“Mindfulness recognizes that the greatest moments have not passed us by and are not yet to come—they’re with us all the time. We simply need to pause and appreciate them.”
Slow down your rushed mornings.
- No more hitting the snooze on the alarm.
- No more running out the door.
- No more drive-through coffee when you’re running late.
Take control of the morning. That’s where you will find the secret that’s not really a secret. Control is elusive but attainable. Control what’s within your power. Create routines. Practice with resilience. Enforce with the strength of your will, and with time nothing will be able to overcome your state of mind.
- Know what is within your power to obtain.
- Set out to only control only that which is within your abilities.
- Accept setbacks that cannot be prevented.
- Adapt to the ebb and flow of circumstance.
A few will live a golden life full of convenience and luxury. A greater number will wade through misfortune and calamity. Yet, the largest number will experience moments of both. There is no divine justification for what befalls each person’s given lot. Circumstance is indifferent to our character. We must find peace before misfortune strikes so we are mindful of our station when the easy path is taken from us.
So, how may we begin this journey? Perhaps, a simple path is needed. Let us focus and create practices which will aid us in creating moments of value in every part of life. Mindfulness is the beginning of that tranquility of knowing a storm may assail you, but you will remain unfazed for you are anchored as a mountain is to the ground. The mountain may change over time, but a mountain it will remain. We have that same potential. We cannot prevent the storm, but we can endure it well.
Let us start our morning with intention and simplicity. No more rushing to make a deadline. No more being ruled by a clock. Let’s slow down the morning. Let’s create a simple ritual and brew a cup of coffee—slowly. Pour the water over the grounds with intention. Don’t spill. It’s not about the coffee. It’s about the act. You are owning the morning. You are setting the pace and not allowing others to do it for you. You do this for you. This can reframe the day. By slowing down and making time to both create and thoughtfully enjoy a cup of coffee you can practice mindfulness in its simplest form.
So why don’t I? Why is it we sometimes know what we can do and yet find it so hard to change our actions?
The world will still be here in an hour, so start your day thoughtfully with an intentional practice and abandon that false sense of urgency we seem to perpetually carry on our shoulders. Mindfulness, thoroughness and thoughtfulness lead to wiser decisions anyway.
“I find it amusing that when we look to nature we never find perfection. We find beauty. We find organization. We find purpose. So, why is it we’re always looking for more than those simple truths?”
We need to stop looking for perfection in our everyday life. Otherwise, we just end up wasting time chasing after an impossible dream. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek excellence. We should push ourselves, and others, to perform better, stronger, more amazing feats, but recognize that it’s excellence we’re after and not perfection.
Excellence is about overcoming obstacles by creating systems for success. When we focus on perfection as a goal, we can only be disappointed. This is because perfection can only be achieved in the imaginative mind. Perfection is an idea but not tangible goal. We have to stop setting ourselves up for failure. We need to search for purpose instead.
Try using purposeful intent to drive your performance to new levels of excellence. One key idea to keep in mind is that all systems of success are based on a solid foundation of good habits. Maybe it’s time to take a look at our habits and ask some uncomfortable questions?
- In what ways am I taking shortcuts and not living to my fullest potential?
- What excuses have I made about my recent performance or poor decisions?
- What’s one positive habit I’ve put off adopting? Can I commit to accomplishing it for a day? A week? A month?
- What is the driving force behind your desire to change or grow today? How is this different from your desires to define yourself in the past?
It only takes perseverance and time to turn short term commitments into lifelong habits. Growth can’t happen without active engagement. We have to make the tough decisions to initiate change. We own our experience. We accept responsibility for what is within our control and acknowledge that there will plenty of obstacles outside of that control. Our acceptance, and resilience in the face of hardship, begins our journey toward excellence.
He who indulges in empty fears earns himself real fears.Seneca
The universe seldom give us everything we want, but it always seems to provide a means to get what we need.
You didn’t have a choice of where you started in life. You got the hand you were dealt and you had to make it work for you. If you’re lucky, you may get a second chance at times—more often than not, you won’t.
It’s helpful to remember that though we do not have complete control over our own life, we can control our response to the experiences we’re given.
Nature isn’t concerned with the individual. You’re one of billions, and there is no cosmic scheme to guide you toward fantasies of destiny or illusions of everlasting happiness. You are the source of your own inspiration or defeat.
You could always lie down and wait for better days to come your way—but they likely won’t. You could also recognize that there is no universal agenda holding you back—you may face obstacles, but you are also not destined for failure. Somewhere, between the obstacles beyond our control and the random luck that makes some moments pass by with ease, is the fallacy of Fate. It’s the lie we tell ourselves when our hardships are greater than our resolve to overcome them or the dream we long to believe that emboldens us to grasp for more when our blessings are at their height.
In then end, there is really only one agenda holding you back—yours. It’s your prerogative to decide how you wish to frame your life.
- Are you a victim of your experiences or a hero determined to overcome them?
Everyday we can find ourselves in a sea of endless possibilities. Somewhere a tempest is brewing, and it is only a matter of time before it finds its way to us. What are you going to do when disaster or hardship finds you?
- Will you do nothing and hope for the best?
- Will you prepare for the worst and be content to face whatever you find?
- Do you give up and throw away everything because you can’t have it all?