“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” —Buddha
Bolo, a yellow Lab in guide-dog training, had been in my care for only a few weeks when I began to notice a wonderful pattern developing each morning. As soon as I would wake up and go toward her crate, she would beam with excitement. Her little tail would start wagging back and forth, almost knocking her over. Hardly able to contain herself, she would eagerly offer up the “sit” required for me to open up her crate and let her out. At the time, we were house training, so she would immediately follow me downstairs and head outside. As soon as she was done, she would return to me, tripping over her puppy feet and wagging her entire body, falling all over me as I sat on the stairs to greet her good morning.
Each day would start off this way, and it forced me to stop and take notice. How the moment her crate door opened, Bolo would grab her toy and move about with so much enthusiasm and joy as if to say, “Hooray! It’s a new day! Can you believe it? I am so excited to start another day! I can’t wait to do all the things I get to do!”
Now, as a 4-year-old, 63-pound fully house-trained dog, she no longer needs to race outside first thing in the morning. Having graduated from her crate to our bed, she waits patiently for me to open my eyes. Although I can’t see her with my eyes closed, I can feel her staring at me as I am coming out of my slumber. I imagine she is thinking to herself, Hurry! Wake up! We are missing valuable time in our day already! As my eyes open, I can see hers locked solidly on me as she instantly comes to life. Her eyes widen and her mouth takes on a doggie smile. If she had hands, this would be the moment she would clap them together and yell out, “Yeah! Game on! Let’s get this party started!”
What if you woke up like Bolo? What if you were fired up, ready to take on the day the moment you got out of bed? How would that change the outcome of your day, your relationships, your personal growth?
Be like your dog and you will change the way you see the world. In return, the world will change the way it sees you. Here are some thoughts to help you make your day extraordinary:
- Decide within the first 10 minutes of waking up exactly what type of energy you will bring to the day. Write it down on a piece of paper and refer to it throughout the morning, afternoon and evening to keep yourself on track.
- Predetermine your response to unexpected things that get thrown your way. Learn how to take a breath before reacting and avoid explosive angry responses, which will negatively affect your mood and the people around you, too.
- Do something special for others. Look for ways to engage in random acts of kindness. Bring co-workers bagels or donuts in the morning. Buy coffee for the person in line behind you. This “pay it forward” approach makes the day more memorable and elevates your mood, as well.
- Find ways to break up your routine and try something new in order to experience the day differently. Skip the gym in lieu of a morning hike. Try a new place to pick up your coffee. Take a friend out to lunch and try something new on the menu. Take a different route home from work.