There is a beautiful moment, in the wing of many hospitals where people are in palliative care. The moment is one of memory, remorse, joyfulness, love and regret.
There is a moment of turmoil between my alligator brain and my conscious brain each and every morning. I feel I am not alone.
The turmoil occurs at the precise moment my alarm clock begins to sound and I am to make the decision on whether to get up immediately, press snooze or spend 20+ secs thinking about how crazy my day is going to be and then press snooze.
I am fascinated by this moment. It is such a primal event, fight or flight in its most basic representation. This morning my dilemma was this:
fight: face the day, get up early and seize the opportunity before me.
flight: put off the suffering of vertical life and retire further into my warm, safe bed.
I think the application of this principal is huge. If I cannot control the simple decision to wake up early and have a more productive day, over sleeping in, how can I trust myself to make difficult decisions when more than sleep and sunken eyes are at stake.
Think about this the next time your alarm goes off, own your morning routine and become the master of your daily decisions.
When given the choice, will you fight or flight?
When you awake each day, what is the first thought that crosses your mind? What is the first thing you do? Why are you doing what you are doing?
If you do not think about these questions, you will never have the answers. The problem I have found, is that not asking these tough questions is equally as bad as not asking them enough.
We are creatures of habit. Our habits define who we are and who we become.
Trying to reach the tipping point between action that is keeping you stalled (or even in recession) and action that will take you towards your goals and greater purpose is the essential missing link in many of our lives.
I ask myself this question each day, “why are you doing what you are doing?”. Until you answer this question, until you realize what it is you truly want and admit it with honesty to yourself, it is almost impossible to achieve.
If you really want freedom and financial wealth, or to become an expert in your field of study or to live in nature or be a school teacher, you need to realize this within yourself, be honest with yourself and embrace it.
I was recently moved by an article by Derek Sivers, “Why are you doing”, which inspired me to write this post (read it, you will be thankful). Instead of trying to regurgitate his ideas in my own words, I will leave you with them:
Maybe the most important thing to you is learning, or creating, or giving. Maybe it’s how many people’s lives you can influence. Maybe it’s how deeply you can influence just a few people’s lives.
Once you realize it and admit it, you need to pursue it.
Like if you want freedom, then you own a business but delegate all the work. You won’t be learning or creating or giving as much as you could with a different strategy, but that’s OK. You know freedom is what you’re after.
Sometimes your best strategy is counter-intuitive.
This phrase is becoming more common and in many circles, is replacing entirely the use of the word funeral. I find this fascinating on a few specific levels.
There is a stigma quietly becoming more popular in society today around using the word funeral to label someone’s end of life ceremony. More and more often, family and friends of recently deceased loved ones are using the title ‘celebration of life’ to label the ceremony instead of calling it a funeral.
We think we are invincible, we have cures for many diseases and death is something we just don’t seriously talk about. It is the one thing guaranteed in life and yet the one thing people are reluctant to discuss. It is interesting and understandable why people would rather call a funeral a celebration of life. You may have never spent enough time actually celebrating your loved one’s life while they were with you and must now make up for it and reflect upon all of those beautiful moments in hindsight.
I think celebrations of life are wonderful and I have been a part of some absolutely beautiful, reverent ceremonies. My thought today is: Let us not celebrate life as an afterthought, let us celebrate life as it happens. Show your gratitude and be present as often as you can. Take time to be grateful even if it is for just a moment and slowly you can begin your own celebration of life as it happens, every moment of every day.