Giving Your Mornings Up to Technology
An IDC Research report published in 2013, stated that 63% (out of 7,500 people surveyed) reach for their phone within 15 minutes of waking up each morning—that number leaps to 74% for the younger generation ages 18-24 year olds. When we wake up in the morning and go directly to our smartphones we start are morning with what I call "Reaction Energy" . Responding or even reading a text or email put us in a mode of reaction. As soon as we see it we are primed to think in terms of call & response and not intention. Our actions will not be our own but counters to the actions of another. Why would we give our volition to a text, when we have the power to choose our mornings and what we put into them? The inputs of the world around us, be they text, email, Snapchat or the news, are selfish in nature. Each of these are vying for your time. There goal is to in-put the information that they deem as in important into your life. They have no concern for your goals your dreams or ambitions. They only desire your attention and consumption. This may sound harsh but it is true. Whether a family member or an advertiser, we all have needs and 9 times out of 10 the person on the other side of the phone wants to be seen, heard or responded to. How does this benefit you and push your towards your dreams, and your goals? It doesn't. So here are my challenges for you as you begin to take back your mornings.
Challenge 1: "Put down your phone."
Giving Your Mornings Up to Worry
In the same way for those of us who don't experience withdrawals from their phones in the morning, I say to you what internal reactionary inputs are you hooked up to when you arise? Is it worry? Do you wake thinking of the past day and all it's problems; the argument you and your partner got in before bed. Or was it future focused? Did you concern yourself with the upcoming pressures of your day: the fast approaching deadline at work, the presentation, the upcoming election. Worry is a dreadful experience; and mostly useless at that. The truth is worry does not change ones circumstances! It is a looming specter that robs us of clear thinking and more importantly happiness. It is merely a thought. Why give your morning to a thought that hampers your hope and sours your day upon waking? Here's
Challenge 2: "Take your mind off your worries..."
"Worry does not change one's circumstances. It is a looming specter that robs us of clear thinking and more importantly happiness. It is merely a thought."
Have you ever woken up in the morning not knowing where you were? Or better yet, have you woken up in the morning feeling great until you remembered some problem that you had forgotten about? Have you felt that good feeling disappear as soon as you remembered your woes. Pretty amazing experience. That tells us that all negativity is based on a thought about a thing whether real or false, it is the thought; the narrative, the story attributed to a thing that determines its affect on you and NOT the thing itself.
I say all this to say that what you think about; the things you marinate on in your morning will paint what the rest of your day will look like. It is not circumstances but your story surrounding the circumstances
For this reason I want to offer those addicted to information and those addicted to worry a powerful method to create the mornings that will change your life for the better by shifting your thinking from circumstance driven to intention driven...
Taking Back Your Morning by Building a Morning Ritual
A morning ritual is a group of tasks that you engage in every morning. It is a tradition. It is not a religious thing as much as it is a sacred thing for you and you alone. This is a time that you dedicate solely to yourself. A time where you decide exactly what to focus on and how you want to feel for the rest of your day. It is also something that you and only you can create. There is no one size fits all. For that reason I will share with you my simple morning ritual that allows me to detach from the worries of yesterday, today, and tomorrow while connecting to the gratitude of yesterday and excitement for today and tomorrow.
My Morning Ritual:
Each one of these tasks has an extreme value to them. I will go into detail about each one in a separate blog but what I will say is that they hit all aspects of the person I am trying to be. These rituals remind me of who I am and desire to be. They set me up for success and don't say that as a cliche. They reduce stress increase cognitive capacity which makes me significantly more likely to perform at my best and make better decisions. They all also me to focus on the good things in my life which has been scientifically proven to increase levels of happiness. These 5 things are my morning inputs. It's not the news or a friend's text or a business email or worst a worry. I choose my morning to launch me into my day hopeful excited and grateful.
My Challenge to You
Create your own morning ritual. Find the emotions that are important for you to feel in the morning and find what simple things can help you feel them. I heavily recommend including a gratitude list in it. Maybe instead of meditation you choose prayer. (I oscillate between the two myself.) Maybe you have a favorite motivational video your watch incorporate it. I use watch this video every morning for 6 months. I also created a morning evolution form that I filled out for 40 days and nights which radically focused my efforts on growth. What ever it is, implement it and edit it over time. I've gone through three years editing and continue to tailor it to my need. The great news is the amount of time committed is not as important as the consistency. Your goal is to make it a staple in your life. The more you tune into this space you create in the morning the more control you have in your life and the more joy you will begin to find. Make this practice a tradition and you will begin to see radical shifts in your mood and overall life perspective in just weeks.