Early yesterday morning I strolled over to the computer lab to work on a blog post. Within a few moments of writing, I heard the sounds of punches, shouts, and screams coming from the headphones of the guy next to me. Glancing over at his computer screen, I saw a television show with a disturbingly violent scene.
I quietly laughed it off, thinking “It’s probably just a harmless fight scene between two friends or coworkers”. But after a few minutes, I heard the punches and screams again. When I looked over, another violent scene was unraveling. “Interesting,” I thought, “maybe it’s a crime show or something”. Sadly, this continued, and even got worse. The final straw (before I got up and left) was when I saw a group of professionally-dressed individuals beating up a single man. The group members all had weapons – the man did not. It was graphic, to say the least, and the kid’s headphones blared like a boombox. Interesting way to start the day!
When I left to go to class, I remembered a recent discussion I had with a friend one morning. She had just been watching the news, and saw a story of a man committing ghoulish, disturbing murders in a horrific manner (trust me – you don’t want to know more). Keep in mind, that was the morning news! She told me about the incident, and my first thought was, “Dang, I could never start my day with news like that”. Ever. I mean, how could I pick daisies, frolic in a meadow, or skip down the street laughing and exuding happiness after hearing that kind of a grizzly story?
So here’s the thing…
I’m not saying that people can’t be positive if they start their days with violent television shows or by watching the news. But I do think it makes it harder…much harder, because negativity begets negativity (and the opposite is also true). Due to the negative nature of news, then, this doesn’t bode well for happy-seekers. Accordingly, if your goal is to be the happiest, most optimistic person you can be, it might be beneficial to use that time for something positive that will make you feel great.
Quite possibly, the best way to stay positive and keep a rockin’ attitude is to get your day off to a good start. Whether it be dating (first impressions), a game of football, a 100-meter dash, or writing a paper, how we start is critical. Absolutely critical.
I think the same idea applies for our day. The quality of our day and attitude is largely determined by the first things that we put into our minds after waking up.
The way we start sets the tone for all that will follow. I remember my old football coach constantly stressed the first play of the game more than any other. That was the play you sent the most powerful message to the guy across from you. Either you were going to “give him hell”, or he was going to have an easy day. Both of you would know after the first play. What tone was I going to set?
I like to start my days by reading something positive, uplifting, or inspirational. I’ve been doing this every single day for four months and more or less consistently over the past year. In other words, the message I start my day with is some combination of positive energy, encouragement, and/or hope. I honestly think it has benefited my attitude and positivity more than any other single thing. Now, on the other hand, people getting jumped, assaulted, or murdered, has no place in my mind. After all, the more negative holding us back, the harder it is to be positive. Simply put, when we eliminate negativity, positivity gets easier.
Once again, if your goal is to be/stay more positive, my suggestion is to carefully examine the first things you put into your mind after you wake up. Are they negative, positive, or neutral? Are they helping or hurting your attitude, and what kind of tone do they set for your day? How is that tone affecting your life?
As you search for the answers to those questions, I wish you the best of luck and offer one more thing to keep in mind: “Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” ~Bill Meyer
Plant amazing seeds in the morning
Photo by mgoren