Make it a very good day, I insist.

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Like all of us, I have my good days and my bad days. Although most of the time I feel energized to go to the office, see my colleagues, and work for the betterment of Georgia Tech, there are times when I simply feel frustrated, tired, upset, disappointed, and ready to give up. This could result from a failure to carry out ideas that I hold dear to my heart. It could be the result of personal disagreements. Maybe it’s frustration with bureaucracy. Some days it could be anxiety about difficult decisions and uncertainty. And it can certainly be the result of failures from past decisions.

At times, we all feel overwhelmed by circumstances, anxious, alone in our troubles, or desperate. It is important to first recognize that these emotions are common to all of us and make us human. And second, that we do not have to face them alone. Georgia Tech is a community of overachievers and competitive individuals, but I have always found it to be a caring community full of people who go out of their way to help colleagues in need. We should never be afraid to ask for help when needed. There is always someone willing to listen and help us navigate life’s obstacles.

In my bad days — and I have had my share of very bad days during my personal and professional life — I always fall back on the knowledge that on balance I have enjoyed a good life. I use a simple strategy to cope and remind me of that good. I engage in banter, in simple acts that establish rapport with others. I build a reliable, fun network of people who remind me of the important things in life. They are Jennifer, Ken, Primus, Stephanie, Renee, Robbie, Susie, and several others. Our little traditions, quips, and jokes certainly help me keep my balance and, hopefully, help them also. I also have the advantage of having Fred, my “therapist.” Fred manages the front desk where I live. Each day he says good morning as I leave for work and then commands: “Make it a very good day, I insist.”

I do not dare disobey Fred, and I always leave with a smile.

- Rafael L. Bras



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    Susie Ivy
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    Susie Ivy
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