I have a new morning ritual where I sit on my porch, drink my coffee, and prepare myself for the day ahead. It is one of the many benefits I have discovered while working from home.
This morning, while sipping my coffee, the question that popped into my head was, “What would make today a fantastic day?” Immediately, my brain started ticking off all of my “to do’s”…
  • If I get that presentation done
  • If this meeting goes well
  • If I finish that report
  • If…
  • If…
  • If…
This “if / then” thinking is a setup for misery – and I know this. Yet, I still found myself caught up in it. Fortunately, this merry-go-round only lasted a few minutes before I noticed what was happening. The reality is, it is up to me whether I choose to see how fantastic the day was or how terrible. 
For example, let’s say that the meeting that I am hoping goes the way I want it to go, instead surfaces some new issues that I wasn’t aware of. I could get frustrated that the conversation didn’t go as I’d intended or I could be grateful that these issues came to light and we were able to use the meeting time to work through them.
Or, someone on my team calls me with an urgent issue. Do I set aside the time to really work through the issue with them in a way that empowers them to move forward? Or, do I vocalize my annoyance and begrudgingly take the issue from them because it will take me less time to just do it myself and I’ll be able to get back to my work more quickly?
A quote from a friend of mine popped into my head, “plan well, hang loose.” He’d  borrowed the expression from surfing. In surfing, you approach the wave with a clear plan for how you will navigate it. At the same time, the ocean has a plan of its own. And so, you can either fight it and get frustrated or you can become aware of it and work with it.  
So, I took a few minutes to reframe my thinking from “What would it take” to “It will be” to “It is.” I still have the same laundry list of things I plan to get done today and, at the same time, I’m staying present on what’s coming up throughout the day. That subtle but seismic shift will impact how I show up in everything I do today. And, just maybe, this will help to make the day of those I interact with a bit more fantastic too.