Day #796:The Days Are Short But The Years Are Long

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Let me confess to you; most days I have no idea what I am doing. I don’t feeling like going to work, I feel like staying longer in bed on those days. When I finally crawl out of bed and get to work, I realize at the end of the day I haven’t really done anything with my day.That’s how I feel on some days. And on some days, I am full of energy, I am happy and ready to attack the day and achieve big goals. My mood is also significantly different on those days. The difference? It’s what Motivational speaker and coach Tony Robbins refers to to as ‘Hour of Power’.

What I have learnt about the good days is that I usually do a couple of things in the morning that help me get ready to attack the day.

I learnt most of what I practice from listening to Tony Robbins.

Tony is popular known as the ‘self-help guru’, however, to me, Tony is a coach and someone who pushes me to go above and beyond and create the incredible life I want.

Tony suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Tony offers the “Hour of Power” segment of his Ultimate Edge series as a free audio stream (here’s the direct MP3 download)

Here are the top practices I use to get my day off to a good start.

A). Physical: In 2012, while living in Paris, I would wake up at 5am and run for one hour before getting ready to go to work.Running was enough for me to kickstart my metabolism and helps me get in rhythm and ready for the day. Doing something physical for me does not mean having this huge exercise regime. All you need to do, minimally, is exercise enough to break a sweat for 10 minutes. So about 20-30 minutes worth of exercise a day. This is not to get “ripped” or “shredded”. But just to be healthy.You can’t be happy if you aren’t healthy. So running did the trick for me.In Lagos however, I realize how difficult this is. I can’t get out of my house to run. So I bought an Elliptical Bike on Jumia. I use it for about 10 mins every morning and little push up here and there, you are ready to go.

B). Spiritual: When most people hear spiritual they imagine going to church, or mosque or worshipping a diety. This is religion and it has nothing to do with being spiritual. To be spiritual is to be in tune with your soul and connecting to a power larger than you. Here are the spiritual practices that help me stay grounded each day.

1. Gratitude: Everyday, I try to think of the things I am grateful for, the people in my life, my family, friends, my girlfriend and everything I have in my life. It’s a powerful exercise just to think about it and write it down. One time I even did an exercise to write down 50 things I am grateful for. I recommend this. You beginning to see life differently, you notice the good things you have and not fixate on the things you don’t have.There are tons of scientific research out there for you skeptics like me who didn’t believe this works. Gratitude is tied to how happy you are and this affects how wealthy you become. Get a gratitude journal and start writing down 3 things you are grateful for at the end of every day. Do this for 21 days, you will see the tremendous change.

2. Meditation: Dan Harris of CBS recently proclaimed that meditation is the new running and I agree. Like most things in pop culture, everyone is now talking about meditation. From investment bankers on Wall Street, to Athletes, rappers, company executives, everyone is going gaga with meditation. It may seem complicated, it’s not. It’s just sitting down for 5 minutes. Find a comfortable position, sit with your back straight and stay quiet for 5 minutes. I try to do this everyday but most times I skip it. Start with 2 minutes if 5 minutes doesn’t work for you.Not convinced? Check out this 2 mins video HERE.

C.Mental: Reading and writing is a good way to keep the brain active. Everyday I try to read something and write down something. I write once a day in my blog 1000daysofinspiration. This habit forces me to focus on finding something inspirational for the day. Reading also expands your mind. I hear a lot of people say I don’t have time to read. Yes you do. You unconsciously already spent 1 hour scrolling through your Instagram feeds, that time, you could have used in reading something. It doesn’t have to be a heavy self help or how to book, a good fiction helps to expand the mind and something good to do before going to bed. The most important part is to schedule it. If you want it to happen. If you have long commutes, figure out how to use this time to read. If you are driving and can’t read, get an audio book. I have been able to read 4 books a week by listening to them on my way to work or while I am in the bathroom or trying to fix a quick meal in the kitchen.

I also recently started the exercise of journaling. Just find a note book and scribble down things as they come to mind. They don’t have to be coherent. What you are aiming for is to find an outlet for thoughts in your mind.

We are all creatures of habit.The most important part of this is to do it consistently enough till it becomes a habit. Try it for 21-30 days. This is the time psychologist say it takes to install a new habit. Every time I feel down and I feel like my life is slipping out of my hands, I go back to these practices and immediately feel energized. Through this I can focus on whats important for the day and that feeds into my life. I don’t like the feeling of being helpless with how I manage my day and I am sure you have the same feeling.
We need to turn it around. Start some of these practices and let me know if it helps.

This post was originally published in my weekly newsletter to a group of friends titled #DesignYourLife. If you will be interested in being added to this email list, send me an email to iyiola.abraham@gmail.com with subject: ‘Add me to #DesignYourLife’.

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