Wake Up to your Passion

“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.” — Ernest Hemingway

Have you ever envisioned yourself being able to wake up early to the morning sunlight, instantly JUMP OUT OF BED…but make your bed nicely~, eat a hearty breakfast full of nutrients, and filled with great passion, go straight to work? I use to always dream of being able to do this. If properly nourished, well-rested and fit, the human brain is supposed to be conscious and clear-minded from morning to night, but in this day and age of technology, many wake up foggy and inattentive about their goals and dreams. What you do before bed is just as crucial for focus as your morning routine.

I tend to wake up doing the same things I do the hours before I go to sleep. I use to think that the time right before bed is the time I could tone down from work and indulge myself into mindless distractions. I would then wake up doing the same: checking off all notifications on social media accounts, watching dozens of youtube videos nonstop, or just sleeping in because I went to bed late. I thought I would wake up to a clean and fresh start every morning. My mornings would be: wake up, meditate, breakfast, then get to work, but work was difficult with distractions and bad impulses. Proper nutrition and sleep replenishes the brain’s willpower and drive in the morning, but bad habits and impulses stay the same.

During my unproductive times, I would spend hours simultaneously watching youtube, searching for new music, browsing instagram, and muddling through facebook. Scrolling through stories which lead me to checking up on my friends, profiles, or onto mindlessly reading gossip and random articles. A majority of this time, I’m distracted. When I realize that a large chunk of time has passed, I would close the window, thinking “finally.” …until moments later, I impulsively open a new tab and begin typing “fac.e..b…..” and the whole process repeats and I end up going to bed at the time when most people wake up. All thanks to the world of online marketing and UI/UX improvements in web apps, millennials have been trained to be stimulated by task switching, like checking on social media, and multitasking.

Fortunately, these bad habits and impulses could be fixed through minor changes and conscious practice. Once you’ve figured out what’s wasting most of your time, create a distance from that distraction. If it’s social media, sign off and uncheck the “keep me signed in” box. If it’s material desire, be conscious about ads and marketing — turn on an adblock, will yourself not to visit certain sites, and certainly don’t go window shopping/browsing if you’re not intending to purchase soon. When working silence your devices from notifications by muting or “do not disturb” if on an Apple. I love Writer’s Block for distraction-free writing.

Once you’ve created some distance, it’s just practice until it’s ingrained in you. Be conscious and count the number of times you verge off to social media or other distractions. Catch yourself during the act and replace it with something else, like taking three long meditative breaths with your eyes closed. Always be conscious about how many things are going through your mind at once. If you’re responding to an email and you’re hungry— that’s multitasking. Keep a journal, write about your progress. Think about what worked, what didn’t, ways you can improve and what else to try.

The more I understood my bad habits and how I get distracted, the better suited I was at counteracting and preventing them from happening. Building better habits starts NOW, not tomorrow morning, nor the next “New Year.” If you’re interested in building up your passion and the drive to fulfill it, minimize the time you spend on extraneous things. Narrow your focus and begin finding those distractions and work to break those bad habits! Lets help each other out, comment and share about how you broke your most recent bad habit!

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