Dear Why Team member,
How do you start your engine? Push Start? Pull Start? Coast and pop the clutch? For those who have never driven a stick, popping the clutch may be foreign to you. The point here is to consider how you start your engine in the morning? Why explore how you fire up your engine?
Because it sets in motion your performance for the day. How we start often affects how we finish. The engine metaphor is powerful. The necessity for oxygen, spark, explosion, fuel. Truth is redundant - what's true and necessary to...
...power up and run a mechanical engine is also true for firing up and running the engine that is you. No oxygen, no fire. No fuel, nothing to burn. My experience has been that nothing fires my engine faster and more effectively than pressing my Why. When I push into my Why, I can feel the strong ignition that fires me to action in the direction I most want to move. What and how alone, without the why, can lead to a weak and sluggish start to a new day.
Consider the importance of making decisions in advance, like gassing up the night before. Don't wait until morning to make your decision on when to get out of bed, decide way in advance, or at the very least, the night before. Remove the morning deliberation that will undoubtedly favor another hit to the snooze alarm. Decide in advance what you are going to do in service to your why, before those moments when human weakness may hold more sway. When do you decide whether to have dessert? After dinner when the tray of sweets are in front of you, or in advance before you even walk into the restaurant? Why must we establish our conviction and commitment in advance? Because in the heat of the moment our decisions are not always aligned with our higher aspirations, our why.
It's that classic line, "It just happened, I couldn't help myself".
Consider those moments you can't help yourself. Why?
To see the importance of preparation, first know thyself and then help thyself, in advance of those moments of weakness, by deciding how you will behave no matter what the heat of the moment try's to persuade you to do. Know that the heat of the moment can burn you if you have not put into place the disciplines that will keep you cool when the heat is on.
Consider how the lack of decisions in advance weakened you. What were the little decisions made in the emotion of the moment, that seemed so innocent at the time, yet were outside of your why, outside your values, your character.
Oh a little here, a little there, no harm right? Until you wake up one day asking, "What have I done?".
As we have heard, the devil is in the details, the lack of detail, the lack of preparation. However, with humility, knowing we are only human, we are best positioned to put into place, in advance, a more intentional commitment to not only starting strong, but finishing strong. Why be attentive to all of the details? To be the best we can be, of course, for ourselves and for others. And when we do falter, forgiveness is really the best balm for quick healing. Regrets inform and form us, embrace them. Learn and seek not to repeat the mistakes, then reignite with the strategies that worked, elevated, served and best ran your engine on all cylinders.
Living an other-centered life can also help keep one from self-centered mistakes.
To serve others is a powerful Why to live by.
Decide tonight what time you'll get up in the morning, no matter what time you go to bed. Commit to that more effective time to awake each morning, knowing that in time, if necessary, your body will put you to bed earlier to get more sleep. Don't compromise the morning, or you risk compromising the day. Never forget where you might find yourself if you allow one compromise to lead to another and to another.
Each new day is a brand new day to push your why, to ignite your engine, in service to your highest ideals. Start strong, finish strong and become even more of what the world needs now. If you haven't already, decide now what time you will get up each morning and no doubt you will make it a great week.
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