One of the life-style changes I’ve implemented for the last few weeks is to wake up at 05:00 and follow a certain routine. Exercise for 20 minutes; pray and meditate for 20 minutes and read for twenty minutes before I depart for work. Waking up has never been the problem; it’s always the getting out of bed to start the day that has been difficult. It has been going really well during the week – I haven’t been brave enough to try weekends!
The strange part of this story though is that I’ve been trying to create this routine for 3 years now. It started by setting my alarm for 04:55 and then another alarm at 05:00. This did not work so I tried setting 3 alarms – did not work. I tried waking up 15 minutes earlier each week – did not work. I read about different ways of getting yourself out of bed like leaving the alarm far enough for you to be forced to get out of bed but close enough for it to be annoying – did not work.
Then something happened.
Or should I say a few things happened. Firstly, I’ve been trying to be more aware and more grateful in my life; secondly I grew tired of all the excuses I kept making and thirdly I heard stories about how some of my colleagues wake up at a ridiculous hour to travel 2 hours to work and that just made me feel like a brat for complaining about not being “able to” get out of bed so early. One day I set one alarm for 05:00 and low and behold woke up and started this routine. Just like that. It’s almost like my mind had broken through this obstacle that kept getting in its way – that whatever I kept telling myself about how “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll wake up just now” was no longer good enough. The most important change though was that I discovered the answer to the “Why” question. To explain: Every morning (for the last 3 years) when I heard my alarm I would have this internal debate about getting out of bed. And no reason to get out seemed better than staying in. Until that morning. I woke up and when I was presented with the “Why” I had an answer that had no counter-argument. I wanted to be better than yesterday. I wanted to compete with no one else but myself. I wanted to stop taking life for granted.
Now, maybe, just maybe I had a similar answer a few weeks, months or years ago and the counter-argument probably would have been “Ah don’t worry, there’s tomorrow” and tomorrow always looks like a better time to start something. But for some reason on that Monday morning, I woke up and thought what if there is no tomorrow? Yes, grim I know. But that thought (especially so early in the morning) drove me to push myself out of bed and start this routine. And now I look back and I wonder why I didn’t start sooner because I really do feel more energetic, aware and relaxed.
I know that positive thoughts are the best and we should always try to stay positive but sometimes it’s these negative questions that push us to our limits; that make us realise we’re wasting away by putting off the things we’ve always wanted to do and to be what we’ve always wanted to be. These questions also make us appreciate the positive more and I think if balanced go hand in hand in driving us in life.
So if there is something you’ve always wanted to do I hope this post takes you at least one step closer to doing it.