As far back as I can remember, I have always struggled with looking forward to tomorrow. I am constantly trying to draw out today as long as I can because I am always dreading the things I have to do the next day. And as you might guess, this can lead to a lot of bad habits. Instead of going to bed at a reasonable time, I stay up all night eating junk food and watching movies. I will do anything I can to keep the "dream" alive and not "give up" and go to bed. To those more well adjusted folk out there, this may sound like crazy talk. Who doesn't know to go to bed early so they can rise early and refreshed?
This guy, that's who.
And I know I'm not alone. I know there are many of us out there. Sometimes we call ourselves "Night Owls" but really we are just afraid to go to sleep. Going to sleep is like giving up. Going to sleep means we have to get up in the morning and do it all over again. It seems like too much to bear. Tomorrow feels like too much work and we want to avoid it as long as possible. I've been this way since I was a little kid. I think most kids don't want to go to bed. They feel like they are missing out on all the fun stuff if they go to bed before the adults. Most people grow out of this as they get older. And some don't. Some never stop feeling like they are missing out on something by going to bed early.
I often wonder how many more people would struggle with this if they didn't have a job that made them get up early. I mean, you won't keep a job for long if you keep showing up when you want to. I have almost always worked for myself. Being a musician, all my "jobs" are at night, so I am blessed with the gift of setting my own morning schedule. This is both a blessing and a curse, however, because no one is there to make me get up at 8 am. I can sleep until noon if I want to. Sounds like heaven, right? And don't get me wrong, it is awesome in a lot of ways. But you also become your own worst enemy because you start sleeping in every day and suddenly you aren't getting anything done. You know you need to get up earlier, but then the next morning comes and you keep deciding to sleep in. It's madness, really. How do we overcome this? How do we get to the place where we aren't fearing tomorrow but looking forward to it? How do we become so excited about tomorrow that we can't wait to get up in the morning?
After years of soul-searching, I have found these are the 6 keys to help me look forward to tomorrow and to get up and seize the day!
1. Excitement for what I want to do must outweigh the dread for what I have to do
This is the hardest one but the most important. We all have things we have to do that we don't want to do. But if our life is filled with those tasks only, we are going to get burned out very fast. It is really important that we have a clear picture of what we want to do with our lives. We need to find our true calling, our purpose, that thing that we were put on this earth to do. Then we need to have concrete goals that we are working to achieve. If we can get laser-focused on the things we want to achieve in life, then we can get up every day with an excitement to take another step closer to those goals. If you don't know what your one thing is yet, I would strongly urge you to do some soul-searching. It is out there, you just have to find it. And once you do, your life will change forever!
2. Must overcome the "Dread of the Physical"
It is crucial that we take good care of ourselves. We need to eat right and exercise daily. We all know this, but a lot of us don't do it and then wonder why we have no energy or why we are depressed. When you don't eat well, you don't feel well and then everything becomes harder because your body is tired, achy and lacking the nutrition it needs to function well. It is crucial you treat your body right. If you do, then you will be excited to get up and conquer the day!
3. Must overcome the "Fear of the Physical"
This one is very closely linked to number two. If you are not taking good care of yourself, fear can start to creep in and take over. We start to worry more about our health when we are not taking good care of ourselves and this uses up so much energy. It also causes a lot of unnecessary stress and can make us want to just stay in bed all day. But if you are eating well and exercising, you can feel good that your body is healing and doing the things it needs to do to stay healthy and these fears are destroyed.
4. Must have a clean and comfortable nest
Clean your house! I did an article about how to overcome negativity (you can read it by clicking here) and one of the steps in that article was also to clean your house. This is so often overlooked yet so important to our happiness and mental well being. We need a comfortable nest. We need to get up in the morning and know we will be in an environment that is clean and organized. When we live in a mess, our lives become a mess. So clean your house and be proud of your nest!
5. Must have strong relationships
John Donne said it best - "No man is an island." Human beings are not meant to live alone in solitude. We are social creatures. And I get it, some of us are introverts. I know I am. I love being alone most of the time. But I have learned that I cannot be alone all the time. I need good people in my life. I need love. And I need to be needed by others. We all do. We all need people that we can't wait to interact with. This can be family, friends or even just acquaintances we enjoy at work. This can even include pets. We just need someone we can't wait to get up and love and know they will love us back.
6. Must have music
Of course, I am going to drop this one in there. But it is really true for me and I think most people. Music is amazing. It's a game changer. And if you haven't tuned in to how much music can change your life, you maybe haven't found the right music yet. Keep exploring until you find the soundtrack of your soul. It's worth it. Some days it is only the excitement of the music I get to listen to that gets me out of bed. Music is powerful. And it will always be there waiting to help you get your day started.
Don't give up my friend. There is a path for you. Tomorrow should be a blessing, not a curse. Us "Night Owls" just need to find our own path to that blessing. It's there. Right in front of you. Just like tomorrow, it is waiting for you to discover it's beauty. So go to bed because a world of opportunity is waiting for you! See you tomorrow!
P.S. I have a playlist called Smooth Jazz Piano's Best that is one of my go-to's when I am struggling and need some music to lift me up! It's full of fun, groovy and inspiring smooth jazz that I think you would really enjoy! Hit the button below to get the playlist now. Don't worry, it's totally free!