Attitude is everything. I’ve heard that a lot in my life, and it wasn’t until the last couple of years (and especially the last couple of months) that I’ve started to finally believe it. Our perception can totally shape our reality.
I am not a morning person at all. I’ve grown to accept that, even though there was always something about being a morning person that seemed to be the only way to be productive. Anyway, the point is I really don’t like waking up early—even if it’s fifteen or twenty minutes earlier than I’m used to.
As a result, when I actually need to wake up early, I’m absolutely miserable. I dread it. I think about the alarm going off, I think about how I need to sleep earlier to make up for it, and I end up being so unhappy when it finally goes off (if I’m not up long before it, which is what normally happens). My attitude completely dictates my mood. I end up feeling terrible because I’ve set myself up to feel that way!
Recently, I tried something different. I viewed waking up early as a neutral to positive thing. Something to look forward to. It sounded heretical, but I thought like: I can totally do that ‘fake it till you make it’ thing. Any time I had a negative thought about waking up early, I immediately stopped it and replaced it with a positive one. Even if I was effectively lying to myself: "Waking up early tomorrow is going to be awesome!!!"
The result? I slept through the night perfectly fine, and I woke up only 1 minute before the alarm went off instead of 15 or 30 minutes before. I felt rested and it was like waking up at my normal time. It was the strangest thing, but my attitude change totally made it possible.
We basically give strength to the things we focus on. If we focus on negative aspects of anything— waking up early, projects we don’t want to work on, sitting in traffic— well, then that’s what is going to get more powerful in our mind. Waking up early will become worse. Projects will seem to stretch on forever. Even an extra five minutes of traffic will feel like a life time. What if instead we flip it around and try to come up with one positive thing about something we dislike? Even if we kind of fake it, or lie about it? What might happen?
Waking up early might become rewarding— you have more quiet time before the craziness of the day starts. Maybe you can even watch a tv show you enjoy or play a quick Star Fox 64 mission on your 3DS (something I’m totally not doing right now....😉).
That project might be good to teach you something— even if you're simply learning what you don't like! That can be a positive thing: learning what you don’t like. Maybe you can change the project up, or suggest a change that will make it more fun for you and your team? Who knows. I’m willing to bet there’s one small thing you can do to make it more enjoyable--or make it a learning experience!
For those long car rides, you could find a podcast that you like and learn something new. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Invent stories about the people in cars around you. You can get lost in those thoughts (while making sure you pay attention to safe driving, of course).
My point with all of this is that the way you perceive things can change your reality and improve your life. They say time flies when you’re having fun— this is why! You’re engaged and enjoying everything, and you stop paying attention to the time ticking by (versus those times when the clock honestly seems to tick backwards).
If you can start to find the positive in things, you can start to enjoy way more in life. When you’re enjoying things, you’re happier and you’re far more likely to be productive! Which is what we’re all about, right?
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