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Life’s a silly game. Most of the time we feel we are pursuing a day we can call amazing. When what we’re really trying to do is avoid a bad day. The difference is that when our goal is to have an amazing day. Anything less than amazing is considered a failure. Whereas when our goal is to simply avoid having a bad day. Then we become okay with having an average day. This is an important distinction when considering just how much our average days impact our good days.

1. We learn more about the world and ourselves

On average days we learn more about the world and ourselves because we pay more attention to our surroundings. This is because when we feel good, like on a good day. We feel safe. And when we feel safe, we pay less attention to our surroundings. We are also less critical of what we see. So we are more susceptible to errors of judgement.

2. We ignore less facts

When we feel good we are also inclined to ignore information in order to maintain the status quo. For instance, if we interview half the candidates for a job on a good day and half on an average day, we are more than likely to offer the position to a candidate from the first group. Not because they are better equipped, but because we are less critical of their faults. After all, our objective is to find someone for the position. So naturally we have an incentive to keep things positive and to push candidates as far through the selection process as possible.

3. We are less selfless

On average days we are also often our most selfless. Think about a good day. More often than not it feels good because it is centred around us. We see the value of the day because we are focused of what’s in it for ourselves. Whereas on an average day, we are more likely to put others ahead of ourselves. Perhaps not in the supermarket checkout line, but in our mind. This might be solving a customer’s problem, changing a nappy, or doing a friend a favour.

The irony is that most often we consider an average day “average” because of the energy it requires to be critical, hard working and selfless. Doing these things tires us out. But doing these things also lays the ground work so we can enjoy more fulfilling good days.

Look at it like this. An average day takes more strength and delivers more lessons than a good day. But it also means when a good day does roll around, we bring more ideas and perspective to the table. This allows us to connect more easily with people, and enjoy more fulfilling experiences. So we need average days just as much as we need good days. In fact, when you consider the benefits, average days are just as good as good days. The only difference is our thinking.