What Gets You Out of Bed?


Some years ago I lived on the fringe of a large city.  In the morning, I had to get to the other side of town to teach at a college.  I had a full day ahead of me and no time to waste.  I did whatever it took to avoid the worst of the traffic.  I couldn’t be late.


Traffic was tolerable until 6:40 AM.  I don’t know why this happened at 6:40.  It seemed as though all the cars reached some sort of critical mass at that hour and the streets became frustrating parking lots.  If I left home after that time, I was doomed.  I mumbled expletives and was tempted to commit road rage more than once.  And, I carried something of this mood with me during the day.


One day when I was grumbling about this situation, a student shared with me that she used to have rat-race days but decided to change things.  She placed a favorite poster on the wall next to her bed.  It was a picture of a path through a beautiful, old wood forest.  A child was walking the path.  The student said she took time every morning to remind herself of the majestic beauty of the earth and imagine herself as the child discovering exciting new things with every step.  She approached her demanding academic curriculum and social life with that perspective.


It made me think:  Why do I get out of bed?  What’s on my mind as the alarm rings that gives me the deeper purpose of the day – and all my days?


Is it just to avoid things:  rush-hour traffic, unpaid bills, tardiness, disappointed people, etc.  Is it just to accumulate as much money and stuff as I can? Or, is there something more important, more inspiring, something really worth living for that gets me out of bed?


If your days are like my rush hour days or my student’s rat-race days, it’s time for a change.  Ask yourself what gets you out of bed in the morning.  Consider your hopes and dreams.  Think about how you will make a difference in your work, your family, your community – and in this troubled world.  Find the passion and purpose that will get you up and out with excitement and anticipation!


© Glen Rediehs, Ph.D.

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