Episode 102 | The Compound Effect of Bad Days

Bad days don’t just happen to us. We are involved in their creation whether we know it or not. 

A string of bad days has a real impact on our wellbeing… and our future. 

“Getting through” the hard stuff is a great skill, but not if it becomes your normal operating system.

When survival mode is your only mode, your future is sacrificed.

We must consider this when we recognize our own discontent. 

If what you are experiencing in your life or career right now is NOT what you want long term, then you must consider what’s been creating it. 

As you gain awareness around the influences, you become aware of the opportunities. 

Truth is, YOU are the only one who holds the keys. 

YOU have the power to create something different. 

YOU are not meant to just survive.

Thriving is your birthright! 

It’s why you are here. 

It’s what the rest of the universe needs you to do!

If you’re not sure where to start, check out my resources below:

Free Masterclass: Finding Life-Purpose in Times of Chaos. 


Aligned Living Bootcamp




Free Masterclass: Finding Life-Purpose in Times of Chaos. 


Aligned Living Bootcamp



Thank you so much for listening! If this episode supported you in any way, the best way you can pay forward is by taking a screenshot of this episode and sharing it on social media or with your team, and tag me!


This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos.

How the compound effect of your bad days is limiting what's possible for you in the future. That's what we're talking about in episode 102. Hey there, I'm Cari Wise, after graduating from veterinary school over 20 years ago, struggling to create balance and failing to protect my mental health and emotional wellbeing, I finally ditched all the rules and forged my own path forward.

I used my professional education in ways I didn't even know were possible. And through that journey, I developed a deep sense of who I am, a brand new set of skills, and a clear understanding of what I'm meant to contribute to the world. Each week here in the Intentional Joy Podcast, I'll share what I've learned along the way in order to help you develop your own deep sense of personal identity and connection with yourself so you can live an empowered life on your terms too.

This is what I call aligned living, and it begins with intentional joy. So if you're ready to claim this for yourself, let's go. Hello, my friend. Welcome to the Intentional Joy Podcast. This is episode 102. Now, if you are expecting the Joyful DVM podcast, you're in the right place. E, simply change the name with episode 100.

And today in episode 102, I'm gonna be talking about the compound effect of bad days. It's very common for us at the end of the day to look back over what happened and to categorize that day is either good or bad. Our brains like to look at things in a binary way, this or that, right or wrong, good or bad. And so when we look at our days overall and we consider how was today,

or somebody asks us, how was your day? Most of us don't jump to, it was amazing. It was a fascinating, it was a wonderful day. As the answer, a lot of us say, oh, it was a bad day, or it was a stressful day, or it was a hard day. We categorize it in the bad categories,

if you will, and the bad emotions. And so we want to take a look for a few minutes here at the compound effect of this. The way that our world is often has us connecting with each other through our challenging experiences, we can relate to our struggles. When we think about how our days are in and out inside of our careers, we often describe them as busy as overwhelming.

We might even call 'em a shit show depending on what you're doing and what you're focused on and what has happened. And as we continue to look at the way that our days go down through this kind of lens, which is a very normal lens, there is an actual compounding effect that we may not even recognize. So why do we do this? First off,

we just wanna recognize that part of our human brain looks at everything, everything through the lens of negativity. Now, it's not trying to be a negative Nancy, it's just trying to keep you safe. It truly believes there are threats out there that are really life and death, and sometimes it's right. So once in a while, we are in a situation where,

where it's a true life or death kind of threat. And when our brain alerts to something like that, we're very grateful. We're very thankful that it does that. But 99.9% of the time, our light, our brains set off these alerts, these alarms that just aren't really on task. They're not that big of a deal. They're not life threatening,

but we don't know that. And so because our brain likes to be scanning the horizon all the time, looking for the negative, we often discuss our lives, our jobs, our relationships through the lens of negativity. It's a habit. It's something that we've learned, but it has a real impact that we probably don't even realize. I know that we don't even realize how this is actually compounding to create something we really don't want for ourselves.

Now, like I said, it's very useful when that part of the brain that's scanning for the negative finds a truth threat and alerts us to that. But it's very rare that that happens. Mostly it's misfiring, mostly it's just categorizing everything through catastrophe. And we can relate to each other through catastrophe, especially when we're in situations where we're in high pressure jobs or high stress situations.

Connection with other people is a very vital part of our survival. And so being able to connect with other people to relate with other people in these, these challenging times is helpful from a a human perspective of connection that need to be part of the herd, that need to be accepted. And there is power in frustration. There's power in anger, at least false power.

When we commiserate, anger always feels better than fear. But when we start to talk about the quality of our days and we categorize them as good days and bad days, and we start stacking on the label of bad days. And even if you're not outwardly talking about this with somebody, if you're in your mind just thinking about your day, just getting through another day,

surviving through another day, forcing your way through another day, then you have to know how this is having a compound effect on you. And most of us have no idea. So today what I wanted to do is share exactly how this is influencing you and influencing the life that you're creating for yourself in the future, because this is the part that we miss,

that pushing through day by day, just getting by, getting through another day, that's having an impact on your future. And you're just don't even know that yet. I know I didn't know it for years. See, the truth is that the experience that you're having today in your life is the result of decisions that you made before this moment. The quality of your life today is the result of prior decisions.

And those prior decisions were created by the prior ways that you thought about things. So your thought patterns, your belief systems, the way that you interpret the world, your perspective, all of that, all of our thought processes create emotion. And those emotions then drive our actions. And those actions include our decisions. And so it's the, the compounding effect of that,

the cumulative effect, I should say, of all of that that's created what you're experiencing today. Now, I know some of you may say, but Carrie, I didn't create the way that so-and-so client spoke with me, or I didn't create the way that we were scheduled today to be down for people. And this is true. I wanna honor that.

This is true. You did not create that. But what you did create is your experience of it. Whether or not those variables turned your day into a good day or a bad day was the part that you did control. And so as we start to look at those variables that we don't control, and we look at the way that they influence us through a lens of negativity,

through a lens of victimization, then we start compounding on bad day after bad day, after bad day. And as we do that, it just continues to stack this idea of being a victim of our circumstances. It continues to stack evidence to believe systems of like, I chose the wrong career field. This is the worst decision ever. This is the worst place to work.

These are the worst people to work for. I'm never gonna have any free time. I'm never gonna have a life. I'm only gonna enjoy my life once I get to retire. I only need to make it three more days until I can get a day off whatever way that you're looking at it, if it's through that kind of negative lens. And you'll notice through all those things I said,

there is a a, a theme of negativity there that's having a very real impact on you. So survival mode really useful if we're truly in the crosshairs of something that's trying to kill us. But we aren't 99.9% of the time not in the modern world. And so we have to start to really pay attention to how our nervous system is reacting to what happens around us,

us. And this is a learned behavior. We can unlearn it. That's the most beautiful thing. We can unlearn it. And as we continue to look at our lives and even the days and the events of the days through any kind of lens of negativity, which this adds on, that we are victims, that we are behind the eight ball, that we are inconvenienced,

that we are, we are limited. As we continue to look at our lives through those kinds of lenses, then what happens to our nervous system is a very real consequence, that negative emotion that's created as we consider our lives through a lens of negative negativity. That negative emotion stacks up. It plays into what I call your net emotional state, which is your average emotional state.

It's the the overall like how your mood, if you will. And so if we look at a 24 hour period and in that 24 hour period, more than half of the time we're looking at things through a lens of negativity, we're talking about things in a negative way. We're recounting the events of the day through a negative story in the moment of it,

we are frustrated and angry and feeling disrespected because of what's happening. If all of that emotion together adds up to more than 50% negativity on the negative side, on the lower side of, of a neutral baseline, then what's gonna happen in your life is that the actions that you take are gonna be more than 50% not useful in moving you toward what you want.

Our actions are driven by our emotions. So if your emotions more than 50% of the time are below neutral, so below neutral, angry, frustrated, bitter, jaded, resentful, disrespected and convenienced, overwhelmed, depressed, worried, any of those kinds of emotions, if that's what's making up most of the emotion that you experience day in and day out,

then just recognize that those kinds of emotions don't support the actions that create change in your life to produce the things that you dream about, the goals that you have for the future. Our future is be being created by the decisions that we make today. Those decisions include the way that we behave, the actions that we take. And so we have to be considering what is the compounding effect of a bad day,

of a negative emotion is what it's gonna create in the future. What I want for myself, and this is the part that so many of us miss, myself included, for years and years and years, I figured out really well how to get through a bad day, how to cope. I figured out how to make myself feel better by running through Starbucks or grabbing ice cream on the way home,

or just getting home and vegging out on the couch so I could just buffer away all the emotions until I had to get up and do it all over again. But what I didn't realize was that as I continued in that pattern day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, that the things I wanted for my life and for my future just kept saying further and further away.

I didn't realize that getting through a day, just simply getting through a day was going to keep the future that I wanted away from me. It's survival mode. What is survival mode? Survival mode is literally just like surviving this moment. And yeah, gold star, you're still here, but you're not just supposed to be here. You're supposed to thrive.

You're supposed to grow. You're supposed to pursue the things that interest you. You are supposed to listen to that calling inside of you that want something different, want something more. That thing that you dream about or things that you dream about, that type of life that you envision only in your dream, but you think that you're never gonna get it, my friends,

you need to pay attention to those things. Every single one of us has goals and dreams and things that we're interested in, and it's all very intentional. It's all a very intentional part of the reason that you are here. But if you continue to live in survival mode, just making it through one day to the next, to the next, you will not make progress toward bringing all of those dreams and goals and interests into your reality.

You can't. There's nothing left in the tank. Survival mode is simply just just getting through the day and doing it all over again. And I know in the profession of veterinary medicine, it's very easy to end up on that hamster wheel where you're just doing the same thing over and over and over again, and it's so emotionally overwhelming a lot of the time that you just,

as soon as you get off work, you just wanna shut it off. You make it go away by whatever means that is buffering it away with television or overeating or overdrinking or all kinds of different things that don't actually add to what we're trying to create intentionally. As we continue that pattern of survival, nothing ever changes. Have you noticed that the days keep ticking by,

but then as soon as you have a day off, as soon as you have a little bit of downtime, most of us are so overwhelmed with all the thoughts that spin around in our minds, it's almost easier to go back to work because then at least you're busy and your focus isn't on yourself. Your focus isn't on the little thoughts in your head that don't have anything else to counter them.

Your focus isn't on the the emotion the way that it feels. Your focus, you can stay distracted and action makes a really good buffer, a really good cover up for emotion. Staying busy has actually become a coping mechanism for us. But even saying busy that busyness is being driven by anxiety is being driven by worry. It's being driven by fear. And so the emotion of that,

the emotion behind that is still pulling your net emotional state down, which means you can work really, really hard. And I mean truly working hard, putting in a lot of great work, helping a lot of people, serving a lot of people. But if you're doing it in a way where the way that you think about it as you're doing it and afterwards falls into the negative side of the spectrum,

you're not doing yourself any favors because you're not building toward your own future. You're simply existing. You'll survive that way, but you won't thrive. And so for many of us, this is exactly where burnout comes from. We just keep doing the same thing over and over and over again. But we haven't figured out a way to balance it. We haven't figured out a way to separate ourselves from the negative emotion of it.

Now, I'm not saying that the key here is to turn every day into a wonderful day. There's gonna be stuff that happens in the world that we can't control, whether that's at work or in the world in general in our relationships. There's lots of things that we will never be able to control, but what we can control always is the story that we tell ourselves about it.

And part of that includes and requires developing a skill of seeing all of the perspectives and deciding intentionally what we wanna believe. Because until we actually become active participants in our own thought processes, it's almost impossible to create a life that's on the upper side of the more positive side of the emotional spectrum. This is so important for you to hear. It takes active participation because if we are left to our own devices,

if our brain is left to its own, its own programmed response, remember that response is always one of reaction. It's one of of scanning for the negative, automatic negative thinking. It's always looking for a threat. And if that's the only programming in our minds, then we will only see three things through the lens or through the shadow of negativity, which means everything that we experience will bring with it negative emotion.

That's that's a very passive way to live, number one. And I'm not, not trying to be critical, I just want you to understand what's happening. It's a passive way to live, and that's how we have been taught really is just react, react, react. And then when you get into a profession that has a high stakes as high pressure situations,

truly life and death situations that you have to deal with, of course reacting is part of our job, but if that's the only way that we live our lives, then the net emotional consequence of that is low. And so there isn't anything left over in the tank for us to pursue anything different, different relationships, different interests, different goals. We are passively stuck in a negative self feeding cycle.

We can change it though we have the absolute power to change it. And this is one of the most fascinating things and so important for you to realize that simply by starting to change the way that you look at your life and intentionally actively looking for the positive, you will start to shift your net emotional state. It will start to go up, and it's only through these tiny shifts,

the compounding effect of intentional thinking that you're going to change your net emotional state for the positive, take different actions and create a different future for yourself. You will not create anything different for yourself if you don't become actively involved in the process. And being actively involved in the process does not mean jumping into a lot of forced action. This is the way that our world has taught most of us to exist.

If there's something that you want just work really, really hard and make it happen, for many of us who have gone through a professional program of any kind, that's exactly how we got through. Just work really hard and you'll make it happen. But if you're driven by fear or by pressure or by obligation, as you work really hard, ultimately you're not gonna create the life that you want.

You might reach some goals, but they're gonna be hard to sustain. And that's why for those of us who have professional degrees, who got there in this manner, we can have the professional degree, which is success if you wanna label it as that. But we don't enjoy it. We don't enjoy the the success that we've achieved. We don't enjoy what should come with it,

and that's simply because we're not looking at it through the right lens. As we start to shift the perspective, then we can change everything. And it has to be an active process at some point. We all become a little discontent in our lives. It's a very normal thing to happen. It usually happens. It kind of starts really boiling in the thirties and then in the forties,

it's kind kind of front and center. We want something different. And this is the point that a lot of us, you've heard about midlife crises, you've heard about people just walking away from their jobs, walking away from their relationships. And the reason that we do this is because we just need something to change. We realize that if we just keep doing the same thing over and over again,

we're not gonna get any kind of different result. We're starting to feel the pressure of time running out. We're getting older. When are we gonna figure this stuff out? And we believe that it's gonna take a drastic change to shift us out of the the hole we've dug ourselves in. Quite honestly. We also at this point might just be blaming a lot of other external variables for the way that our life has unfolded.

And so if we can change those variables, get away from them, we think that it's gonna be different. But for anybody who's approached changing their life in this way, you probably recognize you have some relief for a little bit of time, but then you end up in the same place because we're just approaching it the wrong way. Making those drastic changes may very well be part of your path,

but let's make sure we understand why we're doing it so that we don't repeat the patterns and that we can use those changes to catalyze us and move us further toward what we actually wanna create for ourselves. Now, this is where it can get a little bit tricky because for a lot of us, we are so far removed from ourselves and from what we want and from our dreams that we can't even define it.

We know very clearly that we're not happy with what we have. We recognize that we don't wanna continue this way forever, but we don't even know what we want. We're so far disconnected from who we are, and this is part of the critical part of the process. The compounding effect of negative days not only pulls your entire net emotional stay down, but it disconnects you from your essence,

from your inner truth, from your inner knowing, and that is the greatest guiding force in your entire life. It used to guide you. I promise you, what you just knew guided you. It drove a lot of those earlier decisions. But then once you got into the rat race of a lot of adulthood, especially in this modern world, we just get further and further disconnected the daily pressures,

the daily events without a skillset to manage them. Just start stacking on bad day after bad day after bad day. And that compounding effect pulls down on net. Emotional state pulls us further from our inner guidance system and keeps us from the futures that we want, my friends. Everything that you want for your future is still possible. Let's just start there.

Everything that you want for your future is still possible. I don't care if you're 20 years old or you're 80 years old. Everything that you want is still possible. The only thing you need to do is reengage to step back into the driver's seat. Now, I know that sounds simple, but it is a bit of a process because we've got to unlearn a lot of habits and beliefs that we've picked up along the way.

That's not a problem either though, because you are here to grow. You are here to learn, you are here to evolve. You are here with really only one mission, and that is to become aligned with the truth of who you are. You see, every, every single one of us came here for a reason. We have something to contribute to the world that we live in.

This point in time is not an accident. It's not a problem. It's not a burden. You are perfectly equipped for everything that you've experienced before today and everything you will experience after, and you truly are the creator of your own experience. You just don't know how to do it yet. You just haven't figured it out. And I know I know this because this was exactly the truth for me too.

Now, I'm not saying I've got it all figured out, but what I am saying is that I understand how it works Now, I understand that I get to create for myself what I want for the future, and that the decisions I make today is gonna be what creates the future, not the decisions that I made yesterday or the day before. The decisions of the past created this moment.

The decisions of this moment create tomorrow. And so as I take control in an active way, how I look at my life, how I interact with my job with other people, I can then start stacking on positive day after positive day. Does that mean it's all gonna be sunshine and roses? No, we don't wanna post like paste on false, false optimism,

like that's not what it is. False positivity. That could be called toxic positivity, like where it's just so far outside of the scope of reality that it just doesn't even work in a useful way. But we can be optimistic. Optimism is looking at the bright side, looking at what's possible, and there's always something more possible than what we're experiencing right now.

What you need is just to learn how to hear your own inner guidance system. All the people in the world can't tell you what's right for you. That's something that you know for yourself. And so if you have found that you have been in a loop of surviving day after day after day and getting nowhere, you feel like you're spinning your wheels, you feel like you are stuck,

and you just have to keep doing this because if you do it long enough, then you're what? You're gonna have all your debt paid off, or you're gonna maybe find another job and you'll be able to leave, or you'll be able to retire, or whatever the the qualifier is that you've put on your happiness. What I want you to know is you don't have to wait for that to be happy.

You don't have to wait for that to enjoy your life again. You just have to simply learn how to hear your own internal guidance system once a once more living in alignment. This is living in the true nature of who you are. And this is the most important work that any of us will ever do, is learning how to live in alignment with ourselves.

Notice I didn't say learning how to live in alignment with what the world tells you you should be, or if your parents tell you you should be, or your friends or your family or your clergy. You need to be you. And there's only one you in this world and only you know what's right for you. But many, so many of us have been so conditioned to not trust our own instincts,

that we listen, that we like, ask ourselves that question. As a last resort, we look around us, what are the rules? What are the expectations? What is what makes a successful life? What are, what are they doing? We look at people around us who we think have what we we want, and then we try to emulate them.

But friends, you don't wanna do that because however they're doing it, you only can see the surface level of it to begin with, and their journey is not yours. Your journey is unique to you. As you move into an active being, an active participant in your own journey, in your own life, you start to unlock all of this stuff.

You start to rediscover, reconnect. You start to remember, because my friends, like I said, you already have everything that you need inside of you. You already have your own internal guidance system. It's just that the world's gotten so noisy as you've grown up into your adulthood and into your professional careers that you don't hear it anymore. And I didn't either.

There becomes a point though, where we just have to decide if we are willing to continue existing in this monotonous kind of way, repeating the same thing over and over again, hoping, hoping for a different result, but never putting a plan in place to create one. And as we keep doing that, we have to recognize that we're not gonna move forward if we don't do something different.

If nothing changes, nothing changes. I know you might be wondering, how do I even start? Maybe this resonates with you. Maybe you understand what I'm saying about how your net emotional state is being impacted by this compounding negative days, compounding bad days. Maybe you academically get that, and I hope that you do, and I also hope that you want something different for yourself,

and I can help you with that. I can give you some tips on how you get started with that. Right now, this week I'm gonna be doing five more events of my live webinar series. And my live webinar is called Finding Life Purpose In Times of Chaos. It's more like a masterclass, quite honestly. So these live masterclass, finding life purpose in times of chaos,

the three keys to really living in alignment, that's what this all boils down to. Finding your life purpose in the times of chaos, being staying focused on it really does come down to living in alignment. And inside of this masterclass, I'm teaching you exactly how you learn to live in alignment with yourself is the most important work you will ever do. Because when you learn how to live in alignment with yourself,

with your true nature, then the world can keep right on spinning around in chaos around you. But you stay grounded. You stay focused on what you want, you stay in touch with what you're here to do. You remain guided by your own internal light, and that's something nobody can ever take away from you. So if you felt really disconnected from yourself,

I hope you'll join us in the masterclass. Just jump over to cariwise.com/masterclass and pick a day and time that works for you. All right, my friends that's gonna wrap it up for this episode. I'll see you next time.