What does your favorite television show at its best?
Is it that episode where nothing happens, the characters don't face any adversity, there are no double crosses, broken hearts, blood, sweat or tears?
OF COURSE NOT!
Our favorite episodes are the ones that make us do something we all excel at- feel! Those episodes where we think, "Will they or won't they?" (I'm looking at you, Friends). The shows that leave you on the edge of your seat and you can't imagine how they can tie so many crazy ideas together (<Cough> Lost <Cough>). Maybe it’s a series where seeing a character make the same mistakes we make every day (or far worse) and seeing how they somehow manage to overcome and persevere in spite of themselves causes us to find comfort, some laughs, and feel connected to the world (every sitcom ever). The point is: boring TV, where everything comes easy to the main characters, where conflict doesn't happen, and where everything is delivered with a neat bow would never work.
Why do we expect our daily lives to be any different?
When life throws us these same challenges, what do we do? Sometimes, we rise to whatever level we need to in order to succeed. Often times, however, we don't. We complain. We moan. We groan. We may even utter some words that, if I were to type them, I'd have to label by their first letter for fear of losing my audience. Why is that?
Recently I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, "You Made It Weird" and it's host, comedian Pete Holmes, suggested the idea that when we get to the end of the day, if a lot has happened - if it has been a tough day or a day that pushes us to the outer edges of what we feel are our limitations, we should sit back and say to ourselves: "That was a good episode."
Now, you might say, "Mike, I know where you're coming from with this, but the difference between life and television is that we get to turn the TV off." And...you're right. I can't promise you that your problems will be solved in 30 minutes (with commercials), or that after the 3 part, epic storyline you're enduring now, everything will get easier. I just can't. All I can offer is this, sometimes, shifting how you view something (changing the channel, so to speak), can make all the difference. If, after a hard day, you can look in the mirror and say, "That? That was a good episode." You might - you might - just crack a smile. And, sometimes, that's all it takes.
Here's your challenge: this week as life throws plot twists and intrigue your way and maybe you feel you may be in danger of not being renewed for next season, try the following. Take a moment at the end of the day, review what happened, maybe figure out where the scripting went wrong (you can always blame the writers or the studio execs), and settle on this one thought: Today was a good episode. And, with a smile, you might just think, "I can't wait to see how everyone gets out of this one!" Give it a shot and let me know how you fair. Sometimes life can feel like a permanent case of sweeps week, but, sometimes, that's what keeps it interesting. All I know is this: Today was a good episode. I'm definitely going to tune in tomorrow.