Are you riding an emotional roller coaster?


You’re excited. you’ve got a new client or a new project and you love waking up in the morning and getting to work. Life is good.

And then it happens. You discover a flaw. Or something isn’t working. It looks bad. Real bad. And now you are discouraged.

Then you figure out how to solve the problem. Or you get another new client. And you are excited again.

Until the next time something goes wrong.

And there you are, excited one day, ready to stay in bed in the next. You’re riding an emotional roller coaster, up and down and up and down, and you’re about to get whiplash.

You’re heard that you must get off that roller coaster. If you don’t, you’ll get burned out. You’ve heard you need to even out the highs and lows and achieve a state of equanimity and balance.

But is it that true?

Clearly, you don’t want to be discouraged or depressed. But what’s so special about equanimity? Why can’t every day be exciting?

Is that even possible?


I know, crap happens. We have problems we can’t solve, we’re human beings and we have bad days.

True. But just because we feel down and discouraged doesn’t mean we have to stay that way. We can turn a terrible day into a great day, and we can do it in a matter of minutes.

Not by ignoring our problems. By changing how we feel about them.

You’ve got a problem and it feels bad. You’re discouraged, unhappy, angry, frustrated. You’re at the low end of the emotional scale. How do you get to the “high” end–excited, happy, positive, optimistic, etc?

You do it incrementally, one thought at a time.

Think about where you are emotionally. Let’s say you’re discouraged. Things are bad, you don’t see any solution. You’re down in the dumps.

Now, think about the situation a bit and see if you can find some aspect of it that feels better. Even just a little.

Maybe you realize that the worst case scenario is highly unlikely. You know from prior experience that there has to be a solution, even if you don’t know what it is.

You feel a little better. You’re no longer discouraged. Your life isn’t over. You’re hopeful, and hopeful feels better than discouraged.

Now, reach for another thought that feels even better. Perhaps you remember a similar problem from the past that eventually got fixed. You realize that this solution may also work for the current problem. Or you realize that if you solved the former problem, you can probably solve this one.

You still may not know how you’re going to do it, but now you’re optimistic. And that feels better than hopeful. Which feels better than discouraged.

So you reach for another thought that feels even better. You realize that you have many resources available to you: tools, friends, ideas, experience. And you realize that the problem doesn’t need to be solved immediately, you have some time to figure things out.

Okay. Now you’re feeling even better. You know you can solve the problem. You might even be feeling enthusiastic. You’re on your way to being excited.

And that’s how you do it.

You reach for a thought that feels better when you think it. And then you reach for another thought, and another, moving up the emotional scale, continually improving your emotional state, until you feel excited.

You don’t have to settle for feeling bad or sad or down or discouraged. And you don’t have to settle for equanimity. You can move up the emotional scale any time you want to. You can make every day exciting, one thought at a time.