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What's Your First Thought When You Wake Up?

On Wednesdays, my wife works late.

So, I make dinner and feed our toddler twins, get them in their pajamas and ready for bed, read them a book and pray to God that they fall asleep.

After all of that, I can’t even think about cleaning up the living room, kitchen and wiping down their highchairs just yet.

So, I’ll plop on the couch and scroll through my Facebook feed for a bit.

This week I came across a Facebook post that made me feel a unique combination of curious, sad, frustrated and happy.

Weird right? Allow me to explain.

In the post, a Facebook friend of mine asked this simple question:

“What is your first thought when waking up?”

Over 130 people responded to his question!

First, I can barely get people to comment on a cute photo of our twins when I post.

Second, when I saw that so many people had responded, I got curious and wanted to see what they had to say.

That’s when I got sad.

Here’s a small sample of their responses to the question, “What is your first thought when waking up?”:

This again?

I’m not gonna drink tonight

F*ck my life

Coffee

No!

Ugh

$hit, I’m still alive

Not again

Is it the weekend yet?

After reading these responses, I got frustrated.

I got frustrated because I know firsthand what it’s like to wake up with similar thoughts.

I know what it’s like to wake up feeling anxiety about the day to come. To wake up feeling like I’m already behind before I even get out of bed.

All of this made me think about a powerful quote I heard once: “The world isn’t full of victims, it's full of volunteers.”

Let that sink in.

Now I’m going to pose the exact same question to you: “What is your first thought when waking up?”

Before you answer, here are a few thoughts (this is where I got happy).

Remember what it was like to wake up on Christmas day or your birthday when you were a kid? You would basically greet the day with excitement.

Remember when you were a kid and woke up on the first day of the new school year? You could hardly contain your joy because you were so excited to see your friends.

Remember what it feels like to wake up the morning that you’re off on vacation to some cool destination? Getting up was never easier.

At some point, we lose the innocence of our youth. Joy and excitement gets replaced with fear, bills, work, lawns to cut, kids to feed, rent and mortgages to pay and more. We start to wake up with an "ugh" instead of a "yeah!"

Call me naïve, but I believe that we can get back to waking up with a smile instead of a frown.

In fact, my goal is for you to wake up not with dread but with excitement.

To wake up each morning ready to attack the day instead of being attacked.

To wake up ready to win instead of doing your best not to lose.

What this requires is something that most of us don’t have. A clear purpose. A clear mission. A clear why we are doing what we are doing.

Not having a clear purpose, mission or why (why you do what you do), is like walking in the dark with your arms out trying not to bump into anything or stub your toe.

Having a clear purpose, mission and why is like having a powerful lantern and flashlight to guide you even in the darkest conditions and challenging of times.

If you’re curious whether you have a clear purpose, mission or why, let’s revisit this question:

“What is your first thought when waking up?”

Your answer could be a great indicator if you do or do not have a clear purpose, mission and why.

Remember, there are so many ways to live this life. Don’t forget, you have a say in this.

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Antonio Neves is a nationally recognized leadership speaker, award-winning journalist and author of 50 Ways To Excel In Your First Job (And In Life).

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