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3 Ways to Have a “Shit This Was Good” Day

by Emily Wilcox 4 months ago in how to

Nobody strives for a “shit this was subpar” day. So let’s aim for better.

3 Ways to Have a “Shit This Was Good” Day
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

About a month ago, one of my favourite writers commented on a piece of mine that I'd written about harvesting creativity. To me, that’s the equivalent of Daniel Radcliffe applauding an avid Harry Potter fan for Sharpie-ing a lightning bolt onto his forehead. I was sweating as I opened the notification:

“Shit this was good.”

I was sweating as I read the comment, too. It seeped into my eyes, distorting my vision and led me to read Mike’s message as “this was shit,” and thus, the sweating intensified.

But then the sweat dried, my sight restored, and I saw the sweet sentiment left behind by one of my most favorite writers. And just like that, my day was transformed; sweaty and smiley and super friggin’ ace. So much so that as I slipped into bed that evening, I whispered to myself, “shit. This was good.”

Don’t we all want days like that?

Well, here are 3 ways that you can have a day just like that — without having a wildly talented writer man prompt it into action for you (just me, your mildly subpar embellisher).

1. Chapter title your day

The moment I opened Mike’s comment was when “shit this was good,” became the chapter title of my day. It’s something I’ve done for a while now. Every morning I set myself a theme. A genre. A chapter title. And then I go about my day accordingly.

In the past, on days I’d promised myself I’d give myself a break, have a rest, allow myself to do the things I love to do just because I love to do them — read fiction, read a magazine, read a menu and then hop out of existence and live inside Sims 3 for seven solid hours — I’d find myself riddled with guilt. I’d slip in half an hour of Medium. Respond to a few emails. Think, oh I’ll just get that thing that needs to be done soon, done now, because why not? I’ve got the time, right? And end up not resting at all.

But then I started chapter titling my day. At the top of my journal, I’d scribble “Rest Day,” and thus, I’d know, as the reader of my own life, that everything that unfolds between this sunrise-sunset will be something that promotes a day of rest. Nothing else and no guilt attached because this is what I’d defined my day to be, and so it must be. Because chapter titles don’t lie, right? We might be unreliable narrators at times, spouting fiction and telling tales — but we’re not liars.

If we tell ourselves we want our day to be productive and thus label it as The Day I Got At Least 3 Things Done, then we’ll do whatever we can, both consciously and otherwise, to adhere to the title we’ve given it.

You want to have a “shit this was good” day? Title it that. Then go do all that good shit.

2. Rose-tint those lenses, baby

For somebody with an excess of thick black eyeliner lining my eyes, I see the world in pastel colors: Rose golds and sky blues and a starlight glow. Even when the branches are bare and the sky is grey, and the stars are hidden out of sight, I choose to see the romantic side of existence because why wouldn’t I?

Life exists inside the mind. The world around us is just our three-dimensional screen, but it’s the projector inside our brain playing the very movie of us; that’s what we see. Our thoughts are the script. Our actions are the plot. Our mindset dictates our lives. Sounds like a lot of pressure right?

Except it’s not. It’s so super simple to change your life: you just need to change your mind. Get out of your head, remove it entirely and screw on a more open one, one with the mind flaps unlocked and ready to let the world inside. Switching your mindset doesn’t sound easy. And sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it switches back inadvertently. Sometimes those rose-tinted lenses get stained with fingermarks and chocolate smudges and fractures from society — but they’re easily repaired.

If you want to stop hating yourself, you don’t need a monthly gym membership, an Open University degree and an in-house therapist. You just need to stand in front of the mirror and change how you see yourself. Notice your beauty. Believe in your intelligence. Embrace your quirks and work on your faults and listen to yourself, right here and now. And decide to love yourself as you are.

Then smile at your reflection and say, “shit, you’re good.” Because you are, you just need to choose to see it.

The same applies to everything you lay your mind’s eye on in life. A rose-tinted lens doesn’t change the colors of existence — just your perspective of it.

3. Never stop playing your existential Sims

Not all days will be a “shit this was good” day. Some might just be good. And others might be shit. That’s the thing with this game we call Life™; some levels are harder than others, longer and lousier and littered with unknowns. You win some, you lose some, and some you cheat-code your way through because even the universe is sick of watching you struggle, so she offers you a hand or a twenty-pound note on the pavement.

But the point is: you never stop playing the game.

Anything crappy that happens? Call it an obstacle. Anything great? A bonus. There will be duller levels, lower graphics, at a quieter volume. And there will be thrilling ones, high-quality visuals, this loud and immersive experience. No matter what level you might be on right now, just know that there’s always another one waiting. You will never be done — not until you’re, you know, done — so enjoy the good things whilst you have them because these levels come to an end. And remember that the bad things won’t last forever because these levels come to an end.

You’re Player 1 here, the main character, and your only purpose is to complete the game — to smash it, actually — right up to the very end.

And when you get there, let the credits read:

Shit, this was a good game.

A contingency plan in case you had a “shit this was bad” day

Card towers crumble. Dominoes fall. So do empires. And toddlers. But the best thing is: all can be rebuilt again. Nothing, nobody, not one thing can stop you from getting back up, starting again, starting over. On the bad days, just lay there as the sun sets and let yourself rest and relax.

Then rise with the sunrise and begin again.

Because a good day exists just there over the horizon. And also right here. Harness it now, seek it tomorrow, pursue it forever. Title your day as a good one, choose to see all the goodness on offer in life and never give up, never give in, keep going and chase greatness right until the very end.

That’s all you have to do to look back on today — on your entire life — and say with a smile:

Shit, this was good.

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Oh hey, whilst you’re here: why not put the “em” into your “emails” and lob your name onto my mailing list for weekly embellishments on my rose-tinted, crumb-coated lens of life. It’s the equivalent of the reduced section in the supermarket (low value Weird Crap™ that you didn’t know you needed).

how to

Emily Wilcox

I am a writer. I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon. But here I am a writer, armed with an astrophysics degree, a Paperchase pen and a half empty box of biscuits

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Read next: One Simple Thing Anyone Can Do to Have a Better Day

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