How we approach each new day is all about the human condition and spirit and how we respond to our fresh beginning.
Every day, there is a special moment for each of us. It is that first instant when we become conscious after sleeping. That very first blink of consciousness is something marvelous. Here is what I experience, and I suspect it is the same for you.
Blink. “Oh, I am here. Where is here? Who am I? What is my role here? Am I happy or sad? Do I hurt? What’s on my agenda today?”
Crossing that demarcation line between the unconscious and the conscious world is a kind of “rebooting” activity where we spend just a second or two getting our bearings and recalibrating our approach to life.
In that instant of first awareness, we each have a wonderful opportunity. We have the power to choose. Whatever external or internal conditions are facing us, we each have the opportunity to decide how to respond to them. I believe that is what separates humans from other species: the power to choose our attitude.
Watch short video – Story of Lou Holtz and the power to choose
The interesting part is the rebooting process. There is an instant where you are conscious but you really do not know what your situation is.
I believe that the freedom to choose my own quality of life is amazingly liberating. I may be waking up as a prisoner of war or a person with a terminal disease or a hangover. In that first blink, I may realize that I have been out of work for six months, or perhaps yesterday I won the Nobel Peace Prize or an Olympic Gold Medal.
Regardless of the miserable or delightful circumstances, as my brain reboots each morning, I still have the opportunity to choose how I wish to respond to those conditions. Unfortunately, most of us quickly jump to a fatalistic view that we are powerless to modify our quality of life. Here is where the opportunity lies.
If we can push the “pause” button in our thinking long enough to suspend the pain or the negative things that are lurking in a corner of our brain to ruin our day, then we might consider more motivating options.
For example, this morning I awoke at 2:30 a.m. with a stabbing pain in my right little toe. The pain actually woke me up. There was no reason why there should have been a pain in my toe today. I did not stub it or drop something on it, but there it was, pain big as life.
I recall lying there trying to figure out what the pain was. Since I had no clue, my brain continued with the rebooting exercise as I began to think about the good and not-so-good things that awaited me today.
When a computer reboots, it does not have options for changing attitudes. It just goes through the programs and determines the health of the system with no ability to change its response to certain failures or bugs.
I decided to let my human side take over and process today in a positive light. After all, I did wake up, which was a very good thing. I began to marvel over the choices I had today and the multitude of things I could get done.
For example, I could create this article, and though I am not revealing any rocket science here, perhaps my thoughts translated through this medium may be helpful to a few people. As a result, I would be using my energy as a positive force in the universe. What better way to start out a day?
Rebooting implies a huge level of trust because there is never a guarantee that the reboot will be successful. Computers can fail and people can die or become incapacitated and never wake up to the current reality.
A computer can have a backup system for such unforeseen emergencies, but we do not have an external heart or brain to use if the installed one fails while we are down.
As we reboot, there is often a moment of shear panic. All of a sudden we remember that the things we need to do today are far too many and too complex for us to do. We want to roll over and catch some more Z’s.
Here again, we have the power to choose how we react to the feeling of being stretched too thin on most days. It is either a prison of our own making or an amazing and motivating ride through a carnival of choices we make every minute of every day.
Try to make your first moments of every day a special conversation with yourself. Think about the opportunities you have rather than the difficulties you face. I think there is some powerful magic we all share as part of the human condition.
Of course, you can wallow in self-pity or depression if you wish. It is your life to live. I hope you will use this reminder to make a positive contribution to your mental process right now, and especially tomorrow morning.
The discussion questions here contain the seeds of your happiness. Most of us do not live in paradise, but it is not as far away as we might envision.
1. Rebooting every day may seem automatic, but we should not take it for granted.
2. We have a choice how we will react to our current condition.
3. We must intervene in the rebooting process to exercise our choices.
1. Try to think more consciously about the first few moments when you wake up tomorrow. Be mindful of how your brain catches you up with your current situation.
2. Modify your mindset around your current condition as a conscious effort. Try it for a few days and you will be amazed how liberated you will feel.