A day is a war, not a battle

We all have bad days.

I’m having a bad day right now. For me, bad days are usually a consequence of losing to myself and the tasks I set out to do.

Maybe I was supposed to complete a certain task or I was supposed to work x amount of hours or I was supposed to write an article, but somehow all I found myself doing was everything BUT the task at hand. Simply put, I loss the battle against myself in that moment.

I used to (and still do sometimes) view my days as a battle.

I have the best version of myself who is trying to do everything right and tries to keep myself on track to a better future. This version is responsible for pushing me through a workout even though I’m sore, writing another article even though I have no inspiration, being productive at work because I want to be a good employee, making that YouTube video even though no one watches, going through that coding tutorial because it’s aligned with my future goals, etc.

On the other side, there’s the worst version of myself who only wants to satisfy his primal needs and do everything that seems good in this very moment with no regards for a better future. This version is responsible for binge watching YouTube for hours because I need to watch that 5th video of food cooked in 4 different levels, not doing that workout even though I’m on a 23 days streak simply because I’m too sore or too tired, eating a whole pizza because I just can’t help myself, heading over to xvideos or pornhub even though I’m on a 3 months nofap streak, not making that YouTube video because it seems hopeless, etc.

Every time the worst version of myself won the battle, my usual response would be to dig myself into a deeper hole. I already lost, I told myself, so why not just throw everything away. Don’t work, watch YouTube, watch that show, stuff yourself with junk and don’t do anything aligned with your future goals; you can always restart tomorrow. Needless to say, at the end of those days, I’d usually feel like shit.

However, as any great general would tell you, a battle is exactly that, just a battle.

I was under the erroneous impression that the outcome of my day would be the outcome of a single battle, but I was wrong. A day isn’t a single battle. It is comprised of many battles. Some are big and important and some are smaller and less important. Sometimes you lose important ones and sometimes you don’t. Nevertheless, the outcome of your day is not the outcome of a single battle; it is the sum of the outcomes of all your battles. A day is not a battle, it is a war !

And I was doing the equivalent of losing 1 battle and throwing the whole war away… No wonder shit didn’t feel good at the end of the day.

So, what should I do instead?

Try to win the other battles !!

Indeed, when my day was viewed as a single battle, I’d either win (1/1) or lose (0/1).

100% or nothing.

But now, when I view my day as a war, not as a battle, even if at the very start of the day I lose a battle, I still have the whole day to rack up wins.

I might start with something like 0/1, but if I get everything else right, I might end up with 7 wins and 3 losses ie 7/10 record.

Essentially, not winning all battles, but winning the war !

And I understand, sometimes it’s hard. That loss wasn’t just 1 loss. It was the Invasion of Normandy aka D-Day. A big loss. Sometimes it’s impossible to win the war after such a huge loss, but at least you can try to minimize the casualties right? aka win as much small battles as possible and start fresh tomorrow.

This was simply a reminded to myself. As I said, I took a loss this morning and I was ready to throw everything away, but I stopped myself and wrote this article instead.

I’m now with 1 win and 1 loss. 50% sure is better than 0% 🙂