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Why Good Days Lead to Bad Days (And What to Do About It)

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.

Tuesday, 5:46 AM
November 12, 2019

Dear friend,

Guess what? Things got back on track last week and it all came down to making sure I got 8 hours of sleep every night. Go figure.

Isn’t it funny how the hardest thing to do in life is to follow your own good advice?

It reminds me of “The Platinum Rule” – the idea that you should treat yourself with the same love and compassion that you’d treat others (i.e., way more than usual).

Simple idea.

Super hard to consistently put into practice.

Anyway, things are going so well right now that I actually just had a “perfect day”.

Check out all the green on yesterday’s daily page in my TRACKTION Planner:

This Too Shall Pass - Perfect Day


Big deal huh? Well, it actually is. Because my “spidey sense” is tingling and it’s a good chance to discuss an idea that tripped me up for a long time:

The idea that trying to hold onto the good things in life is just as harmful as failing to let go of the bad ones.

Has it ever happened to you?

You go to meditate, or play sports, or meet friends, or turn in some work and, for whatever reason, the results are way out of the ordinary.

You have a life changing insight, or hit all the home runs, or can’t stop making people laugh, or produce something amazing.

And while you’re not sure how it all came together, there’s one thing you do know…

You want more of it.

So next time you meditate, or compete, or hang out, or create, you come in with these huge expectations.

You try really hard to replicate the same golden outcomes… but all you get is precisely the opposite.

In fact, the harder you try, the harder you strive to recreate your success, the faster it all slips away.

You feel restless, or choke, or seem desperate, or panic in the face of perfectionism.

You end up feeling powerless and disappointed and frustrated.

It’s exhausting.

So if trying to hold on to good things is precisely what poisons them, what’s the answer?

What’s the secret formula for consistent success?

If you want to learn more about the big picture approach I take to this kind of problem, then you should join this week’s free training on becoming a productivity powerhouse.

Secure your seat here:

But in the meantime, here’s what I’m planning to do about yesterday.

I’m going to celebrate it.

I’m going to note what went well, what I learned and what could have gone better.

And then as soon as I finish this email, I’m going to fuggedaboutit.

I’m not going to worry about how today might measure up.

I won’t beat myself up if the world conspires to pitch me a total disaster.

Instead, I’m going to focus on making the next hour the best that it possibly can be.

I’ll do what I can, from where I am, with what I have.

Then I’ll try to line up another good hour after that.

And if I’m lucky, I may just line up enough good hours to create something special.

And if not? I’ll remember “there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback”.

But either way, I’ll try to remember that, good OR bad, the worst way to make today awesome is by worrying about what happened yesterday.

I’ll be investing the energy I save into focussing on what’s directly in front of me.

And the odds of getting perfect day #2 will drastically improve as a result.

Anyhow, I’ll let you know how I’m getting along this Thursday.

Until then, good luck, be awesome and go well 🙌

Arthur “This Too Shall Pass” Worsley
7:47 AM

Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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