It’s 5:44am. I just got back. My glasses are fogged, my heart is beating fast, and drops of sweat are falling from my head as I sit here on the couch writing this post. I woke at 3:50am today and finally rolled out of bed at 4:14am after lying in bed waiting for something to happen, something that would motivate me to get my day going.
I am up early a lot and most of the time I am doing something healthy. I wondered if maybe I should go back to sleep. It’s early and my bed is comfortable. Then the voice in my head started to get louder. It was letting me know about the thing I wanted to do before I went to bed last night, you know, wake up early and go for a run. It was doing exactly what I suggested. It wanted me to get up, go outside, get some exercise and watch the sun rise. It wanted me to think about how I would feel after I went for a run. The more I stayed in bed, the louder the voice got. It asked me what my day would look like if I got up now and went for a run and what it might look like if I didn’t get up and go for a run. I knew if I allowed myself to focus on how good I would feel long enough that I would eventually get motivated enough to get my butt out of bed and go. It was clear to me that if I did I would feel so much better about myself and therefore so much more would be accomplished. A part of me was firing back saying that I woke up early the day before and went for a run. A debate was going on and there was no remote to change channels. I was present enough to know the other side of me, the part that is good at making excuses, was trying to bully the part of me that “knows” what I should be doing. Out of nowhere, I had a spark of energy that rocketed me out of bed. It was like a whip snapping me in the rear. I was up!
What was it that got me out of bed? Why did I choose to listen to the part of me that knows? I turned my phone flashlight on (I didn’t want to wake my wife and I think I did) and searched for my sneakers, grabbed my running pants, put on a long sleeve shirt and headed down stairs.
I tied my sneaker laces firmly and off I went. As I ran down the dark dirt path that leads to the paved public streets, my mind started doing what it does best, thinking and trying to figure things out. I noticed the birds chirping. There were several, all with different pitches. It was nice. I noticed the sound of my sneakers hitting the ground. I heard my breath and felt alive. There was no one around and I liked it. My mind loves quiet, it has less distractions and plenty of time to allow the thoughts that want to be heard to come forward and be noticed.
I started thinking about my careers; consulting and coaching. Oh yeah, and my apparel project. I was having a “moment”. I was reflecting on where I was in my life from another perspective. I was looking down on me as me but noticing me. It’s “meta” and something I learned in NLP. I was looking at where I am now and how it made me feel. I felt good. I noticed how each one of my interests is something I enjoy doing. They all mean a lot to me. I noticed how it made me feel and how happy I am to be where I am. Not financially. It was about me being in a place that felt right. The voice was pointing out to me how my life’s purpose, helping others get what they want, and my behaviors, actually doing it, were aligned. To me this is happiness. Doing what I believe in and making a difference. Good stuff!
I looked up and noticed the moon and the sun were present at the same time. Wow, this was cool and it’s not something I typically think about. The voice wanted me to notice this and possibly compare it to my life. It’s possible that it wanted me to know how lucky I am to be doing the things I like. Just like the sun and the moon are doing what they are doing at the same time, so was I. Was this life’s way of letting me know I am doing what I should be doing?
I must have been 2 miles in on a 3.2 mile run when I passed a side road and considered taking it. If I took it I would be adding more distance and time to today’s run. This wasn’t in the brochure. Then out of nowhere I felt a spark of energy, just like the spark that rocketed me out of bed earlier. I turned back and decided to take a different route, just as the voice was suggesting. It was only a moment or two (it felt much longer) when the part of me that can make excuses was trying to tell the other side of me that I didn’t have to add more time and distance and I was already up early doing something good. Did I really need to add more time and distance? What would I get out of doing this? The other side of me must have been feeling brave today because it stood up to the bully again, the excuse side, and said I can do more, that’s why! And that’s exactly what I did. I turned around and went another direction.
As soon as I made the adjustment and set new coordinates, my mind resumed feeding me more good thoughts. It was almost like I was being rewarded for doing something extra. So, I started thinking about the obstacles in my life. The current ones (yes, I have more than I would like to admit) as well as the ones of my past (I have enough for both you and me). It was like magic. I had this amazing feeling that everything in my life is the way it should be. The good, the bad and the ugly. I felt like I just finished putting together a thousand piece puzzle. Everything fit and I had no extra pieces. I don’t know and I can only guess, but it seems like the voice was trying to let me know something. It wanted me to know that life is not static. Sometimes we must take new roads that we don’t expect and when we do, it’s for a reason. We may not always know the reasons at the time but there are reasons. There are reasons to everything we do. I was being rewarded for being up early and fed treats for doing something different. I was open and I was listening.
Today my head feels like someone was inside and planted a seed. I am suddenly aware of a new belief. Was this the seed that was planted? This belief feels familiar and new at the same time. It’s the belief that I am here now because it’s where I belong; that I create my reality and I am responsible for everything I have done, everything I am doing and everything I will be doing. This certainly wasn’t in the brochure when I decided to take a new route.
My run was coming to close and before it did the voice shared with me a couple of good ideas I should consider for the consulting work I do. They appear to be great ideas and things worth exploring. I was really feeling good about listening to the voice. It knows and it wants to share what it knows.
Life’s message to me and possibly life’s message to you through me is that we are where we are because we should be. We might consider accepting our lives for what it is and not for what we think it should be. What would happen if we accepted this reality? How nice would it be?
Sometimes I can be hard on myself and think about all the things that haven’t worked out. And it’s now, right now, that I realize that it’s all the setbacks, obstacles and failures that make me who I am today. It’s part of my life’s journey. Today’s experience confirms that I know where I am going in life and it’s ok that I don’t always know how I am going to get there.
Through NLP (Steve Leeds and Rachel Hott) I learned not knowing is one of my most powerful resources.
Today is a good day. It’s a day that I have been waiting for and it may not have happened if I didn’t get out of bed when I did. I wonder what kind of experience I would have had if I didn’t go back and take a different route? There is a lot I am curious about. I am wondering now if this is life’s way of letting me know it’s ok to experience new things, embrace obstacles/setbacks and allow myself to not always know?
We all have our own setbacks, obstacles and challenges. They are all important because it’s part of life. It’s our mindset that keeps up going and it’s our mindset that will take us wherever we want to go. If we focus on failure we will experience more failure. If we focus on success we will experience more success.
I posted something this week and wasn’t planning on doing another until next week. Today’s post is not about me. It’s about exploring the things you know you should be doing and doing them. It’s about accepting, believing and being open. I am so grateful for what I experienced today. There is much more for me to explore and experience. I am grateful and blessed to be here sharing this experience with you. Now it’s time to shower up and go about the day. Thanks for being curious.
Enjoy the ride!
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Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach