My life is better because of this

4 changes I made that give me more peace

Doug Stewart
Dec 6, 2017 · 4 min read

A few weeks ago, I was completely burnt out. I mean sit on the floor and cry burnt out. My tank was empty and I was faced with the reality that I couldn’t keep going on like this.

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the work. In fact, I love what I do.

But what do you do when the thing you love starts to wear you out?

As I sat on my bedroom floor in tears, All I could say to my wife was, I’m just tired and I have to figure this thing out. Per usual, she had some really great advice.

She told me that I needed some boundaries around my work and that I had to start making more space to refuel. So that’s what I did.

I stopped checking my phone in bed

I use to keep my phone by my bed. When I woke up, I would reach over and open Facebook, email, text messages, news, SnapChat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Messenger all before my feet would hit the floor.

(I talked about how I broke the habit last week on the Mastering Mentorship Podcast. You can check that out HERE)

What I found was that habit put me in a reactionary state from the get go. I would feel rushed, irritated and barely able to take the time to get dressed before I started working.

When I started keeping my phone in my closet, I found that I was much more relaxed, I enjoyed my morning time with my family more and it creates space for me to add a few morning routines that have made my life significantly better.

I started praying and meditating

Instead of checking my phone when I wake up, I spend a few minutes in prayer and meditation. I thank God for the day, for my heartbeat, for my breath and for my Wife and Daughter. I meditate on what’s ahead and begin by taking a few deep breaths.

I started reading

Every morning, I get to have breakfast with my daughter, Kendall. It one of my favorite times of the day. It is quiet and neither one of us are really morning people. So, usually, she eats while I make her lunch. No stress, not much talking. Just being together. I have started using this time to sit with her and read a short mediation from Ryan Holiday’s Book The Daily Stoic.

I have really enjoyed this book because it gives me something to think about throughout the day. Short & sweet.

I also read a passage from my Bible. Right now, I am reading through the Gospels (Matthew — John).

I think there are two ways to think about the Bible. How does this Impact eternity and how does this Impact me today. When I read in the morning, I ask myself the latter question.

How does this passage impact me today? What is the message for today and what can I do to practically put it into practice?

Both readings take less than 10 minutes.

I started journaling

After my reading, I spend a few minutes helping Kendall get out the door for school. If I’m lucky, there will be time for me to chat with my favorite person, Merideth. After that, I finish getting myself ready for the day.

Once I am dressed and ready, I sit down with my notebook and journal one page (before I open my laptop).

It only take about 10 minutes for me to fill the page. I think of it as a data dump. I write from the top of my head. No right or wrong, just words.

Once I finish my page, I open my laptop and get after it.

I find that these things have made my life significantly better. I am more present, more productive and more peaceful.

Of course, it’s not perfect and it doesn’t always happen exactly like this. But this is what I shoot for and when I fall short, I remind myself of its value and recommit.

For the longest time, I thought I was too busy for a morning practice. Now I am realizing that I am so busy that I can’t afford not to have a morning practice.

You may be thinking the same thing. I’m sure you are busy. I’m sure your life is hectic. AND, I know one thing is for sure.

You can’t give out of lack. You can only give out of abundance.

Making space to create the best version of yourself is the most important thing you can do.

So, what does that look like for you?

It may be different from mine. In fact, my practice will change. The most important thing is that we are continually chasing after who we are becoming.


Thank you for reading. Here are a few ways we can stay connected:

Mastering Mentorship

Mentorship doesn’t happen in a straight line. It is more dynamic than that. In this publication, we will discover, and re-discover, the ins and outs of mentorship

Doug Stewart

Written by

Dale Carnegie instructor | TEDx Presenter | Coach | Podcaster | Storyteller — Lives in Raleigh, North Carolina

Mastering Mentorship

Mentorship doesn’t happen in a straight line. It is more dynamic than that. In this publication, we will discover, and re-discover, the ins and outs of mentorship

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