#1617 Areté +1° #223: Rebound Days

What to Do after a Suboptimal Day

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, a micro-chapter from Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 of my all-time favorite, potentially life-changing ideas.

Here's one…


You ever have the kind of day where you fall short of your super-high standards and wonder what just happened?

Me too.

Now, thankfully, as we evolve, those “bad days” become less dramatic than the prior really bad days, but they’re still going to happen as we continue to challenge ourselves with higher and higher standards.

So, Step 1.

Remind yourself that growth does not occur in one beautiful, straight line from where you are to where you want to be. Growth looks more like a jagged zigzag line than a straight, up-and-to-the-right line.

George Leonard tells us that as we negotiate our path of mastery and let go of old habits, we need to have a “willingness to take one step back for every two forward, sometimes vice versa.”

Gotta love that “sometimes vice versa.”

Sometimes (!) you don’t take two steps forward and then slide back one. You slide back two or three steps and then crawl back one. (HAH!)

That’s just how it is.

No big deal.

Knowing that’s how it works, we simply dust ourselves off, check in on what “Needs work!” as we shine a flashlight on how we could have done things a little differently, then bring a hammer as we forge our antifragile confidence—making sure that the day after our subpar performance is AWESOME.

I like to call those days after a not-great day “Rebound Days.”

We want THOSE days to be EPIC.

We want to wake up even more committed to the little things, embracing the path of the master and skipping the whole shaming process as we get back to rocking it.

Then, rather than spiral BACKWARD, we use that oops day as a catalyst FORWARD.

Imagine throwing one of those little rubber balls against the ground. What does it do? The harder you throw it the higher it bounces, eh?

Let’s do that. Antifragile style.

That bad day made us better. Thank you, imperfections.

Remember to dominate the Rebound Days.

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