Every morning you make a choice: pleasure or pain.
Have you ever had one of those days where you just woke up in a bad mood for no reason? We used to say we ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed.’ How many of your days fall into this category?
What about a morning where everything is just fantastic? Everything seems to go your way. You ‘catch all the green lights’ on the way to work. How may of those days do you have?
What if you could choose which kind of day you were going to have? Would you?
It’s true, we all have bad days. It’s also true, we can change the default – through practice.
Do you get up in the morning and immediately check your news feed?
Though not all news is bad, it’s also not within your control and more likely than not, you’ll be hit with something that gets your blood boiling.
Whether it’s social media or network news, it’s all designed to get your attention and provoke a strong response.
Or maybe the first thing you do is check your email. Scanning through a collection of newsletters, emails from a client, or the endless spam and advertisements.
Emails are more like pulling the lever on a slot machine. It’s a gamble every time you click to open one.
There is an alternative.
First, start your day by getting out on the right side of the bed. Choose what you expose yourself to first thing in the morning. Let go of the news and emails. Choose to consume something designed especially for you. Something that will nurture your inner power.
Next, arm yourself with tools to help you stay in the positive and productive zone.
Every day I choose my state of mind. Yes, at times I let events or thoughts pull me into the direction of suffering. And once I am aware of what’s happening I look to my treasure chest of resources to help me swerve back into the stream of thoughts that will help me be in a better place.
I’m not productive when I’m in a stressed, overwhelmed, or ‘pissy’ state of mind. And I want to be productive. Don’t you?
What can we do to change?
It’s not easy. Like changing any ingrained habit, it will take practice. And with practice you can create a new habit – one that serves you instead of you serving it.
Every time I face negative or unconstructive thoughts it is up to me to recognize, pause, and choose. Every. Single. Time. It is a practice.
Depending upon where my head is and what thoughts are trying to derail me, I choose a resource to help me make the change.
Below are some of those resources. This list changes often as my needs change.
- Listen to a podcast from my library. I curate podcasts specifically for the mindset they evoke. They change depending on what I’m working on or the struggles I’m facing. I’ve been listening to The Creative Penn for years and kick off an episode when I need a boost.
- Do a short meditation or breathing exercise. Meditation isn’t just for long sessions on the cushion in the morning. I’ve found a 5 minute mindfulness meditation or better yet a breathing exercise can significantly shift my mental state. I’m currently using the Oak Meditation app.
- Read something from my ‘brag book’. Over the years I’ve collected emails, testimonials, feedback, and other messages from people on how they were positively influenced by something I created, shared, or the work we did together. When I hit a rough patch, these remind me why I do what I do.
- Read a book. At any one point in time I’m reading five or more books. Usually a collection of fiction, narrative non-fiction, or how-to. I’ll open one of those books and read a few pages – or keep reading until my mood has changed.
- Go for a walk in nature – usually with my dog. Of course physical activity is great. There’s something about watching a dog interact with it’s world that shifts my mood.
Challenge: Create a list of resources that will help you get back into the flow of a positive mindset and productivity. Then, the next time you find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed – grab your list and kick that bad mood to the curb!
Your work is important. Don’t let a bad mood keep from getting your brilliance out of your head and into the world.
Need help taking the next step? Try the powerful questions workshop.