Why I don’t tell my wife and kids to have a good day


“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian Psychologist[1]


The Choice Is Yours

Happiness is a choice. Do you choose it or do you choose something else? There are 86,400 seconds in every day.  While sometimes we can’t control what each of those seconds brings us, we can control how we respond to them. If we spill the milk during breakfast we get to choose how that will impact the rest of our day.  Will you choose a good day or will you choose a bad day?

Marc Levy, in his book titled “If Only It Were True”, wrote that every day we receive a bank account. Our account resets to a balance of $86,400 each morning. We get to choose how we spend that money. We lose whatever amount we don’t spend wisely.  The bank account is time and the currency is in seconds.  The idea is that we should make the most out of the time that we have.[2]

Would you ever throw away $86,340 because you lost $60 when you spilled the milk?  Of course you wouldn’t.  You would get back to spending the rest of your bank account as wisely as you could.  So why do we allow that rude driver, that delayed us by ten seconds, to steal so many more seconds, minutes, or even hours of our day?


Why I Don’t Say Have A Good Day

About two years ago I stopped telling my wife and kids to have a good day. Instead, I tell them to choose a good day. Have a good day has that “I hope your luck holds out and nothing bad happens to you so you can enjoy the day sort of feeling to it. While choose a good day has that “You’re in control and I hope you choose happiness” sort of feeling to it.  Choose a good day reminds my family that we have the power to choose.

This isn’t to say that I never have a bad day, I do. I cross paths with rude people and unexpected challenges almost every day. However, the choose a good day mindset is changing how I respond. Initially, it resulted in me realizing, days later, that I could have made a different choice. Gradually, days later became the same day. And now, I am recognizing my choice of reactions much closer to when those potential day spoilers happen. The more that this concept becomes a part of my default thought process the less time I spend having a bad day.

My choose a good day campaign has been successful. Some of my family members return the favor and tell me to choose a good day. As a result, I’ve decided to expand my campaign to friends and strangers. I’m going to drop have a good day (night/weekend/week/month/year/life) from my vocabulary.  Instead, I’m going to tell people they have the choice.  I’ll know that I’ve been successful when a perfect stranger tells me to choose a good day. Spread the word, we all have a choice.  Choose wisely.


I hope you all choose a good day.


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Featured Image Source[3]

[1]“Viktor E. Frankl Quotes.”
[2]“A Quote from If Only It Were True.”
[3]“Free Image on Pixabay – Day, Start, Smile, Good Mood, Joy.”
“A Quote from If Only It Were True.” Goodreads. Accessed January 29, 2017. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/638920-imagine-there-is-a-bank-account-that-credits-your-account.
“Free Image on Pixabay – Day, Start, Smile, Good Mood, Joy.” Pixabay. Accessed January 29, 2017. https://pixabay.com/en/day-start-smile-good-mood-joy-960049/.
“Viktor E. Frankl Quotes.” BrainyQuote. Accessed January 29, 2017. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/v/viktorefr160380.html.

2 thoughts on “Why I don’t tell my wife and kids to have a good day

  • February 1, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Nice read, Brian. I prefer not to put a ‘good’ label, honestly. Something more like ’embrace the day’ I feel is powerful for my kiddo. Good/great is a modifier that is different for all and, frankly, life just isn’t all good. If you embrace what happens good/bad/weird/up/down, you truly live life in all its form. Embracing life, however, is a choice as well.

    • February 4, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks! I like that. Embracing life and all that it brings is my goal as well.



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