Ever had somebody tell you to “keep things on an even keel?” In other words, remain calm. Don’t get too high or too low. I would like to suggest the opposite course.
Enjoy your highs. And take note of your lows. When bad things happen, grieve. When good things happen, celebrate.
I have experienced more happiness than sadness in my life. But when those horrible things do occur, I know that feeling bad for a period of time will allow me to move on when the grieving is done. No, you never forget the death of a loved one, the loss of a good-paying job or the end of a marriage.
You can and must, however, continue living and accomplishing. Make the appropriate and necessary changes and get back on the horse (or whatever metaphorical thing you wish to get back onto).
During my radio career, when #1 ratings were achieved, my wife and I acknowledged success with dinner out every time. When ratings were not so good, bad feelings would settle in for a few days, but I knew when to shake the funk and look ahead.
In my PR work, when a client gets good coverage on TV, radio, in the Post-Dispatch, Business Journal or online, I celebrate. Maybe not with dinner out, but with a happy mood that lasts a day or two. When coverage does not materialize (especially when I know that the content offered is on target), I don’t just grin and bear it. I am disappointed—but only briefly. (I do know, however, not to take it personally.)
Here’s my point: It’s cool to be cool (calm and collected), as long as you do acknowledge your human emotions. You are allowed to have a crappy day every now and then. You are also allowed to be ecstatic when good things happen. Let’s strive for lots more highs than lows!