Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Worry - Part 2 (My Formula to Eliminate It?)

At Al-Anon we are provided tools and new thoughts to deal with the worry we sometimes have. At one meeting we talked about "Change" and dealing with "crap." I think "crap" was the euphemism for "Problems." Although the word, "crap," may be a more offensive word - I think it is more accurate.

I was surprised how many people spoke of getting up in the morning and dreading the day. They got up thinking about problems. I thought about this several times over the past week or so since this meeting. Why was it that people got up in the morning thinking about problems and worrying about the crap? Why was this their first thought of the day?

And, did I used to think about the crap or dread the day? Truthfully, I think I did. I think I used to think about the problems I was faced with.

But more importantly, why didn't I think I think about problems or dread the day any more?

These questions are extremely personal - and what I mean by this is - I am not judging myself as better than those who think about problems when they first get up in the morning. I am just trying to figure out when and where I made that shift - from thinking about problems to thinking about and doing - "jumping out of the bed" excited about the day.

Yes, getting out of the bed has been a little tougher lately, due to the problem I am facing.

But, I do not worry or dread the day. Why?

I am thinking this out loud this morning - "Why?"

I think I do a few things that may help you. It is important that I recognize that when I don't do them, my morning is off kilter (what the hell is a kilter?). My morning is like the static on an old TV (remember before we had cable?). These two sentences are meant to reinforce to me to make sure I do these. The most important one is the subject of today's post.

Read Something Inspirational for One Hour Each Morning
First, and I know this has been a life saving event for me, is that I get up early, every morning, including Saturday and Sunday. I mean, by 5AM (sure, some days are tougher, especially when there is real chaos in the house).

So why do I get up soooo early - some may ask. I do this to start my day out with reading of something "inspirational" - something "personally motivational." I reprogram my mind. I get up and study or read - if you prefer -something that is "enlightening" for at least, and I mean at least, an hour. This one thing, has turned my life around from negativity to being positive and optimistic. It has helped me build my self-esteem and my bank account. It has provided me new friends and new thoughts and views of the world. I cannot say enough about it. I can also say that humbly, I still make make mistakes and do and say stupid things. I just don't do as many as I used to - and - I feel good about myself!

But this one thing, has allowed me to gain peace. In some ways it is my meditation. It has allowed me to see the world of one of problems, to seeing the world of one of opportunities.

I first started this about - 18 years ago? I cannot remember exactly. But, I can tell you I was too poor to buy my own books, so I used to go to the library and take home five to 10 books at a time. I would first study books on leadership, management, time management, sales, marketing and self-help. These were my subjects that I was trying to improve in.

I do think this is where I went from dreading the day and thinking about problems to literally jumping out of bed with excitement that this time was mine and that I would have this all to myself.

Try this and see if it works for you. Again, I do this every day, so it has become a habit, a ritual, in my life;

Here are some finer points;

  1. Set your clock 30 minutes earlier than you typically wake up. Then a week from now set it another 30 minutes earlier than this. You'll get used to it. You may have to go to bed a little earlier at night. I now get up without an alarm clock.
  2. Find some very exciting book you think you would enjoy. Don't read something fictional, or something that is a downer. This is the "rudder of your day" time. It is the time of the day that you can determine which way to sail - north or south. I say - "go North" (i.e. positive).
  3. I do this before the sun comes up. I love to watch the sun come up. It is a thing of beauty. I try to sit near a window facing the sun coming up (this is my little deal - may not apply to you.).
  4. I sit with a spiral notebook and take notes. It's a cheap notebook. But what this does is a double whammy - I read and write. It focused my brain on the subject and forces me to see and think things I normally would skip over if I was :just" reading. This in and of itself is SUPER powerful. Even if you never go back and reread your notes, you will be surprised how this little thing helps you!
  5. The notebook thing - #4 above . . . this also keeps your mind from wandering. Even if you rewrite whole passages - verbatim - from the book. Try it.
  6. I drink coffee and ice water. The coffee gets me going. The water, I am not sure why I drink so much water. I just do. This one here - #6, is purely what I do. Probably not important.
  7. I do this before anyone is up in the house, or the hotel I am staying in. I do not have a problem going to a McDonald's or Starbucks - even when there are 20 people running around - it's different than when people are running around you that you know, however.

I get such a kick out the morning now. Try this and see.

By the way, the book that I would recommend is a Robert Anthony book. See over to the right of this blog for the titles. Also, any Brian Tracy book. A good one is Maximum Achievement. This is a book about thinking and the universal laws of life.

There are many other books. Perhaps, you can share your books you have found enjoyable.

Good Luck this morning!


Syd said...

I read the Al-Anon daily readers. They help me start and end my day. I also start my day on my knees in prayer. That is the most important part of my "jump starting" the day.

FrannyGlass said...

I'm also a big fan of early mornings. I get up at 5:10 or so every day, meditate for 20 to 30 minutes, and read for about a half hour. It's the one, solid, peaceful time period I can count on all day. I usually end the day with journalling.