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Good or Bad is Bad!

How will your week go? What will your day be like? How’s it going?

The dynamic we typically think in is “good or bad.” It filters in our language and becomes our response.

Mindset tends to follow language. The words we speak become the framing for how we think about different topics. So when you say “good” or “bad” to describe things, it becomes the basis for how you think.

In the life of a teacher, good and bad dynamics can be incredibly harmful to our mindset. Consider some of the following situations…

You are having a phenomenal lesson where most students are engaged, but two fall asleep and another three are on their phone. Was it a good or bad lesson?

A student shows you potential in some moments, but doesn’t turn in their work consistently and causes distractions in class. Are they a good or bad student?

You were exhausted and ran late to work, feeling frazzled in the morning. You eventually caught yourself up and finished your work day. Was it a good day or bad day?

The problem with good and bad is that it creates a relationship of extremes. When we own those extremes, we lose out on much of the reality. The truth is, most things are not ALL good or ALL bad. They are much closer to a middle point.

So where is the harm?

Many of us beat ourselves up and allow small moments to put us into the “bad” column. When we describe a bad day, we often list 3-5 things that made it bad, on a day where 80-100 things actually happened.

The all bad and all good approach does not allow you to say, “I had a day” and glean the positives and negatives from that day alike. Because there is no room to view both sides of it, your mind reinforces the view that these things must be good or bad.

In this good bad mind-frame, a naturally positive person has blinders on and misses the negative moments that they need to be experiencing and learning from. The naturally negative person loses the joy and spark of positive moments in the midst of things they classified as bad.

When we talk about “balance” in terms of well being, most of us think about balance in life and in schedule. But one place we all need more balance is in good or bad conversations. We need a place in the middle, where we can take in each moment and situation and see it for what it is, without allowing it to impact every other moment.

Next time someone wishes you a good day, you can smile knowing that your day will probably be good AND bad. You can relish the positive moments and challenge yourself to learn and grow through the negative ones. They can exist together!


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