Me in Pokhara, Nepal (January 2013)
I don’t understand people who complain about something without doing anything about it – not that I am an exemption, of course.
There was this person who kept ranting about how miserable his life is and that his life would have been this or that had the situation been this or that. Clearly, he has an idea of what “better life” looks like yet remains reluctant to take significant steps because his thoughts were fixated on the barriers rather than on creating opportunities.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know the value of TIME. A Japanese colleague once said, “the only thing that is fair in this world is TIME; we all get the same amount.” This statement struck me because I myself struggle with making the most of my time. You know, like right now at 1:30AM, I am still wide awake instead of hitting the sack.
These days, the world seems to have fallen short of optimistic people. There is always something to complain about. And most often, nothing changes because we are scared to stretch our boundaries a little bit or step out of our comfort zones. The moment we set foot out of that comfort line, fear of uncertainties would penetrate every corner of our heart forcing us to sprint back. The sad thing is that, we don’t realize how often we do this and how much time we have wasted.
As the cliché says, we take one step forward and two steps backward. And we still wonder why we aren’t going anywhere.
Waking up early is a struggle to many but surviving the day unprepared due to waking up late is not a good experience either. According to Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Committing to waking up early can be daunting but fret not, there are ways and things to help you overcome the pull of dreamland.
Scents. Instead of hitting the snooze button, try to inhale something that will awaken your senses. I keep a mint inhaler beside me all the time.
Coffee or tea. The aroma of coffee is just heavenly, isn’t it? If you are one of those non-coffee drinkers, try tea or warm milk. These will surely pep up your morning.
Dose of inspiration. Be inspired by listening to inspirational or spiritual videos such as TED.com. What better way to start the day than some nuggets of wisdom?
Music. Listening to instrumental or new age music calms my thoughts and stimulates creativity. It may also work for you or play what you prefer — be it rock music, jazz or acoustic — after all, who doesn’t like music?
Exercise. This is like hitting two birds with one stone. You don’t only get to wake up early, you will also be healthy. Jogging can be more rewarding as you get to breathe fresh air and see green things at the park but you can also do it at home. Try some jumping jacks, wall sits, push ups and lunges.
The start is always the hardest. Don’t get discouraged when you fail at the beginning. Just keep on trying and develop this habit gradually. I tried just now which coincides with the leap day.
Like any other weekends, I woke up very late today, 12 noon. Too lazy to go out and buy food, I grumpily devoured a bowl of cereals as my “brunch”, breakfast and lunch in one. I had planned to wake up early to write something but failed to resist the comfort of my beloved pillows and blanket — to part with them is pain — so I ended up feeling bad for not sticking with my plans.
Then I thought, the day is not over yet. I still have the rest of the afternoon to do just what I had planned to accomplish. So, I started to arrange my closet, mop the floor, empty the garbage bin and wash a few of my laundry. I was amazed at how much I got done in just a few hours!
I took a bath to freshen up. Then I headed to the nearest shopping mall to grab some croissants and bacon pie at Bonjour and wrote an article. I finished the article after over an hour but for now I’m leaving it to be polished tomorrow before submitting it to a mag 🙂
I surfed the net for a bit when I reached home then went for a jog. I read a book while resting after a tiresome exercise before washing up then dinner. And now, I still have the energy to blog before bedtime, yay! Usually, even blogging still requires me so much motivation.
So, it’s now 10:30 in my computer clock. I’ll be off to bed soon and I’ll sleep happily and calmly because for the first time this year, I can say that my day had been productive 🙂