Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week's message finds you well and encouraged to let go of your best day ever. Why? So you can be ready for tomorrow, your new best day ever.
You may remember me mentioning Earl Nightingale as a man who inspired me in my early years. One of the main things he advises is to wake up an hour before anyone else in your household and start writing ideas down in a notebook, ideas that come to mind primarily related to your bigger goals in life. His suggestion reminds me of Edison who tried 10,000 ways to construct the lightbulb and one of those trials continues to enrich all of us today. In like manner, one of those ideas you write down will likely transform into something grand for you life.
How early do you awake to begin your day? Why?
Consider those who begin their day earlier than average and how they tend to reap rewards above average. Ben Franklin, as we know, did pretty well with his life; it was he who said, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".
This "early to bed" quote is a reminder that pops up on my phone every evening. I have a tendency to not let go of a day, which can result in my delaying the gift of the next new day.
What behavior makes letting go easier? When I feel I have been a good steward of the day given to me, I am more able to let go earlier in the evening, knowing that I invested well throughout the day; invested well in my own life and in the ones I love, friends and colleagues and the new people I get to meet. My head tends to hit the pillow a little earlier, and I sleep a little better, when I feel I have done well with the day I have been given. I find that I am more likely to arise again the next morning a little earlier more grateful and more excited about what a brand new day might bring and what I may be able to bring to this new day. It's fairly easy to see that those who are not getting what they want out of life are likely not putting very much into life. Of course, the gratitude list I read and that I will continue to encourage you all to create, helps me get excited about the new day, my Best Day yet.
For those of you who feel you're not getting back in equal measure at least what you have invested, consider that your investment itself may be failing to be its own reward. Nothing satisfies more than an authentic expression of love; it is an immediate gift to the bearer of it, whether the intended recipient wants it or not. Many recipients have difficulty receiving love for a whole host of reasons, but that says more about them than it does about us. When you invest what you invest into a new day, is it with conditions? Do you, consciously or subconsciously, have expectations of outcome or recognition for your contribution to the world? Why must others act the way you want them to for you to feel good about what you have done? It's reasonable to have some expectation of kindness, reciprocity in some form, but do you invest less when you receive less?
It is written in the ancient text that the farmer who cares too much about the wind will not sow and the one who cares to much about the rain will not reap. The farmer hoes his rows, lays his seeds, following the disciplines passed down to him from his father and from his father's father and the true farmer loves it. He lets not the threat of weather or even the lack of harvest keep him from his life of laying seed, planting. He invests time and energy, day after day, loving the work and being grateful for whatever harvest time will bring, knowing it is not entirely in his control what that harvest will be, but finding fulfillment knowing he has done his part.
A farmer comes home one night to tell his wife that they had won the lottery, he says to her "Honey, isn't that great? We get to farm for another twenty years!"
This is one of my favorite punch lines and I always pause after saying it, because most people are surprised by the farmer's comment, much less his enthusiasm that he can keep farming.
Why? Because for many of us work has become primarily “about the money paycheck”. Consider that classic car bumper sticker that reads, "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go".
Imagine working in a way, if you don't already, where your feeling is "I get to work" rather than "I have to work”. Why you do what you do determines your impact on others and ultimately what you will get out of life.
Work that you get to do is its own reward. The attitude you put into your days will determine the altitude of your life. And as you rise higher, you will see more truth about yourself and others revealing more opportunities to serve. Since you are a member of the Why Team I know I am largely preaching to the choir, but there is a reason we choir members like to take in our favorite sermons, again and again, no matter the forum in which they are delivered.
May these words help to renew your spirit, assist in elevating your life, and further empower you to become more, in service to yourself and to others.
Make it a great week,