How To Make The Most Out Of Every Day (Even The Bad Ones)

A man staring off into the sunrise at the shore

So life has seen fit to bless me with some good changes in life, with one particular shakeup being a new career trajectory.

But that also means less time for my blog and novels—especially for staring out the window and pondering the next sentences in my story.

These days it’s just bam-bam-bam. Got a blog idea? Bang out those few paragraphs any time I can. A new plot direction? Put it on paper first and think about it later.

How nice to be able to have free time on the weekends, I’d think. Then I can really do what I want.

That’s a dangerous way of thinking, though. Because you know what tends to happen when you start to look forward to the weekends? Your weekdays cease to have meaning. But that’s not the goal in life. The main goal is to find meaning in every day.

So, here I am, no longer waiting to cash in on my life’s bonds. I’m choosing instead to be happy with my mental bank balance, no matter the figure. But how?

Exercise is king

This is non-negotiable. Not because I’m into hustle culture or have aspirations to be a fitfluencer. Instead, it’s because an endorphin state of mind makes the mundane more interesting, all while reducing the severity of my life’s problems.

The version of me who tries to tackle the day without first donning my endorphin armour is a pain to be around. There’s no way I can do my day justice without first being in the right mindset. And movement helps with that.

Also, being physical increases my chance of being physical. An upward spiral, if you will.

So regardless if it’s a day of back-to-back photoshoots or an eventless weekend, I’ll still find the time to slot in some sort of physical work. It’s choosing to exercise no matter what comes my way, just so that I can better face whatever comes my way.

There’s always time for mental recovery

David Goggins calls this his ‘mental aid stations’. Throughout his day—and his days are packed to the brim—he’ll manage to find little moments to recuperate from his gruelling workouts, like while eating or bathing. And if Goggins can find breaks in his day, why can’t an Average Joe like me do the same?

I’ve been finding refuge in my hour-long commute, especially during bumper-to-bumper traffic. Yes, I’d much rather be home than stuck in my car, but being alone (and having an excuse to do so) is a rather therapeutic time of the day.

It’s where I can think about my writing, my future, and the plans I wish to apply to my life. No other time of the day allows for as quiet and long a contemplation as when I’m driving to work.

Plus, even if life were to turn up the intensity knob, I’ll still have it pretty good. I’m not caught in a war-torn country nor am I a prisoner of war. In that sense, I’ll always have the freedom to find my own mental aid stations, no matter how life turns out.

Love is the greatest emotion

You know how people recommend you to volunteer to feel better about yourself? Well, as it turns out, you don’t have to wait until you get a slot in your local soup kitchen. You can just choose to give your love and time freely, right here right now.

How I personally do this is by helping people at work. Sure I’m paid to do what I do, but whenever a colleague asks for help, I make sure to do all I can to make their life better (it helps that my new colleagues are pretty darn cool people).

Some people look at this as others shirking their responsibilities onto you. I see it as being a positive presence in the world.

Besides, seeing myself as useful tends to quieten the negative thoughts I tend to harbour in my mind. So in that sense, I’m benefitting way more than the people in need.

Know that your problems are also your gifts

Life will never be perfect. And our pursuit towards nirvana isn’t a one-off destination we can just reach and be done with.

There are going to be ups and downs. You’ll sell a short story. You’ll get your dream job. You’ll be rejected for years. You’ll be retrenched.

Life always changes. But one thing that remains constant is that you will still be you. You’ll live. You’ll breathe. And you’ll face your day, voluntarily or not.

Sure, you could come up with a thousand ways how your life could be better, but I believe that no matter how sucky the day is, you’ll always tend to miss it after a certain time has passed. So why not enjoy it now instead of looking back wistfully ten years into the future?

Fun stuff is always funner after sacrifice

While you might hate waking up in the dark for work, it also gives so much more meaning to sipping a coffee at sunrise.

Yes, you may only have half an hour to write now, compared to the entire day before you had kids, but that only means you get to appreciate your writing time that much more.

Besides, joy is a very fickle thing. Think about all the recreational time you get in life: Netflix, YouTube, video games, eating. Would you feel happy if you had months on end to binge on said activities? Or would you feel better enjoying them after getting the rest of your life in order?

Plus—and I know I’ve said this before—you become so much more effective at any task when you’re tight for time. I know I write more when I’m busy with life, versus the times when I get to lounge around as much as I want.

Today is a blessing

I guess my point for this post is that the day will still pass, whether you like it or not, so you might as well find ways to do the former.

After all, life is not a game of roulette where you spin the wheel and hope you get the number you’d banked on. Instead, it’s more a game of poker where you’re dealt a hand and still choose what happens, despite your initial luck.

The ‘gurus’ of today would tell you to appreciate the day. To be thankful that you’re alive. I say scratch that. Being alive has its own set of problems and worries. But you know what? That doesn’t mean you can’t give life a run for its money.

You could operate out of love and aspire to be the best person you can be. Or you can be spiteful, and be dragged kicking and screaming to your grave, refusing to allow your problems to get the best of you.

Either way, there’s no reason why you can’t kick ass, regardless of the hand you’ve been dealt. The way I see it, you always have a choice on how you wish to face the day.

And if you choose to smile regardless of what’s thrown your way, you’ve already won.

I’ll be honest: I want your e-mail address. Only because I’d love to stay in touch in case this website goes down. But I’ll make it worth your while with exclusive content every fortnight. Plus, you get a free guide on how to grow your blog too.

70 thoughts on “How To Make The Most Out Of Every Day (Even The Bad Ones)

  1. Thomas, when I first saw your reply, I thought, “Wow, a whole lot of emotions and descriptions of intelligence—wrapping them together so they compliment each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What is meant by this paragraph in the middle?
    “Also, being physical increases my chance of being physical. An upward spiral, if you will.”


    • It’s just my roundabout way of saying that the more physical things I do, the better equipped I am at doing those physical things.

      My muscles grow, my cardio improves, and my capacity for physical pursuits grow :D

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on your new job then! I feel like this blog post is a perfect morning read as I am now fueled with motivation to tackle my day (though I have to admit I didn’t excersie this morning)! And it’s totaly true that the busier we are, the more we manage to do, somehow! Thanks for sharing!


    • I hope that day turned out well for you. Nothing better than to get things done in the morning. It’s so weird, isn’t it? It’s almost like the rich get richer and the poor get poorer—with time. It’s like, the more we utilise our time, the more of it we seem to have. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Being honest with ourselves is such a great skill to have. Most times, we tend to lie to ourselves, or try to ignore the truth. But once we take ownership of everything, it becomes so much easier to start doing better. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Happy for you on the work front! What you say is true, that we need to find meaning everyday to live and press forward! Everything depends alot on our positivity and ability to see things in wider perspectives. Life is a struggle but it doesn’t mean we can’t live meaningfully. Yes time is always short and we dream of having more, but when we do, we may not use it well. Take care!


    • There’s this quote from Viktor Frankl’s book, where he says that our suffering is ours alone to bear. No one else can do it for us. So in a sense, we’re all same, even though we’re going through different circumstances. And that in itself gives so much meaning. Love your comment about struggle not meaning meaninglessness!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “The main goal is to find meaning in every day.”
    I admit, that’s a rather new idea to me. I agree we should strive to find meaning in every day, but I often end up looking forward to the weekends to do what I want to. It’s also a very interesting notion that our problems may also be gifts, I haven’t thought about that either and it’s starting to shed some perspective!
    Brilliant and thought-provoking write, Stuart!


    • I used to look forward to the weekends, then I realised that there are many other things I can do today that’ll also make me happy. Maybe they won’t have the uninterrupted afternoons that the weekends provide, but I still get to cook and eat scrambled eggs (my fav), and I still get an hour to watch a Netflix series, which I appreciate too. Here’s to living more todays than tomorrows!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m reading a travelogue about a guy visiting the 5 “Stans” of Central Asia. A part I read today makes me think of what you’re saying in this post: He’s waiting at the onerous and lengthy border crossing into Tajikistan (as a tourist) along with several local people who regularly have the burden of crossing the border for their living. He said something along the lines of, “We spend so much time looking up at the tiny percentage of people who have more than us and forget to realize how much more that we have than most.”


    • That’s a great quote. I also have something along those lines which I’m sure I’m butchering: If you have running water, electricity, food, and a roof over your head, you’re already better than 80% of the world’s population. Or something like that.

      Visiting all the Stans sure does seem like a great adventure too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree about being more efficient when I’m strapped for time. And the little fun things are way better after a hard day’s work and checking off all of my boxes! The one on the list that I’ve had a tough time with for a while is the exercise. I walk a lot and chase after the kids, but I miss the running and fitness classes from my days before kids and cancer; those endorphins are pretty magical, so that’s something I’m working on.


    • I’m very prone to enjoying myself, so I can definitely relate to things feeling good after I sort my own things out. There is no better way to enjoy recreation than by not having life things in the way. I really do hope you find your groove when it comes to exercise, though. It may not solve all problems, but as you said, those endorphins are pretty magical. As always, appreciate you stopping by, Sarah!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Superb blog post Stuart. Wonderfully written my brother and yes I agree, this is how to make the most out of everyday even the bad one and I love the exercise is king and love always wins sub topics because they are applicable in reality, the best way to face the obstacles in the way is to exercise and not only physically but mentally by preparing your mind to not be afraid of going through these challenges because they are inevitable and the only way to win is to exercise or prepare for the battle.

    Also, I love the ending about smiling and when you smile you are able to handle what’s coming even the hurdles because you are unshaken and you show positivity 😁😁 no matter what💯🙌


    • I love the thought about exercising your mind. Because the only way to get through hard things is by doing more of those hard things. The only way to get over your fear is by facing those things.

      Anyway, always enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!


  9. It’s unbelievable how most problems simply vanish after a good night’s sleep or some exercise. I keep reminding myself to focus on the basics, especially when I feel stressed out. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • For me, it’s also interesting. How much of my problems go away after a busy day, even though I don’t feel like doing any of the tasks. So whenever I get too busy, I always remind myself how grateful I should be. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Every single second is worth living but it depends on the owner. To either utilize it to its fullest or just sit around and wait for a chill weekend which sometimes don’t go as planned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, sitting around waiting for something is always the non-preferred option, since passivity means giving up a lot of our choices. But still, it’s our time, so it’s up to us to make full use of it, amirite?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah,our time our efforts.
        Sometimes I just wonder what people would do differently if there were a life clock on their arms showing them the exact years they are gonna live in earth.


  11. I feel like i read your post at the right time of my life and i feel like they’re directed just for me, thank you for the push i know i needed but didn’t want to admit it. I really really needed this 🥹❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love and mental recovery; two of the secrets to lasting peace of mind and happiness that remains stable in its intensity. I think folks try to be happy from the outside in then lose happiness because the outside world IS change. Change happens. Happiness goes away to be replaced by sadness.

    But making choices based on extending love keeps you happy as long as you choose to keep extending love. In moments of mental exhaustion, versus plowing forward mindlessly, take a mental break to observe your mind, to forgive the mental tension then to return to extending happiness, feeling peaceful and happy as you do so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lotsa deep replies for this post, yours included. Again, I don’t have much of a reply that can do this justice, so I just hope the other visitors will read this and enjoy. Thanks for taking the time to share this, Ryan!


  13. This is a really good reminder, Stuart. Honestly, it’s good to be busy because it keeps the mind engaged and the body nimble…or vice-versa. That’s one of the reasons I decided to take the retirement coaching course. For many people, suddenly having hours, days and weeks to fill after going full throttle for their whole lives is a shock. If they don’t deal with it, it can even be deadly. I’d rather have too much to do than not enough.

    For those of us who are working and trying to fit in our passion projects on the side, it all comes down to priorities, organization, and knowing when to chill and reset.

    Have a wonderful day, Stuart! Thanks, as always, for your inspiring words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s why I believe the saying ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’. I’ve had the privilege to live both types of lives, and I can say that my soul feels more anguished when I’m too free. A first-world problem, I know, but not the least bit funny.

      Also, it’s weird how I get more done with my limited downtime versus when I was freelancing and had the entire day ahead of me.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Michelle!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great philosophy, Stuart. I like the poker analogy. Good cards help in poker and life, but sometimes you’ve got to create luck.

    I also related to being able to do your best thinking when driving. For me, it’s when I’m walking. The point is it must be a time when we can let our minds wander. (Tell that to the cop when he asks, “Did you know you were 20 mph over the speed limit?🤣) I used to have a 30-minute commute to and from work. I found that time invaluable, thinking about my problems and how to address them.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I always enjoy reading your posts Stuart. So much so you made me click. I don’t want to see the end of this blog but just in case…
    My two cents? When life picks me up like a wave and dumps me head first in the sand I remember to be thankful for waking up today, for running water, the warmth of a puppy curled up in my lap and so much more. Life truly is a blessing and at the pointy end of life where I live, each day is a blessing. When your kids are forty you gain a new perspective and things come into sharper focus. Time is a fickle thing. At my age it goes at breakneck speed and yet the days stretch out before me and I get to do what I want. I needed the reminder to use it wisely. Congratulations on the new job Stuart and thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s what I feel about my days too. The days are too long but the years are too short, to quote a famous rock band. So I have to keep reminding myself that today is a gift that I’ll look back with longing for—I just don’t see it when I’m in the thick of it.

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective too, and for reminding me to be in the present more. And I appreciate your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations on the new career trajectory! Wishing you the very best with this. I think that quickly written pieces can sometimes even more creative because whatever is top of mind comes spilling out and there’s no time to edit :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes. I may be a 40-year-old that’s still interested in video games, but they suck unless I know I’ve gotten every daily responsibility out the way first.

      p.s. do you have a blog? Might wanna update your link in your Gravatar account since it’s broken.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great as always Stuart! Your outlook on life is inspiring so I do hope you’ll keep on writing. Congrats on the new job. Sounds like you’re loving it. I used to do a 1 hr commute each way also and I loved that time. Lots of time for reflection and time to switch from work mode to home mode too. I always kept a bunch of motivational DVDs in the car as well as some stand-up comedy and would listen to those some days. I hope you continue to enjoy your job and your commute. Take Care

    Liked by 2 people

    • ‘Switching from work mode to home mode’ is a great way to put it. The commute almost acts as a divider between worlds, a reset of sorts. And yes on the listening materials! No better way than the commute. Podcasts are the bomb because of this. Thanks for your lovely input, Roze!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for this! I needed this today!!!
    Today was one of those days where you feel you’ve crashed into a wall and are not sure how to get back up. But you’re right. Life is lived in ALL of these moments. And crashing can break you or make you stronger. Choosing joy and positivity wherever you can find it makes such a big difference!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s the moment you accept all events in your life—both good and bad—that it becomes less daunting, amirite? I mean, it may sound cheesy, but the more we try to run away from the painful parts, the less joy we’ll find in the happy ones. Love your thoughts, Claire!


  19. I’m also about to go through some changes. It will have an impact on my writing, since I can’t exactly write when I don’t have the physical space and a laptop to write on the first place.

    Still, I think I would like to continue this, even if the coming time is chaotic. It will be a good test for me overall.

    Hope this opportunity is great for you, Stuart.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. So much to like in this post Stuart. I’m sitting reading while my class are completing an activity. A chance to relax a little and unwind.

    Congratulations on the new job and that you seem to be enjoying it. I’m with you on using my commute, although I use public transport so someone else can do the driving.
    I hope you will continue to blog as your life becomes busier

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol glad that you’ve found your personal mental aid stations. It’s so nice to hear how each of us uniquely slots these into our day. Am learning a lot in my new job, that’s for sure. I hope I’ll continue to blog too, as the job is only the beginning. But thanks for your support. It sure does spur me on!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Well said. I love to play with the cards I have now. My cards are not great but I have something that I can work with. Enjoyed reading your blog today even though I have no time to sit and read a novel😊!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Dang it, I must have missed where you talked about getting a new job! Now I understand why you’d like a thirty-second commute like me 😜. But I admire your making good use of the commute. What is the driving like where you live?? Here there’s no way to think about future plans while you’re driving because you don’t know if you’ll even make it home! You take your life into your hands every time you get into a car here. I like how you talk about helping people at work–I find this gets me out of a funk, too. Be the change you want to see in the world!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Driving is pretty hectic here, but it’s traffic jams all the time, so the chances of high-impact accidents are rare. Yeah, that part of helping others, it’s a nice perspective shift to have. I’ve found that I could very easily slip into ‘gah, more work’ thinking. I could just as easily think ‘wow, I must be useful’. And if I get to choose, why not choose the better one, right?

      Yeah, you probably missed the new job thingie because I didn’t write anything about it, lol :P I’ll update the deets soon, since that’s been an interesting journey so far.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I like the line “I know I write more when I’m busy with life, versus the times when I get to lounge around as much as I want.” Cos when I’m intentional, that’s actually when I’m able to hustle and produce my writing. When I “slouch on the couch” then I become like pudding! So the important thing is to aim for more of the former, but also not be too hard on ourselves as writers when we have those couch potato or ‘cheat’ days too. Like the ebb and flow of the ocean tides right? Thanks again Stu and keep sending us these much-needed reminders ya? Appreciate as always!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s so Parkinson’s Law for us to not write as much when we have so much time, and write more than we can in a week within just an hour, lol. At least I’m learning how much I’m truly capable of, so I can call myself out on my bullcrap the next time I procrastinate.

      I love your thought on ocean tides. Not feeling so well today, am already slacking off in the morning, but thinking of the ebb and flow makes me accept this much easier. Thanks for this, Kelvin!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I always appreciate the mid-week pep talk, when I get to read it! I’d argue the semantics of love as the greatest “emotion” only because I find it’s more an action than an emotion. But then, I’ve been a caregiver for most of my life, so I’ve experienced extreme disgust and unhappiness as primary emotions in whatever loving relationships I’ve had. So, that particular experience sort of colors my opinions on the subject. 😆Good to hear you’re in an upward career trajectory! Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, you have a bigger swath of experience to draw from, so I’m sure it your perspective is very unique. Totally agree with you that love is a verb! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. And thanks so much for your kind words, Kathleen. Appreciate you making time to read!


  25. Life is a vibrant, ever-changing tapestry of experiences, sensations, and emotions. Yet, for many, it has become a drab and monotonous routine, a humdrum existence devoid of color, flavor, or passion. They go about their days in a daze, trapped in a never-ending cycle of mundane tasks and mind-numbing chores, barely aware of the wonders that surround them.

    But to truly live is to savor every moment, to embrace the richness and diversity of life, to feel the sun on your skin, the wind in your hair, the taste of exotic cuisine on your tongue. It is to explore new horizons, to push your boundaries, to challenge yourself, to discover your true potential.

    Life is not a checklist of accomplishments or a series of milestones to be achieved. It is a journey of self-discovery, a quest for meaning and purpose, a celebration of the human spirit. It is about connecting with others, sharing laughter, tears, and everything in between.

    Living is not just about surviving, it is about thriving. It is about finding joy in the small things, like a child’s laughter, a beautiful sunset, or a good book. It is about cherishing the people you love, building meaningful relationships, and leaving a positive impact on the world.

    Let us not merely exist, but live fully, passionately, and authentically. Let us dance in the rain, sing at the top of our lungs, and chase our wildest dreams. Let us savor every moment, cherish every memory, and make every day a masterpiece. Life is a precious gift, and it is up to us to make the most of it.

    Liked by 6 people

  26. I agree, Stuart, each day is a blessing. I am with you on the exercise. Like you, if I don’t get my exercise endorphins I can be a bit grouchy. Other than that, a smile and trying to do something to help others, no matter how small, are a good guide to get through a day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Endorphin-armour bearers for the win! Torturing ourselves for small periods of time so that we can bring our best selves into the rest of our day. I actually like the fact that it’s something I need to renew every day. Like keeping my vows or something.

      Liked by 3 people

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