I have often received comments about how I end e-mails, letters, and sign my books with “Make a Great Day!” instead of “Have a Great Day,” so I thought I would share my reasoning. In Leadership Lessons From the Medicine Wheel I share in Chapter 1 about the concept of Intent, which is closely linked to Volition, and has a lot to do with Personal Responsibility. Intent or Volition resides in the Center within us. We have the choice to determine things for ourselves. As a result, we either choose to do things or we choose to allow others to do things for or to us.
An example of this is the story I share in Chapter 4 about Personal Power. In the story my friend the hospital administrator chose to give his Personal Power away by allowing the actions of the doctor to “make him angry.” In other words, the administrator made the choice to allow the doctor to control the administrator’s emotions. My friend gave away his Personal Power to the doctor at the same time as he was stealing the Personal Power from the elder. An interesting paradox, indeed!
So what does this all have to do with the “Make a Great Day!” that I so often share? Well, when we say “Have a Great Day” or “Have a Nice Day” we are using a more passive tense in our choice of words. Through this choice of words we acknowledge that the ability to have or not to have a nice or great day is up to environmental controls that we have no real control over. Sure, we’ll have a nice day if it happens, but if it doesn’t, then there’s just nothing that we can do about it, right?
Wrong! We do have the ability to choose how we will act and behave, and we can chose how we will react to other’s behaviors. One of the basic tenants of the Adventures in Attitudes® program from Inscape Publishing, which was originally created by Bob Conklin over 50 years ago, is “I can’t help the way I think and feel, but I can help the way I act.” And, of course, our choice in actions provides a double-loop feedback, of sorts, that can impact on how we think and feel.
So we can make a choice in how we will act as we go throughout the day, and as such we can make that great day for ourselves that I wish everyone. It simply starts with Intent and making the choice to retain your Personal Power. No matter what happens during your day, you can choose to make it great. So stop taking the chance on having a great day just happen and start making great days happen for yourself every day.
Make a Great Day!