I didn’t expect to write this today. Heck, I woke up this morning feeling outstanding. But my heart sunk when I heard about yet another senseless school shooting.
I grew up in a family of teachers and I’ve worked at schools and campuses myself. When I hear about a shooting, I think about my mom who was a math teacher, my dad who was a preacher, or my sister who currently is an assistant principal.
I cannot begin to imagine the terror actually inside a classroom or a church where people are hiding and fighting gunmen for their lives. It’s unthinkable to me.
So this is a moment where I think we should all just pause and reflect on our blessings, our health and our lives.
Just like UNC-Charlotte where the victims’ bravery saved lives, I pray they are bestowed posthumously with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
…I usually wake up early, pumped and excited. My wife usually asks me why I’m getting up so early. (I’m pretty sure it annoys her!)
But I can’t help being excited about the day and week ahead – or at least usually! I love what I do as a professional speaker and I am passionate about helping people through my speaking and writing platform. Like a chicken, just when the sun begins to show its beautiful colors, I wake up and I’m fired up!
But before my feet even hit the floor to get out of bed, I do 3 things that help me set the tone for the day ahead. These 3 things are my ritual and I’ve never shared them until now.
The senseless shootings today inspired me to write about them, because I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t wake up fired up. There’s a lot of people in tough situations right now and frankly, there’s a lot of people who don’t really enjoy what they do for a living.
And that’s OK … but it’s an innate desire in me to want to help others because I battled these same issues many years ago.
When my mind wakes me up in the morning, the first thing I do is take a moment to appreciate my first conscious breathe.
I’m alive and for that I should be grateful. You see in the last few years My sister, brother and father have all been diagnosed with cancer in some form. They are all survivors, but they all know the cancer can return. So the fact they are alive and I’m alive gives me sincere humility and appreciation.
The second thing I do is look over at my amazing wife and simply remind myself how lucky I am.
What my wife sees in me I still don’t know(!), but whatever it is I’m grateful. And right now especially, we’re expecting our first child – a baby girl – due literally any day. So when I look at my wife and her tummy, I’m in awe that our family is literally growing.
The third thing I do is think about something I look forward to that day AND something I’m looking forward to for the week ahead.
This is a trick my counselor gave me when I was teenager that helped me battle through and beat my depression. This is one reason I became so passionate about The Price is Right because it was about the only thing I looked forward to back then! You see, when we focus our mind on what we look forward to, that excitement shines through. It also helps us to more resilient and get through some of the junk we don’t look forward to. What we think about, we bring more about!
Once I do these 3 things, I place my feet on the floor and I get out of bed skipping! Then I feed by growling bulldog, feed my fish, feed my chickens, and make a cup of coffee! It’s a beautiful routine and it helps me get fired up for the day and week ahead.
But today was tough. My thoughts and prayers are with all the brave souls who bravely fought terror. They are heroes. Their families are suffering today beyond imagination.
So let’s reflect on their sacrifice today and appreciate the blessings we have.