What’s the Best Thing That Happened Today?

“I had a bad day, Nana,” my grandson, Donovan, said to me on the phone once when I called him after school. He was only four years old at the time, and he went to Head Start.

“Why did you have a bad day,” I asked him. “Cause I couldn’t do nothing right at school,” he answered as though it had been on his mind all evening. “What did you do wrong, Donovan?” “I couldn’t do good on my speech,” he said.

I reminded him of all the incredible things about himself, and by the time we hung up, he seemed to be thinking about other things, like picking on his brother. I understood precisely how a little thing could have made his day terrible. Sometimes it’s the small things that can mess up our day.

Richard Carlson wrote a book called “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”. The book is full of phrases that gently remind us that life can be great, even if it’s not always the way we planned it.

At the time, I worked with a friend who told me that she was happy even though she had to move around a lot because of her husband’s job. I asked how she did that. She said, “It’s because I carry my happiness with me.”

Carlson, who also wrote a book called “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff at Work”, writes that in a typical day, the average person may have 10 things happen. Nine of those may have gone fine, but one did not work out so well.

People often find themselves focusing on the one thing that didn’t work instead of the nine that were fine. And if you do that every day, after a while it will seem like everything in your life is going wrong, when it isn’t.

Sometimes at the end of the day, it is good to ask yourself, “What’s the best thing that happened to me today?” If you wrote it down, you might see that the good things outweighed the bad things.

There is another book that is good for people who feel like they have a lot of bad days. It is “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. Carnegie suggests that when you have a problem, you should do three things: write it down, decide if you can do anything about it. If so, make a plan, and then let it go.

Not a lot different from the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,”

I knew my grandson was too young to understand all this right now, but I decided to call him back the next day to see how his day was. When his mother gave him the phone, I asked, “How was your day, Donovan?” “It was a good day, Nana,” he said.

“Is that because you did well in school today?” I asked. “Nope, I didn’t go to school today!” he said, and then he handed the phone to his mother and went back to playing with his toys.


Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. Yes, I need to remember to focus on the many positive things, not the negative!

    • Deana Landers -

      It's hard sometimes when it is happening. Thank you, Susan, for reading and commenting on my story. Deana

  2. Good Morning! Such a refreshing way to begin the day and it truly begins with gratitude and a positive outlook. My Mom was a big believer in the Power Of Positive Thinking-Norman Vincent Peale. Mom lost her sister as a youngster and then we lost my sister when she was 30. She was a leader in our Church and home and always reminded us to be thankful for what we had, not complain about we didn't. Also, how neat that you have such an awesome relationship with your grandson! Jemma

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Jemma, for commenting on my stories. When I was 13 my mom died and I went to live with my brother and his family. I was at school one day and a teacher handed me the book, "Power of Positive Thinking". The book defined my life as I adjusted to my loss. I actually have a story about that book:) Thank you, Deana

  3. I've been following the "no sweat" for a few years and it definitely brings inner peace!

    • Deana Landers -

      Janet, these books are one my favorite gifts to give. Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my stories. Deana

  4. A positive attitude is everything!

    • Deana Landers -

      Yes, Susan, it is definitely what makes a difference. Thank you for commenting. Deana

  5. Great story Deana. Perfect for a Monday morning. It's so true that we often only focus on the bad. When my girls were teenagers I tried to remind them that there's always going to be someone who is a little better at some things but, guess what, you are a little better at other things too. Gratitude is a wonderful way to keep life in perspective. Thanks for this great reminder.

    • Deana Landers -

      Patti, thank you so much for your comments. Attitude is everything, isn't it? And thank you for much for the share on FB. Deana

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