By Stephen Martile » Have you ever noticed how important it is to have a solid start to your day? The morning I started this article, I woke up full of energy because I knew I was going to be writing, which is something I love to do. I knew deep down inside that this was going to be an awesome day. I’m sure you can relate.
Think back to the last time you did something exciting. Maybe you were on vacation, started a new job, or went to visit someone you haven’t seen in a long time. You may have had this feeling deep down that everything was perfect. Kind of like when you were a kid on Christmas, waking up at 5a.m. to see what Santa brought.
Well that’s exactly how I feel when I’m doing the things I love and it all starts the moment I wake.
You may think that you’re not a morning person. That’s something people say because they haven’t found what it is that gets them excited, something that works for them. We wake up at the beginning of the week and say to ourselves, “Not another Monday.” Right from the moment we wake we’re focused on what is not working and how crappy things are. We’re focused on the things that we don’t want!
Our guide through all of this is that tiny voice in our heads. You know, the one that is reading this article right now. If you haven’t found it, then just listen as you’re reading. Can you hear it now? There it is. It was there the whole time. You may not even have been conscious that you were doing it! Most people aren’t.
I remember when I was in university and I had to take a computer programming course. I had failed it once and was taking it for the second time.
Exam day came, and I was extremely nervous. When the exam started I noticed that everyone seemed to be really focused. Everyone was into it, everyone except me and the guy sitting next to me. A half hour passed, then another, and another. I still hadn’t written a thing. The guy next to me had given up and left.
I started to panic and began thinking about what was going to happen if I failed the exam. That tiny voice in my head kept telling me: “If I fail the exam, then I will fail this course. If I fail this course, then I will fail out of engineering, and if I fail out of engineering then I will have to move home and get a job somewhere. Maybe work at a gas station or something. I wonder if I can even find a good job?”
I really started to freak out as I glanced up at the clock. It was 1.5 hours into the exam. We were about halfway through.
It was in this moment that I realized something. I thought to myself, “I wonder what a smart guy would do in a situation like this?” This was a better question. Immediately, an image of my roommate flashed into my head. The previous night, he had said to me, “Steve, you’ll be fine. You’ve spent a lot of time preparing for the exam. If you were able to do the assignments, then you’ll be able to do the exam.”
That was when things began to turn for the better. I realized he was right. I had done all this before, so why couldn’t I do it now. I kept repeating those words to myself in my minds-ear. I kept repeating what my roommate had said until that tiny quiet voice grew into a loud determined voice.
Suddenly, everything was flowing and I was writing. I started with the first question and then continued to write the whole exam. It felt good. A couple of weeks later I got my marks back and I had passed. Not too shabby. It was better than working at a gas station. The key point is that I was able to direct my thinking and pull my resources to get the job done.
One of the more effective ways to direct your thinking so that you can access your inner genius is to ask more effective questions. Here are a few you can try, courtesy author and counseller Dr Nate Booth:
JUMP START YOUR DAY QUESTIONS
- What am I most grateful for in my life today?
- Whose day can I make today and how will I do it?
- What am I proudest of in my life today?
- Who can I compliment today?
- What am I most passionate about in life?
- How can I learn and grow today?
- How can I contribute to others?
Try these out and have fun with them. Remember, in those last few moments, right before you wake, you choose how your day is going to go.
How will you start your day?
• Stephen Martile’s personal blog is filled with insights on personal growth. His aim is to inspire others to achieve their own dreams and desires by learning from example. You can check out his blog at www.stephenmartile.com.