What is the first thought you have when you wake in the morning?

“Need more sleep”
“Why won’t anyone let me sleep in?”
“Did I actually get any sleep last night?”
“I can’t do this anymore!”
“There’s that pain in my knee again.”
“Oh, my, look at the time!”
“GET UP – the children (work, spouse, etc) need you!”

Your first thought in the morning not only sets the tone for the day, but also says a lot about you and how your brain is wired.

Your brain does best what it practices doing.

See if you can begin to build some first-thing-in-the-morning thought awareness. When you become aware, STOP. What is your thought? Is this a productive thought? Is this thought reflecting who you want to be and how you want to spend your day?

Then our brains say, “But its TRUE! Everyone is too loud. Or I actually didn’t get any sleep. Or I really do feel like I can’t do this anymore”. STOP. See if you can turn it around.

I want to be someone that gets up in the morning and has excitement about the day. “I am so excited about this day (or at least my coffee), I’m going to sing in the shower”.

I want to be someone who has nice things to say to the people around them. “I am going to thank my children for making noise because it is proof that they are in my life and I am so glad they are in my life”.

I want to be someone who sleeps. “I am going to continue to work on my sleep issues. I am going to do the best I can today with little sleep.”

I want to slow down and still be on time. “I am going to STOP for one more minute and enjoy the sunlight coming through my window or say 5 things I am grateful for today”.

This practice will not make your knee pain go away. This practice will not make your house more quiet. This practice will not make your “to-do” list shorter. But, what this practice will do is enable you to be more of who you desire to be while your knee hurts and your house is noisy and you accomplish task after task after task.

The brain will chatter on and on and on and on. Its like a goat – it chews on whatever is in front of it. Feed it good food.

If I can do it, you can do it!


“First thing every morning before you arise say out loud, ‘I believe,’ three times.” – Ovid

“I think that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you’re really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flipflops, you’re saying: ‘Hope I don’t get chased today.’ ‘Be nice to people in sneakers.’” – Demetri Martin

One Response to First Things First

  • A recent news article reported on a man who for the last 41 years has run 14 1/2 miles every day. He claims that he has never missed a day, sometimes running late at night. He also says that during his 2 1/2 hours of running, he gets his life in order. The running brings forth all kinds of feelings, previous experiences, things he should do, and most importantly, a sense that he is spiritually alive, in touch with the oneness of nature and gratified to be on his course for another day of his life.
    I have never run 14 1/2 miles. Nor have I run every day of my life. Now at the age of 77, I no longer even run, but rather slog, believing I am still running, but really walking. But I do what I do at 5:00 a.m. every day I do it, over 600 miles every year, most days of every week, about 2 1/2 miles each time. From this experience of over 40 years now, I know how much that routine energizes me, inspires me, and produces in me an optimistic and gratifying perspective on the coming day. I’ve been fortunate with well cushioned running shoes that knees that endured. Now in October, when the sun hasn’t yet risen, I get out of bed each morning knowing that I can do another day. There is little in my mind except putting on my jogging clothes and headlight, going out the door, and beginning an hour of new beginning, my first accomplishment of peace and joy.

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