The Value of Bad Days

Don’t be too quick to forget your bad days. They may come in handy when you least expect it.

Often we don’t recognize the value of rotten experiences. In fact, we look to jettison them from memory as quickly as possible. But we need to review each day and learn from both the negative and positive experiences, as best as we can.

A great example of this is the young shepherd boy, David, who goes out to fight a massive giant, Goliath, on behalf of his nation. It’s a fantastic biblical story about a small shepherd boy who is normally tending sheep. And during the times when he’s tending sheep, he obviously faces the enemies of the sheep, lions and bears.

When he is in front of Saul, the king of Israel, and lets Saul know that he’s equipped to go out and fight this fierce giant, Saul is quite doubtful. David recounts to him exactly why he’s most equipped to take on this giant and win. He mentions times when bears and lions have stolen sheep. David pursued these animals to rescue the sheep and oftentimes killed the lion or bear. And so, regarding facing Goliath, this was a relatively easy day for David. And yet, it was from what any shepherd would consider their most negative, challenging experiences that he was now fully equipped to take this task on and see it through to fruition. A bad day for any shepherd is having to face a hungry lion or a hungry bear and rescue a sheep.

Often times when we have bad experiences, we quickly put these experiences out of our mind on the day, not recognizing, though, that it’s actually by going through them that we’re now better prepared, better equipped, finely tuned and better focused to handle even more challenging times when they come our way.

As an advisor, you need to review each day you have, look at what’s happened and consider how you can learn from these experiences, understanding that through them, down the track, you’re going to become an even more effective advisor for your clients. So,

  1. When you do have a bad day, take the time to review it.
  2. Look at what you’ve learned. No matter how negative it’s been, there’s usually something you can take out of this day that you can learn from. Maybe it was your attitude that wasn’t really up to par. Maybe it was something that was totally out of control, that really, when you recognize that, shouldn’t have you feeling all that frustrated. (It was, after all, beyond your control.)
  3. Recognize that you can now be even confident the next time you face a challenge because learning from the experiences you’ve had today actually sets you up for a far greater performance down the track. True, you don’t know when that day, when that next opportunity, is going to come along, but you do know that you can face anything a lot more confidently now from reviewing this day, learning from it, and going ahead better prepared.

Related: Your Real Goal-Achieving Superpower Is Discipline