Bryan Gillette: Putting a Bad Day in Perspective

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When the day isn’t going so well, Bryan Gillette tries to put things in perspective.

I was on a bicycle ride the other day when I heard a hissing sound. Then my bike started to slow down as the front tire went flat. My immediate response was, well, not appropriate for radio. I was frustrated and annoyed and wanted to be upset because of this 10-minute delay. But I quickly realized that I was on a bicycle ride in the middle of a beautiful day along the foothills of the East Bay. I wasn’t sitting at a desk worrying about some report that was late, I wasn’t stuck in traffic, I wasn’t fighting cancer and I wasn’t fighting in an unexplainable war. I was on a bike ride.

Several years ago while running 30 miles in preparation for a much longer run, I started whining to myself how my legs were tired and it was hot. It was hot and my legs were tired. But, after bemoaning about my difficult situation, I remembered a friend who was dealing with a real challenge. She was fighting breast cancer. I voluntarily signed up for my pain. She didn’t. I could stop at any time. She couldn’t. My pain was temporary. Hers would be around for a while. I stopped whining and moved on.

I learned a valuable lesson on that hot miserable day and that is people were going through far worse than I was. There is always someone who is in a worse situation. And, there is also someone in a much better situation.

It doesn’t mean that my pain isn’t real but it does help me put my problems into perspective and manage through what ever challenges I am experiencing. It helps me realize that I will likely come through just fine when I recognize that they too, for the most part, came out of their situations and are stronger.


Now back to my bike ride. I stopped complaining about my airless tire, changed the tube and continued on my way. I was on my bike enjoying the sunshine and open roads. I am putting things in perspective.

With a Perspective, I am Bryan Gillette.

Bryan Gillette owns a leadership and executive coaching business in the East Bay.