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Leadership Thought #349 – Every Morning Is a Blessing

May 7, 2012

Free Landscape Photography of Green Mountains Stock Photo

Every new morning is an opportunity to have a great day!

I’m guessing it is a function of getting older, but I wake up much earlier these days.  At first this used to frustrate me.  Although I was never a late sleeper, I did enjoy sleeping until the alarm clock woke me (which was always set too late).  Now I don’t even need an alarm clock.  It took some getting used to, but I eventually started to see my morning time as a gift.  I tend to get a lot done before the typical day even starts, including this blog.

Many of us end up rushing through our day.  There are very few moments of reflection and solitude.  It can often feel like you are on a treadmill with the weeks running together and deadlines and other pressing responsibilities peering around every corner.  Instead of being a gift, time has become a burden.  Somehow, at least for me, being up before everyone else and having an hour or two to think about and ease into my day has made things much less stressful.  I rarely start my day “behind the eight ball” anymore and feel much more in control of what’s happening.

Unfortunately, neither one of my kids shares my enthusiasm for waking up early.  I am sure I didn’t when I was their age either.  However, I believe this time for me alone in the morning is good for all three of us.  It allows me the space to properly wake up, focus and re-center before they are awakened.  I usually wake them with the words “welcome to another day” and mean it.  I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be, but I’m confident they’d say their dad is in a good mood most mornings. I think it’s unfair for those around you to wake up and act up in a grumpy mood.  It’s also exceedingly immature and selfish as you get older.

I’ve always envied people who sleep well.  We are all regularly bombarded with news about the importance of sleeping a full 8 hours each night.  Sadly, this has never been the case with me.  I used to feel frustrated by this fact and toss and turn in bed just to force myself to spend more time trying to hit this goal.  My mom would tell me this was silly and that I was wasting time that could have been better spent.  It’s also true that the more you obsess about something the less enjoyable it becomes.   I’ve come to realize that a good 6-7 hours on a regular basis works fine for me and that the occasional rough night is to be expected.  What’s more important is how I wake up and approach each day.

Mornings are special.  The full process of experiencing a new day beginning with the birds singing and sunrise appearing is a reminder of the beauty and wonder of life.  The quiet solitude of being alone with your thoughts for a brief period with a cup of coffee or tea is good for the soul.  Give yourself some time to think about what you eat, and you will eat a healthier breakfast.  If you can fit in some time for exercise that’s a bonus.  Instead of launching into your days with the weight of stressful energy and bleary-eyed disappointment, embrace the morning time as an opportunity to assert positive control over your energy, thoughts, health, and overall attitude.  It will make a significant difference!