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; hoping that 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 to make. 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 where you 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 your weekend.
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 dangerous driver.
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 stellar day.
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 dont 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.” Jim Rohn
Start the day right with a healthy breakfast, a positive attitude, and just enough time to plan your day.”Sarah Brooks
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