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M
ind Over Matter
 


A Great Day: What Does It Take?

© Barry Bittman MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Mind Over Matter by Barry Bittman MD. View all columns in series
Did you ever stop to think about what could make this of all days … a great day?

Perhaps you have - especially if you awoke feeling down or under the weather. Actually you might be feeling that way now, or perhaps you're searching for a reason not to turn around and get back under the covers.

In any event, it just might be worth your while to consider this question for a few moments while sipping your cup of java. For even amidst the challenges this day could bring, you might be saying to yourself, "that answer is simple."

What comes to mind for most people includes: winning the zillion dollar lottery, a huge bank error in your favor, a juicy check from the IRS, a surprise bonus, an all expenses paid vacation to Tahiti, or a long-awaited promotion. Imagine arriving at work only to learn you are now replacing your not-so-tolerant boss who has just been transferred to the Outback. Is your coffee tasting better yet?

Actually just the thought of these extraordinary possibilities can edge a smile up from the deepest recesses of your existence. Yet it's probably time for a grounded reality check.

But don't leave yet.

Why not consider what it would REALLY take to make today a great day without the monetary benefits? So grab a pen and a piece of note paper and jot down a few thoughts. Trace your day from start to finish and imagine everything going right. The challenge is in the details. When you're done, start reading again.

Welcome back. If your list is anything like mine, you probably won't be smiling as widely as you did before. I personally found the experience rather challenging.

Some of my entries include: finding my wife and kids in a great mood, observing all of my patients thriving, watching my staff delighting in their work, having extended time to do whatever is needed, returning home to a leisurely uninterrupted evening, world peace, etc. etc. etc.

Sounds pretty mundane, I suppose. It's hard resigning one's self to the fact that even the entries of your down-to-earth list aren’t likely to occuræ not all in one day! How disheartening!

Or is it? Did you notice anything that stands out in your list . . . or mine?

The answer struck me several months ago when I first pondered this issue. More appropriately, it leveled me. The essential problem with my list, although not obvious at first, was rather straight-forward. The truth resonated so clearly I was left laughing at myself.

All of the things that had to happen in order to make my day a great day . . . depended on others. Yes, others!

Where was MY role in my great day?

As silly as it sounds, I set myself up for failure. Even without a degree in statistics, it’s obvious all those things which are so dependent on others are unlikely to occur on the same day. My great day was dependent on family members' moods, patients thriving despite their diseases, staff working together like the parts of a Swiss watch, no interruptions in sight and of course . . . world peace!

By creating those expectations for that great day, I sealed my fate and ensured failure and disappointment from the start. Yet I learned a lesson I will never forget.

My great day has to be controlled by ME!

The lesson is discovering we can only lay the groundwork for happiness by setting our sights on what is within our control. And when we do, we meet our expectations, achieve our goals and enjoy one great day at a time.

My great days are now enabled through creativity and opportunities I accept for inspiring others. Your great days depend only on your imagination and ongoing commitment.

Yet there's also an unexpected bonus. I'll let you in on a simple observationæ creating great days seems to positively influence others. It's a ricochet effect!

Why not consider spending a few moments planning your great day? Match your intention with follow-through and you'll ensure success and happiness on many levels. And when you do, synchronicity will occur. Surprises from above will help you transform your "great" days into "spectacular" futures - Mind Over Matter!

© 2000 Barry Bittman, MD all rights reserved

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About The Author
Barry Bittman, MD is a neurologist, author, international speaker, award-winning producer/director and inventor. As CEO and Medical Director of the Mind-Body Wellness Center, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary outpatient medical facility in Meadville, PA., Dr. Bittman has pioneered a new paradigm for treating the “whole person.” Based upon extensive......more
 
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