How we wake up in the morning can be quite indicative of our most authentic mindset: our subconscious. I’m not talking about that initial grogginess that can be fixed by a solid swig of Starbucks. I’m talking about a deep gut-level dread that signals to you that something is awry in your life. We all know what that feeling is. It could be caused by a job you hate, an unhealthy relationship situation, debt or just a feeling that you’re not on the right path in life. We know it feels wrong, yet we continue to wake up, morning after morning, not making any changes to fix that feeling. Sometimes it’s temporary and it goes away on its own. Other times it can linger for weeks or months and this is when you know unless you take action and make changes, you will continue to wake up with a deep pit in your stomach.
Don’t ignore this feeling. It will often not go away on its own. If you don’t take action those mornings can turn into months, years, decades. Then suddenly your life has passed you by and you’ve spent the majority of it in a fog of dread, living in a way that was not what you had envisioned for yourself. Your time here is limited. Don’t waste it in a state of dissatisfaction and “what ifs.” As the saying goes, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” When we’re on the right path we wake up excited about our lives. We feel hopeful, enthusiastic and motivated. Even if we’re working a job we don’t necessarily love, we’re still excited about our future and have hope that we will ultimately end up somewhere better.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”-Anne Dillard
So, what exactly is the “right path” you ask? The “right path” is not something external, it’s actually a mindset. It’s an internal strength that says, “It doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life right now. I will figure it out. There is something better for me. In the meantime, I will take the appropriate action to get to where I want to be.” See, you don’t even have to be in your “ideal” place to be optimistic and excited. In fact, it’s crucial that you maintain enthusiasm regardless of what’s going on around you. It’s about taking action steps towards getting where you want to be. Because, here’s the fact of the matter: you will always be on a journey. The work will never be completely done. There will always be more to learn and do, so it’s not about the end game. It’s about your mindset throughout the journey.
The best part is that you can make this one big, yet simple change right now. Instead of waking up in the morning with the same dread, immediately think to yourself, “What action steps am I going to take today to get where I want to be? So I can wake up motivated and excited about my life.” By doing this, you set the tone for the rest of your day. These steps can be anything from going to bed earlier so you wake more rested, to sending your resume in for a couple jobs you’re interested in, to having a conversation with a loved one about something that has been bothering you, or hitting the gym and finally starting that workout regimen. Take some sort of action, no matter how small it may be. One action leads to another. One action per day leads to 7 actions per week ,and no matter how small they seem, they add to your self-confidence and motivation to move forward.
You see, we often fear action, but it’s actually inaction that hurts us the most. So, take that first action. It’s one simple step that can lead to a better day and that can lead to a better week, year and life!