IF YOU WANT A GREAT DAY by ACHUCKAllen
We’ve all had “those days.” You know what I’m talking about. The days that you feel like everything just explodes on you with the foul stench of negativity. The kind of day when you aren’t sure why, but you just can’t get over the roar that you hear in your head that is screaming for you to lose it with whoever is the next person in front of you. I’ve had plenty of those days as well, but I’ve also learned a few things that minimize the number of the gross days significantly.
Here are three ways to minimize the number of days that kick you in the hind parts and maximize the number of days that you kick the world’s hind parts. Come on, let’s do this!
- I know you are tired of reading these words, but I will promise you that if you will start your day off by writing down 2-3 things that you are grateful for, it will change your life. If you are a regular reader, you know that I started a gratitude journal a few years ago. I KNOW that it has had a radical impact on my life, in every good way!
- That’s not an overstatement, that’s a scientifically proven fact. Every study, including Harvard Medical School, says that gratitude has a huge impact on our lives.Here is a quote from the Harvard Med Study: “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
- Limit the number of tasks on your to-do list, but get the biggest, most challenging task out of the way first! If you are like 99% of Americans, you like the feel of checking your to-do’s off, so you tackle the easiest tasks on your list out of the gate. If you limit the number of tasks to ensure that you stay focused on what matters most, you will rest better, sleep better and remain energized by your accomplishments and success. Mark Twain once said; “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” One of our most powerful emotions is the sense of accomplishment. There is nothing quite like slaying your badest, nastiest dragon first thing!
- Learn to take 10 minutes and meditate! I know what you are thinking, “Chuck, dude, you are killing me. If I have to swallow the big frog first, I don’t have time to meditate. Abraham Lincoln said; “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”Given his task, it seemed to have served him pretty well. Meditation is sharpening your ax to slay the dragon, or eat the frog! In my world, meditation includes four elements, over 20 minutes. You can start with 10 minutes and add to that as your habit forms.
- Here is my meditation plan:
1) Write down three things that I am grateful for. Over the past three years, I have never run out of things to be grateful for.
2) Read a short piece of a Bible reading plan (I enjoy He Reads Truth or the plans in YouVerse).
3) I pray out loud. I know that may not be your thing, but I am distracted easily and I’ve found that praying out loud and with my eyes open helps me “feel like me and the Divine are in a friendly chat.”
4) Quietude. This was the step in my meditation maturation that took longer to learn. I had to learn the discipline of quietude. It doesn’t take long, but about 3 minutes of quietude can settle your soul to the degree that you can actually “hear” the promptings of the Divine. Just a thought, but I think this is why we have two listening ears and one talking mouth.The key to having far more days that are great, rather than gross is to learn this discipline of meditation. Maybe your faith system never saw meditation as part of wholeness and health, but you can trust this ancient and biblical meditation habit to set your soul on a course for peace, fulfillment and even happiness.
Sharpen your ax, my friend and see how consistency in the art of meditation changes every aspect of your life for the better!