Inspiration Through Self Direction
Author: Byron Pulsifer, © 2016
During the course of the day, we all face the negative. The negative can rear
itself as we awake from a night's sleep just as we about to start the day.
We rise slowly out of bed hoping that we have made a mistake;
we are dreaming and are simply still asleep curled up in our warm and
comfortable bed. But, this is not the case.
We meander slowly across the bedroom floor slowly approaching
the bathroom. We stand in front of the sink looking into the mirror with
eyes still groggy from sleep at the rumpled mess before us. Oh dear,
another challenging day, we exclaim beneath our breath to no one.
The day before us, we know, will be filled with hours of negotiating;
union members pitted against management.
We finish getting cleaned up, dress, and head towards the kitchen
passing by the tall mirror hanging beside the kitchen door. A quick glance
in the mirror shows that we are, almost, presentable.
As we pass through the kitchen doorway, the morning sun streams
vibrantly through the windows lining the east side of the room. The
dazzling, jumping beams of light cry out for attention as we make our
way to grab our coffee beans to grind a fresh brew. Mechanically
we start our coffee so hoping that a fresh and strong cup of coffee
will ignite our body.
The brilliant sunlight bounces gently off the gleaming taps,
the bright backsplash and catches us with its magnificent power as
we stop and stand gazing quietly out the window. Everything seems
so new, so fresh and full of life but all we can see is the start of another
simmering heat spell. The leaves on the maple tree wiggle gently as
stirred by the morning's summer breeze. The coffee machine buzzer
sounds declaring that coffee is ready interrupting your tranquil vision
outside. In what seems like mere seconds, two cups of coffee have
disappeared along with two pieces of homemade bread smothered in
fresh honey, but you've hardly registered the sweet taste. It's time to go.
Crafting Your Day
With your breakfast finished, you're out the door heading for your car.
As you approach your car parked in its usual place along with the other
tenants of the apartment building, you are stopped in your tracks. You
can't believe what you are seeing. The passenger's side window is completely
smashed with shards of broken glass spewed around the side of the car.
Great, now what do you do? You know you have to get to work.
You need to meet with your negotiating team prior to the beginning
of the next negotiation round table. So, you ask yourself, is this how
my day is going to be?
In the above example of how the day started, I know you could probably
identify with the morning wake up scenario. You may not, however, have
to deal with a smashed window in your vehicle. Nevertheless, I'm sure
there are situations or circumstances that have occurred that can start your
day off being filled with problems.
Every person I've ever spoken to, and these are thousands of people
over the years, all have one thing in common. Each morning there is a
decision to make. That decision is the same one that needs to be taken
in our above noted example. You see, we all have a choice
We can choose to start are day off in doom and gloom where every
footstep seems to drag and where every moment that leads us closer to
getting out the door to go to work is a step we'd rather not take.
The real issue is not what happens or what circumstances evolve but
rather the issue is what we think. It's easy to begin each day without
enthusiasm of what may lie ahead. It's easy to resent the alarm clock
telling us that we have to go to work to a job that may not be the best
or happiest or most satisfying job there is. We can begin our day more
in line with a pessimistic outlook rather than with a confident expectation
of good things to come.
The decision is yours and yours alone. What decision, you may ask?
It is the decision to begin your day with an adverse attitude
expect things to go wrong, or for you to have a miserable day, or for
you to expect that the same old stuff that you will be asked to do today
is the same old stuff you did yesterday and the day before and before that.
It is an expectation that sees you focus your thoughts more on how to get
through the day rather than enjoying what each day will bring.
It's a focus that draws your eyes to the clock wishing and hoping that
the day will go by quickly enough so you can escape from your misery.
It is consistent thought that ticks off every work day of the week waiting
with expectation for that final strike of the clock that allows you to start
Let's return to our story above. You are infuriated at the smashed window.
You open the passenger door and scan the inside. The glove is open
and its' contents strewn on the floor. Your CD case is missing that contained all of your favorite songs. Nothing else seems to be missing but that isn't any solace. You fish out your cellphone and call the police. The dispatcher's response is flat toned and unconcerned telling you to wait until a patrol car is available to travel to meet you at your location. A cryptic question about the police officer's expected time of arrival is answered with a response indicating that the time of arrival is unknown.
The next call is to your office advising your colleagues of your
circumstances as well as indicating that you are definitely going to miss
any advance meeting in preparation for the negotiating round table.
Can your day get any worse?
The police arrive fifteen minutes later showing little concern about
your car or missing items. It seems that they are more interested in
ensuring that there paper work is completed than they are about you
getting on the road so you can start your busy day. The police officers
inform you that there is little they can do except file their report. Great,
you might as well have forgotten about reporting the break-in and left for work.
You finally get on the freeway heading to work. The traffic is flowing well
but suddenly the car to your left starts to pass you but cuts in front of you
before his car has cleared yours. You slam on your breaks barely avoiding
a collision slamming your hands on the steering wheel as he merrily keeps
going without even a glance in his rear view mirror seemingly oblivious
to his near miss. You are fuming, and seething with anger. You finally
arrive at your work place still preoccupied with the inconsiderate and
The day progresses to a a volatile meeting where angry words are
exchanged with more of the outbursts stemming from you than anyone else.
You were right. You thought the day was going to be filled with disaster
and that's exactly what you got.
The Alternative Response
What went wrong in the above scenario?
Let's look at the situation, for a moment, when the car cut you off.
What alternative reaction could you have taken? For one, you could
be grateful that you avoided the collision. Secondly, you let the inconsiderate
driver rule how you behaved not only while in your car after the incident
but through the entire day. You, in essence, let someone else have control
over your emotions. You let that driver affect your feelings, thoughts and
behaviors for the rest of the day resulting in you experiencing less than a
You have a choice every day when you awake. You can grab the day
head on and embrace it with pleasure, with expectation rather than just
another dreary worked filled environment. You could have chosen to take
solace in the fact that you still had a car to drive even though you experienced
a smashed window. It could have been a lot worse. You weren't mugged,
hurt, or killed. Sure, it's inconveient but you don't have to choose to let one
incident command your mood, feelings and attitude for the rest of the day.
Each person whether they like to admit it or not is responsible for their own
attitude and behavior. You are in control - nobody else. Isn't it time you took
back control and decided that your day will be filled with gratitude, happiness,
or the ability to move beyond worldly circumstances. You have a choice to
be your own inspiration. Don't give it away to anything or anybody.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Life is a choice - as is how you handle the pitfalls along its bumpy road."
Julie Donner Andersen
"And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life. If you donít like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life - and it all begins with your very own power of choice."
Start the day right with a healthy breakfast, a positive attitude, and just enough time to plan your day."
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