Only 24 hours, yet so much goes on in that time span. You go about your day, going through the boring and often dramatic events. How often do you stop to realize that each hour of your day is packed with life-changing wisdom? Sure, there are the big events that punch you in the gut. The lessons from those are hard to ignore, but there are also many mundane things that happen in a day that also have a lot to teach you, if you become aware of them.
Waking up Every morning you are given another chance to think about your purpose in life. Before you get out of bed, take a moment to realize that you have been given the gift of a brand new day. How can you make it meaningful?
Breathing. You do it all day but unless you’re a regular meditator, yogi, or tri-athlete, you probably don’t pay much attention to your breath. Yet, breathing is the source of life. Learning to breath properly can relieve anxiety and stress, prevent illness, improve your sleep, help you manage your pain, lower high blood pressure, promote weight loss, and has many more benefits.
Make your bed. If you’re a neat person, making the bed is something that’s easy for you. But if you are the type of person who rushes out the door at the last minute, making the bed is the last thing you think about. It’s time to re-think that. There are many lessons in the making of your bed. Didn’t your mother tell you, “The way you make your bed is the way you sleep in it?” I never understood what that meant but I knew there was profound wisdom in it. I’m sure “sleep” was a metaphor for life. So listen to your mother, if you want to have a smooth life, make your bed.
Washing the dishes. Did you know it takes only one minute to wash a pan, two knives, one fork, a cutting board and a bowl? See for yourself. Time it. Instead of turning your back on that stack of dirty dishes in the sink, invest a minute and wash them. You’ll feel so much better if you do. Don’t make things worse than they really are.
Not putting your things away. Piles are easy to accumulate. Clothing, paper, bathroom towels, whatever your piles may be, your piles say a lot about you. It’s easy to accumulate piles in our private homes, no one sees them, but you should. Is that really how your want your life to be? One big stack of piles? It’s much easier to put away one towel, one t-shirt, or one piece than it is to put away a huge stack of them. Take care of things when they are small.
Arriving on time. You start out on schedule but soon things get in the way. The dog pukes, you can’t find your cell phone, and the baby needs a diaper change and before you realize it, you’re twenty minutes late. People are waiting for you either at a meeting, a restaurant, or at the airport. As they wait, the negative comments about your tardiness start. Is that how you want others to view you? Set aside extra time for things to go wrong because it is most likely they will.
Getting dressed. Every morning you have a small portion of time set aside to pick out how you want to present yourself for the rest of the day. This simple (or sometimes not so simple) task has a lot riding on it. As much as we don’t want to believe it, it’s true. People are judged by the way they look. It’s that first impression when you walk in the room that says, “Here I am.” Your clothes are your opportunity to make your personal statement. How do you want to present yourself to the world?
Eating a healthy breakfast. You probably pop a pod into your coffee machine and grab a power bar as you are running out the door. It can’t be avoided; all the experts and studies say it is true. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It’s also the most time-consuming when you have the least amount of extra time. It can’t be denied, how you eat breakfast says a lot about you.
Brushing your teeth. You may not realize it but besides a fresh, minty mouth you have just engaged the power of habit, a pattern that shapes every aspect of your life. A pattern that you also have the power to transform many areas of your life. If you can brush your teeth everyday at the same time, you can accomplish anything you want to.
Driving, riding the train, or taking the bus. These are the times that someone will surely upset you. People will bump into you, cut you off, take the seat you were going to sit it, and not hold the door open for you. Transportation usually brings out the worst in people. This is your opportunity to not get bothered by other people’s bad manners. You are the one who will suffer. Your day will be ruined because they didn’t even notice they bumped into you, cut you off, or took the seat you were going to sit in.
Walking into a room. Whenever you walk through the door of a meeting, your office or home, you have the chance to determine how you want people to respond to you. The energy you give off, is the energy that will come back to you. Moods are contagious. Bring positive energy into a room.
Time management. Stay on schedule when possible. It’s easy to become distracted by your devices. Our beeps go off all day. Facebook, Instagram, and Vines are magnets that draw you away from your tasks. Either shut them down when you’re working in something important or glance at them and then get back to work. Don’t get hooked by them. If you are knocked off your work track, get back on it.
Conflict. It’s rare that two people will agree on most topics. Conflict is everywhere. It happens at work, home, with family and friends. Disagreeing isn’t the problem (although most people think it is). The problem is in not giving value to the opinions of others.
Anger. This is one emotion that is sure to pop up sometime during the day. How you deal with your anger says a lot about who you are as a person. How well do you manage your emotions? Do you speak nasty to the waitress who messed up your lunch order? Do you have a harsh reaction if someone says something insulting to you? Anger can be a destructive emotion if not managed properly.
Exercise. Going to the gym, yoga or spin class is a statement saying that you love yourself. You are saying, I care about my body and my health and I want to take the best care of myself that I possibly can.
Social Activities. Lunchtime or dinnertime with friends or family is a soul-full intimate experience. It warms the heart. Take time to surround yourself with the warmth of family and friends. They are there to support you, encourage you, and love you no matter what.
Your words. Watch your words carefully. They can be daggers or cheerleaders. You can crush the spirit of someone or make them feel like they can conquer the world. Taste your words before you spit them out. Words are your thoughts coming to life. It’s your choice. Do you want to show that your are nice or nasty?
Your thoughts. All day, it’s just you and your thoughts. Do you sound like your best friend or the high school bully? Negative thinking is an easy pattern to fall into. It is also a harmful one. Your thoughts are your reactions to everything that goes on in your life. Treat them with extreme caution. Negative thoughts damage your happiness.
Random Acts of Kindness. It’s the little things in life that matter most. Hold a door, smile at people, buy someone a gift, and don’t forget to call your mother. Kindness touches the soul of another person. Everyone has a battle they are fighting. Your simple act of kindness soothes someone else’s pain. You have reached the highest level of your spiritual self. Your life has meaning.
Show people you love them Everyone knows how to tell someone “I love you” but do your actions match your words? Are you showing someone how much they are loved? The day is filled with many opportunities to cook someone you love their favorite meal, go out of your way to help someone in need, or simply being by the side of a crying friend.
Live awake and aware to the lessons of of your day. They have a lot to tell you.
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