Having a bad day? How about trying to turn it into something good?
That's what Merle Haggard, one of my favorite country artists of the old school, did years ago when Dean Holloway, the driver of his band's tour bus, was annoyed after having to sit in the sweltering heat, minding the bus. Haggard asked him how he was doing. His answer was "I'm tired of this dirty old city."
The line caught Haggard's attention. He sat down with Holloway and started to create a story about the dissatisfaction of a worker in Detroit and his desire to get his family out of the city (although the dirty city Holloway was talking about was Los Angeles). Haggard asked Holloway where he'd rather be; the driver said Montana, and the singer-songwriter worked that into the lyrics as well.
Haggard finished the song in about ten minutes. He'd just completed a recording session but his band was still there and he got them to record the song right away. Within an hour or so he was able to play a tape recording of the song for Holloway.
The song, "This City," became Haggar'ds 28th number one single on the country charts. He split the proceeds 50-50 with Holloway, a long-time friend.
You can read the whole story on the Wall Street Journal website, here.
Once in a while, what's bothering you can also become what's inspiring you.