Having “Bad Days” Are Important To Living A Meaningful Life

Tim Parkins
2 min readOct 9, 2022

Life is not just about finding joy and pleasure.

We devote so much of our time and energy in seeking joy and pleasure. After all, we want to live well!

But without the “downs”, there are no “ups”.

No one wants to experience sadness, grief, pain, or boredom. But the thing is, you can’t have joy, gratitude, satisfaction, and the other positive emotions without having the opposites as well. They are two-sides of the same coin; they are inextricably linked.

Emotions flow through us all the time. If you close yourself off to experiencing grief, sadness, anger, or any other of the “negative” emotions, you are inevitably also closing yourself off to feeling the positive emotions as well. And I doubt that any of you actually want to do that.

A life with neither positivity nor negativity would be very bland indeed.

The common view is that “good days” are the “right way” to living well, and that “bad days” are things to be avoided. However, they are both an essential part of life. You simply cannot appreciate a good day without having experienced a bad day. Sadness, grief and frustration are as real of a part of life as joy, contentment, and ease are.

We need to feel the emotions that we are going though, whether they are positive or negative. And then we choose how to respond to them. Negative experiences or emotions help us navigate the world; they provide information.

Embrace the idea that we can’t just chase happiness, and you are likely to find more happiness. Just enjoy and appreciate the ups and downs of life; they are all part of this incredible ride.

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Tim Parkins

Career Coach & Work Architect. I help successful but unhappy professionals craft a working life that works for them. https://timparkins.com