It's said the way to greater contentment is accepting the things we can't change, and giving the ones we can a bit of a push.
On an off-day, it's not always easy to lift yourself long enough to see the division between the two. Let alone change anything for the better.
A good way to begin feeling different is to fake it. Start thinking, behaving or saying the opposite of how you're feeling. Go wild. Give yourself a bit of room, even just for a moment or two, to elevate your thinking out of the same old, same old.
Recently I've been working under rather trying circumstances that have left me feeling less than happy for a while. Thankfully, the lovely Ivor who sits next to me, delivers a Masterclass in fakery just by the way he speaks.
'How are you doing?'
'Truly beautiful,' he says with a genuine smile that belies the rubbish we've both had to put up with.
(Even better is the absurdity of his 'living the dream' response, which by anyone's standards, we're not.)
What's great is that his repetition is rubbing off on me. Now I'm faking it. It's getting quite tricky for me to deliver the line without smiling. And we know how infectious that is. Before I know it, faking it takes me off on a journey through my little grey cells for other things that make me smile.
Yesterday it was comedian Les Dawson. Gurning. Tinkling the ivories of the grand piano, smiling Liberace-style at the audience whilst smashing out all the wrong notes. One-liners like 'I can tell when the mother- in-law's coming round…the mice throw themselves on the traps'.
Suddenly, I have another perspective. A different take on things, a break from making heavy weather of every day and a desire to stop fighting the things I can't do much about right now, to have a pop at something I can. Now that's what I call truly beautiful.