Another Great Day
My college football coach began every practice with the line, “It’s another great day in which to excel!” then he’d command we start running. It annoyed me. After a while though, it became comforting in its familiarity.
The real power behind it though lay in his sincerity. He believed that it truly was a great day in which to excel. At least he made us believe he believed. When questioned about it, he claimed that he woke up each morning and proclaimed that over his day then went out and excelled, making it a great day to do so. He fulfilled his prophecy on the day by making it so, and by making it so, he made it easy to believe that it would be true the next day.
Let’s explore this a little. If you want something, anything, like to be good at something or to learn something or to create something, you need to invest in it. You need to put time, energy and money into it. In most cases, any day is a good day to invest in that. Thus, if you want to excel, dedicating time to do so will head you the right direction. Any day would be a good day for that. Therefore, everyday would.
Coach’s proclamation is true then. Each day is a great day to excel. And, I suppose choosing to excel is better than deciding it is a great day to suck.
This leads me to the real sticking point in all of this for me. To wake up each morning and say that to yourself, that sounds kind of hokey to me. My cynical side immediately thinks that can’t be true. He has to miss some days. Some days are just bad, things don’t go our way, things break, and we get sick. On days like that or maybe even the day after a day like that, you have to struggle to state that this is another great day in which to excel.
Then my cynicism continues rolling to the conclusion that if he truly does say it every morning that it has become trite, cliché and boring. That he says like I say “you too!” to the checkout clerk that just wished me a good day.
If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know that I recently had a long stretch of unemployment. It frustrated me a lot. Most days I woke up dreading another day of getting rejected as I looked for work. During that time I heard a pastor challenge his congregation to wake up and say a prayer of thanks first thing in the morning, to try to create a habit of thankfulness by starting our days this way. It sounded stupid. But he pushed trying it, asking what if it works?
At the time I felt like I had little to be thankful for, so I just prayed thanks for being alive. After a few days, I started feeling thankful that I had a home to wake up in. Then it started growing. I find myself spending a couple minutes each morning praying thanks for everything I can think of, including having a job to go to.
The startling part is that one day I found myself saying that it was a great day in which to excel. I don’t remember when it started but I knew that I had been saying it for a while at that point. Had it been working? Do I find myself exceling more? I don’t know. I do find that my day starts more positively, which beats starting off thinking everything sucks.
I encourage you to give it a try. Start you day being thankful and proclaim that it will be a great day to excel. Try it even if it seems too hokey. What if it works?