Plans to “Act As If”

October 1, 2009

QoB receives these motivational essays at her work, from Dr. Alan Zimmerman, affectionally nicknamed Dr. Z by Madre.  I generally don’t have much use for things like this, but QoB sends me the ones that seem to be really applicable to my life, almost like he is speaking to me.  She sent me this week’s Tuesday Tip, and it particularly resonated with me:

In tough times, your financial health takes a beating.  But so does your emotional health … if you’re not careful.  Well, I’ve got some good news for you. You don’t have to be miserable and depressed.  You don’t have to gripe and groan.  And you don’t have to live “under your circumstances.”  You can be victorious … no matter what your circumstances … if you do three things.

1.  DECIDE to have a good day.

2.  ACT like it’s a good day. 

3.  PLAN a good day.

I totally fall into the trap of not doing this, even when thinking that I likely could make it a practice in my everyday life.  Sometimes I spend a lot of time caught up with the little things in my environment that I control to be just.so and think that should equate happiness. 

The distinct problem with this train of thought, way of being, is that I generally end up disappointed because one thing or another didn’t work out.  Dr. Love and I had a fairly deep discussion last night about my feelings of aimlessness, my lack of meaningful (to me) goals, my lack of real passion for anything. 

We concluded that my current purpose in life is to survive, and, frankly, it has been for some time.  I have used this over and over again, just trying to make it through the day with a steady, non-reactive mood, only to find myself coming up short at the end of the day.  Yes, I am surviving, and having “survived” now for some time, it seems to be time to kick my life into gear and start living

Of course, this isn’t a new issue.  It’s something I have pondered throughout the last ten years or so, generally whenever I’m feeling pretty good about how things are going.  Kind of like, “Ok, I’m surviving all right.  Now time to make my life even better and put.myself.out.there.”

Ok, double, quadruple scary for me.  I have serious trust issues, a somewhat antisocial personality, and, if you listen to QoB, I’m an angry person in my interactions with the world.  As I told QoB, just because I hate everyone does not mean I am an angry person.  Things that make ya go “hmmm.”

A lot of times I will watch myself and my behavior and marvel at how far I have come.  Of course, there are a lot of times where I’m thinking


Stuck in the same old rut again.

I think I have done rather well in the last year to open myself up to new people and possibilities.  I get along rather well with people at work, even if I am constantly evolving and changing in order to not come across as weak or overly emotional.  As Dr. Love (and even a few of my inmates) say, I put up a tough front, but I actually have the potential to be nice and friendly, when I want to be.

Here’s to “acting as if” I’m happy, seeing if it will stick around, making some new goals, and striving for purpose.

Here, here.

This song makes me think of camping, even though we never sing it because I don’t really know the words. 

John Denver, Country Roads


  1. Beginning management training teaches employers how to set goals. They must be attainable and measurable to be effective and a good reward system always helps too. I think the same rules apply to life goals as well. When you set a goal like “lose weight” or “be happy” or even “meet new people”. It is overwhelming and easy to give up on. I think you need to make some baby step goals. If you want to lose weight start out with giving up caffeine for one month. If successful treat yourself to a massage. If you want to “be happy” decide to take a class on something fun like a jewelry making class. Focus on you and doing something you enjoy. If we all spent all of our time worrying about whether or not we are “living” life we would miss the opportunity. I love the idea of a positive attitude. Sometimes just deciding that you are going to have a good day is truly enough to make it happen.

  2. ok i want to take that mantra and put it on a post-it…or tattoo it on my head. i let too many things get to me, one thing wrong in the morning and i let the day be shot.
    i can decide differently:)

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