Your alarm goes off.
You could hit the snooze button, but you don’t.
Instead, you silence the alarm and throw off the bed sheets.
You’re awake and it’s time to get started.
That’s the dream, right? But I’m willing to bet this scenario isn’t the norm for you. I bet your mornings look a little more like this:
When the alarm sounds, you hit the snooze button three or four times. You’re just not quite ready to get up and face the day yet.
Eventually, you drag yourself out of bed to make coffee, but end up skipping breakfast because you can’t be late to work again. And once you’re there, it takes you an hour of poking around the internet (and two more cups of coffee) before you can actually get started.
If this sounds more familiar, then I have a question: What would it take to make your mornings more like that first scenario?
Okay, sure, more sleep would probably help. And those who don’t consider themselves “morning people” will probably never relate to the “get up and go” mentality. But what about after you get home from work?
The real question isn’t what gets you out of bed in the morning, but rather, what are you eager to do every day? What motivates you to start your day (whether it’s at 6am or 6pm)? What gets you up and gets you moving?
What gives your day meaning?
Don’t freak out: this question is HARD. I’ve been asking myself this same thing for nearly five years and I still don’t have an answer.
After talking to a few people, I’ve found that what gets most of us out of bed in the morning is the fact that we have to go to work to make money so we can continue to exist.
There’s nothing wrong with that — it’s a fact of life. We have responsibilities and people who depend on us. These things won’t go away and we need to be able to take care of them.
But I know for me (and for many others), the answer to that question still needs to be bigger. I want a reason to leap out of bed in the morning — a reason to be excited about getting to work.
Granted, every day may not start with the same level of enthusiasm, but ideally there’d be more good days than bad — more days beginning with eagerness rather than reluctantly rolling out of bed.
Wouldn’t it be incredible to be excited about what you do every day? It’s the reason so many people quit their jobs to travel or switching careers. Or why people take on personal quests and life-long journeys. And ultimately, it’s why I moved across the country to start over.
You’ll have to forgive me because I’m about to get real existential up in here, but isn’t searching for meaning in our lives the most human thing we do?
Some people find this meaning in having a family or a strong career. Others find it in volunteer work. And many find it in places you’d least expect.
But how exactly do you FIND it?
There’s no roadmap — no sudden moment of clarity that will point you in the right direction. You find the things in life that give you purpose by going out and living; by trying new things and exploring opportunities. And eventually, something will pull at you. It will nag at you until it’s time to acknowledge that it just has to be done.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson
I’ve been reading The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau and it talks quite a bit about finding your personal quest — how you discover the thing that really gets you up each day. While I may not have found my own quest just yet, I’ve found this book and the stories quite inspiring. And that inspiration keeps me motivated to try new things.
Frankly, these kinds of big life questions are the worst. They make you feel like you’re doing something wrong or so far behind others who already chasing after something big.
But these kinds of questions are important. It’s better to struggle now and find your answers than to put it off while you continue pretending that everything is okay.
Maybe I can’t tell you how to find what gets you up in the morning, but I wanted to ask the question — I wanted to get you thinking about it. It’s the measure by which I judge so many things in my life: “Does this excite me?”
Because if what we’re doing doesn’t excite us, then why are we doing it at all?
Do you know what gets you up in the morning?
Tell me about your morning routine!