in an old Jeep. It was fun to drive, but the brakes were a little sticky. Anyway, I dreamed of getting my first car for when I turned 16. It felt like years before those few months passed and I was finally able to retrieve my Driver’s License.
Then the car came. I was taking a walk with some friends on afternoon – just chatting. We had reached the alleyway by my house and a white, 1999 Chevy Malibu pulled into the alley – with my parents driving. This was it. This was my new car. I excitedly hopped in the back seat and we drove it back to our driveway. They told me about how they had purchased it from a used car store and it was mine.
I looked over the entire interior excitedly, I reveled in it’s beauty. This was the most amazing car I had ever seen. I had to take it for a test drive.
My parents went inside while my friend and I got situated to go on our first car ride <em>alone</em>. We buckled up, backed out of the driveway, and headed toward the main streets. We drove all over downtown, covering the town. We spent over an hour driving and it was glorious. Every twist and turn felt like a new experience. The car handled itself majestically and the best part of all, it was mine.
That’s when I started noting something odd. The more I drove my white Chevy Malibu around, the more white Chevy Malibus I saw. I had never seen so many. It was as if the minute I bought mine, half of my hometown went out to buy the exact same car. I would come to intersections and find a Chevy Malibu, I would turn a corner and pass parked Chevy Malibus, or I would drive toward the school and see three more. The more I thought about my car, the more of them I saw!
Of course, I realized as I grew that this experience was not unique to me. When my parents bought a blue Lumina for themselves, what happened? The same thing. We started to see blue Luminas all over. When my friends bought a big Buick, there were Buicks galore!
I bet you’ve had this experience too – where you buy a car and then start to suddenly see it everywhere. Right?
Now, I know what you are thinking: So, how does this relate to having a good day? And that’s a fantastic question. I wouldn’t waste your time on a story that I didn’t think was worth your while. There is a connection.
You see, our brain is a tricky, tricky thing. The more we think about something, the more we notice it’s there. Here’s something that will blow your mind: it works with everything.
How did I find this out? How does this connect? Well, my wife and I are working to aggressively pay off our debt. You can read about how we are working toward this by clicking here. When we got married, we realized that we have a ton of student debt and we don’t want it to bog us down through our entire lives. We want to grow old, have babies, buy a house, live life to the fullest. Sometimes that’s hard with debt hanging over you.
We have started working on how we can save a ton of money (such as joining our No Spend Challenge for January – read here) and how we can earn extra income online (such as our Make Money Online Series – read here). We started working longer hours, skimping on our expenses, and earning some extra cash so that we could pay off our debt fast. And it’s working. We are quickly paying our debt off and making progress.
So, what’s the issue? Well, it’s easy to let all of that get to you and to forget that you need to enjoy life. With long work days, no purchased extras, and not a ton of time to rest – it’s easy to think that each day is a bad day. One after the other. I’m sure you’ve all dealt with this – your day to day life gets so tiring that you forget that you can do anything else. It just becomes overwhelming to the point where you don’t even know what to do anymore.
Then one day we started watching a show called Fixer Upper (which we love) and they created a board with the following quote that changed our thinking:
Today is a Good Day to have a Good Day
We thought about this a lot. Today is a good day to have a good day, right? So, how can we choose to have a good day today instead of being bogged down in our day to day lives? Well, as I said before when I told you about my old Chevy Malibu, if you start to think something you will see it more often.
I started to think about having a good day. I woke up in the morning and made the conscious decision to have a GOOD DAY. Have you done this? The minute you do this, you tell your brain to begin looking for the good things and BAM – there it is – you actually have a good day.
Now, that’s not to say that bad things won’t happen. And by all means, don’t feel like a failure if you have a close one die – that’s not a choice you can make, but for the little things – you can make the choice to view them differently. The more you think about having a good day, the better of a day you will have.
For example, if I wake up saying I’m going to have a bad day I might jump into a cold shower and feel frustrated, rush to grab my keys and get angry when I find them in the wrong spot, and walk outside to find my car covered in snow – making me late to work. These are things that happen and I choose to view them in a frustrated way.
On the other hand, I could wake up and say that I’m going to have a good day. In this scenario, I jump into my cold shower and feel grateful to have a home to shower in. I might be a little cold, but I think about it as a way to wake up rather than a frustrating nuisance. I notice my keys are missing, but since I’m not rushing I take a moment to remember I set them somewhere else. I walk out to my car and think about how pretty the snow is and how, even though I may be a minute late to work, at least I get to be outside and breath the cold, fresh air.
Which day do you prefer? Which day sounds better?
It’s all about the decisions we make and how we think about our day. So, when you wake up tomorrow: will you decide to have a good day or a bad day? I hope you’ll choose the former.
Guest Post Author Bio:
Cassie Jahn is the author of a DIY blog devoted to living life to the fullest on a frugal budget. DIY Jahn began to help Cassie to stick to her plan to aggressively pay off her student loans, in hopes to inspire others to do the same. Find tips on saving money, paying off debt, earning money online, yummy recipes, and DIY projects at: www.diyjahn.com