Over the course of several years and a couple of startups, I’ve evolved my morning routine to establish a foundation that is prepared for almost anything that might come my way that day.
My morning routine has become “windshield wipers for my soul” allowing me to take inventory of my emotions, physical state and intentions for the day. It’s the most cost-effective therapy you can find.
“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.” — Julia Cameron
Start with a spiritual foundation.
Spirituality, not religion, is a significant part of any human and to ignore that is to deny yourself peace in a large portion of your life. I personally use an app called First15 that provides a daily devotional based on the Christian religion. It allows me to think outside of myself and start the day by killing my ego. (Additional Reading Ego Is The Enemy)
This morning, the topic was “A Lifestyle Of Continual Forgiveness”. Before I checked email, social media, or allowed the world to invade my head, I was taking account of those that I need to forgive and those that I need to ask forgiveness from.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it kills your enemies” — Nelson Mandela
When I first starting meditating, I was at the end of my rope and desperate to try anything, even hippie things like meditation.
Oh how ignorant I was!
I use an app called Headspace that provides verbal instructions in a delightful British accent. At first it was hard to calm my thoughts, even ten minutes was excruciating, but very quickly I came to see results in my day as I become less volatile and slow to anger while focusing on listening to others.
After faith, family and friends, my completed journals might be my favorite object in this world. To see stacks of journals is to see a physical representation of my life, my struggle and my successes. They represent who I was when I wrote those words and the provide evidence for how I have changed. They provide a reminder of that situation two years ago that was going to forever ruin your business was only chapter in the long journey. By memorializing the problem, in painful details, you can look back and realize that the majority of the time the answer came out of left field at which point you receive joy, in greater value than the pain, and chuckle in embarrassment remembering how stressed you were. So today when a crisis arises you can remember the journey you’ve been on, take a deep breath, slow down the entire day and focus, without panic, on how to move forward successfully.
I have used the following methods during different seasons of my life and they are all great tools that are applicable at different times.
These methods have been honed after years of tweaking and represent where I am right now, but I also am willing to keep learning and evolving as my life and circumstances change.
I have created a pattern in my life that causes me to crave this time and become protective of it, no matter how early I have to get up.
In all of these items there is a direct correlation based on how much you put in to how much you can get benefit. The more authentic and transparent you are with yourself, the better the results will be.
I recently has a conversation with a friend who expressed concern about someone reading their journal and seeing how scared, weak and (enter your struggle here) they really are. The comments reminded me of the fact that we all think that we are the only one that struggles with that particular issue when the reality is that we all struggle.
Leaving a journal for your children to peruse will be much better than any financial inheritance you can leave them. It will be the ultimate guide to help them through the struggle that they will eventually have, written by someone that they share DNA with.