Mood Swings, Accountability Rocks: How to Keep a Bad Day from Ruining a Good Thing

Got dreams?

Of course you do.

And I’m sure you have every intention of keeping those dreams alive.

But that’s an endeavor that’ll take more than just good intentions, and it’s here where many of us (yours truly included) have a tendency to waver.


Because you’re gonna have ’em. We all have ‘em.

Good days and bad days, days that kick ass and days that literally kick your ass.

So it’s no wonder those noble intentions wind up in limbo.

One day you’re primed and ready and the next you’ve got the get-up-and-go of a garden snail on ZzzQuil.

Sure you tell yourself you’re not going to let a little burnout get the better of you, but the truth is — you’re just not in the mood.

  • It was 5 Time National Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael, aka The Goat (Greatest of All Time) who said, “You win races on your bad days.
  • Former MLB right fielder Sammy Sosa says, “If you have a bad day in baseball and start thinking about it you’ll have 10 more.”

So y’see even high-achievers have bad days.

The difference is to them bad days don’t mean jack.

To them mood doesn’t matter, intentions are inconsequential.

To them, it’s accountability that counts.

Now granted these folks have a clear-cut advantage over most of us.

After all, being among the fortunate few who get to do what you love for a living would give anyone a little extra fire in their belly.

Nevertheless it doesn’t dismiss the fact that no matter how trying or uneventful your day might be there’s always the opportunity to make it a little bit better.

My father would take me to the playground, and put me on mood swings…Jay London

 Funny right?

But at the risk of sounding insensitive I just want to point out that while clinical experts agree it’s common to experience a change in mood occasionally or to go through a short period of feeling elated or blue, if your behavior is unpredictable for a number of days or longer it may be a sign of something more serious and should therefore be discussed with your doctor as to the possible reasons for why you’re experiencing them.

That being said, for the purpose of this post let’s just say you’ve had an off day or two and as a result you’re feeling a little listless, a bit down in the dumps if you will.

In this case, here is what many of those same experts have to say:

  • When it comes to elevating your mood, laughter can’t be beat. Laughter they all agree is the best medicine. (Hence Jay London’s quote)
  • Music is known to have the ability to change one’s mood.
  • Altering your perspective can also turn your mood around.
  • Doing a good deed, exercising, trying your hand at meditation, these are all highly effective methods to help lift your mood.

Now I’m certainly no expert in mood management, however, I’ve been driving a truck professionally now for 30 plus years and I’ve had my share of days when I’ve felt overwhelmed and irritable.


And the stress-reliever I’ll put my hard-earned money on every time, the one that puts merry in my mood, pep in my step and turns an otherwise damned day into a pretty darn good one, is doing something, anything.

Anything that helps keep alive that which most so makes me feel that way.

Happiness expert Robert Holden, Ph.D. puts it this way:

“You likely already know what activities make you feel good and what brings you joy. Just do those things.”

And here’s the kicker: the more you do those things the more you know you can do them, and that in itself is a real day-changer.

Legendary actor Humphrey Bogart once said, “Things are never so bad they can’t be made worse.”

And choosing not to do something personally gratifying will most definitely make a bad day worse.

Trust me on this, if you think you’re in a foul mood after an exhausting day wait until you wake up tomorrow morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and realize you blew yet another opportunity to make the most of your day.

No really, think about it.

This isn’t about choosing between a Black, Blended, or Pumpkin Spice Latte Espresso.

It’s not about what shirt goes with what tie or whether you should wear heels or flats.

These are serious choices, tough choices, choices that have long-term consequences.

Can your mood hamper your ability to effectively make those choices?

Can feeling stressed, tired or defeated cloud your better judgment?

Hell yeah it can.

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all”…Vince Lombardi

Alright already, so you’re not in the best of moods. The demanding duties of the day have triumphantly taken their toll and that gung-ho spirit has lost much of its fire power.

But you’re no effing coward!

Like me, you’ve made a few wrong choices along the way, but that’s no reason to call it a day. It’s simply time to trade in those good intentions for some kick ass accountability.

“Accountability breeds response-ability”…Stephen R Covey

Call me an idealist but I truly do believe that on some level we all aspire to be the best we can be, that we all wake up each morning embracing the promise of a brand new day, and if you honestly hope to make the very best of each and every day there’s just no two ways about it, you’re going to have to hold yourself accountable.

That means you’ll have to take into account both the good and the bad.

This way when a crappy day does present itself you won’t be blindsided and knocked off your stride.

Instead, you’ll be able to take it in stride.

Now that’s not to say you’re never going to stumble. There will be those days when you’ll say, “Fuck it.” When a cold beer or a warm bubble bath wins you over.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day (whether good or bad) it all comes back to accountability.

That’s how champions do it.

And that’s how everyday hard-working folks like you and I have to do it.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces I would still plant my apple tree” … Martin Luther King Jr.

There you have it.

That’s how you keep a dream alive.

That’s how you keep a bad day from ruining a damn good thing.

See ya soon, till then, keeep it up.

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