Today we’re going to talk about finding balance in a hectic world. I don’t know about you, but everyday that I get up I look at the day as an opportunity to make the change in someone’s life, that I may be instrumental to giving them a smile on their face, maybe lifting them up just for a few minutes so that they can have a better day. So today we’re going to talk about how do you find balance in your day with the most important activities of your life.
I’ll give you a quick story about what I do and how I do this so that you too can learn and use these simple tactics and methods to grow your life in a way that you desire and you design.
The most important way to start the day is to rise out of that bed. Get up out of that bed at a reasonable hour that’s still quiet. Myself, I get up between 5 and 5:30 AM each morning. This is that still quiet or what I call the golden minutes of the day. My goodness, my spouse isn’t up, my kids aren’t up, even my dog is still lying down in his bed. This gives me an opportunity to rise up, have some quiet time, and start my morning routine. Oh, you don’t have a morning routine? I’m going to help you develop that today as well on this particular podcast. Our goal today is to give you those tactics that you can implement today so when you rise tomorrow you can start your week with a positive note. So first and foremost, I ask you, what is your morning routine? Do you have a written routine that you go through each day to make you more efficient, make you feel more positive, make you feel more in control?
First and foremost is this, when you rise early, the first thing I don’t want you to do is pick up that phone. Many of us live with that cell phone right next to our bed. I understand it can be your alarm clock. I get that. But you do not have to go on there to look at email first thing in the morning. Now if your job requires that kind of connectivity I certainly understand and you must adapt to it. But for most of us the email can wait until after our first golden minutes of the day have concluded.
The next thing I don’t do, is I don’t engage in social media. You know, it seems to me that social media has encroached on every facet of our life. We are so connected with the phone, right? And at the end of the day, really most of it is not positive. I know on Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and so forth there are a few bright moments that you might could obtain something that might improve your day. In most cases it’s someone that’s not so positive and I don’t believe you should fill your head at the golden minutes of the day with something negative.
The next thing I don’t do, is I don’t listen to the news or read the newspaper. Now at the end of the day, I will tell you, if you’ve got to look at the news that’s great, if you also want to look at news on your phone later in the day that’s great. I will suggest to you that we do not have positive news in our lives anymore. As a matter of fact in the most recent years you’ll notice the news has become even more negative. Even more disparaging and more divisive. So I just don’t do it in the mornings. Now, to replace the news in a general nature, I’ve actually set up what are called RSS feeds that I get feeds of information on the topics that I need to maintain knowledge. You know, I look at things in different mode, I want to control those inputs into my life instead of just being an open door to anyone that comes along. At the end of the day, the good key thing to remember is don’t start your day with social media. Don’t start your day watching the news. And don’t start your day checking that email. I promise you those items will be waiting for you after these golden minutes of the day have passed.
The next thing I’d like for you to do after you’ve gone through this process of rising early with a smile, spend ten to fifteen minutes in meditation, prayer, thought, think of your day of how you wish it would turn out. The mind is so powerful. If we tell ourselves that it’s going to be a great day and we fill our mind with pure positive clean thoughts of how we are going to accomplish our tasks for our day, the lives that we’re going to input, hopefully, some very positive affirmation, this is what we can start our day with and it will give you a sense of control. A sense of pride in how you’re going to start your day different from 99% of the world. And to me, I gotta tell ya, that in itself when you listen to that type of statistic that makes me feel in control and makes me feel like a much better person.
The next step I do is review my goals. You do have yours written down, right? Well if you don’t, I’m going to encourage you. Take a few moments today, write down your goals for your life. Be balanced in your goals. Again, we’re trying to find balance today. Find balance in your goals, they can’t all be work related. You know, I’m going to shock a lot of you, but your work may not be the most important factor in your life. Many of you have family, many of you have friends, maybe you have a philanthropic area that you wish to support. And you donate a specific amount of your energy, time, and resource to that particular organization. Well for me, I like to have balance. So I look at everything from my work related tasks and goals, as well as my personal goals. I even look at it from charitable goals. And I balance these out during my day.
The next thing I do is try to focus on what I call the big rocks. Let me give you a quick story. There was a college professor that had a science class. He brought to the science class a big jar. And he sat beside the jar some components. He sat rocks, he sat gravel, sand, and water. So the first thing he did, he held up the jar and he asked the students, “Are there any items in this jar?” And of course they said, “Well no, the jar is empty”. So he then took some big rocks and he put the big rocks in the jar. And he filled it to the top with just big rocks. He then asked the students, “Now is this jar empty?” And they said, “Of course not”. And he said, “Would you say the jar is full?” And most of the students shook their heads and said, “Yes, the jar is now full”. And he said, “Well, no, not really”. So then he took some of the gravel and he started to pour it into the open areas that were created by the bigger rocks inside the jar. He then held the jar up, and now the students looked at him again and he said, “Now is the jar full?” And the students certainly said, “Now it’s full, you put the gravel into the small areas”, and he said, “No it’s not quite full, lets see what we can do”. He then takes some sand and he places the sand into jar, and of course the small granules of sand fill every empty space that’s now left by the gravel and the big rocks. Looking at the students while holding up the jar, he says, “Now is the jar full?” And now the students are getting wise. They said, “Oh no, the jars not full”. And he said, “You are right”. And he took the last component of the experiment. He took the water and he poured it into the jar until it was just beaming over the top and it was leaking onto the table in front of them. And he said, “Now is the jar full?” And the students of course said, “Absolutely”. The point I’m making with this small story is had you only focused on the small items, the granules of sand, the water, your life becomes full before the most important things are given priority. What are your most important things, what are your big rocks that you have in your life? Could it be your family? Could it be your career? Could it be your charity? Could it be your pets? It depends on your priorities. It could also be your church. It depends.
Each of us have a different set of priorities in life. Each of us have different strengths, desires and talents. I encourage you to identify today your big rocks. Find out what’s the most important, I call them the big three. Find out the big three at least, each day and focus on those big three and then smaller tasks that are less important, may be more urgent, but are less important will not overtake that that is important. So focus on your big rocks as you go about your day today.
And then also I want to leave you with a quote. One of my mentors is a gentleman name Jim Rohn, now Jim has passed from this life but his words, his books, his recordings have left a legacy of wisdom. I listen to a lot of Jim’s recordings and I have many times listened to the same one if it’s a point that I really wish to ingrain in my mind and my memory and utilize in my life. I listen to it multiple times. Jim Rohn had a statement that I have remembered now for more than 25 years, I focus on this when I get up of the morning. After I’ve finished my morning ritual, I literally have this as a mantra. And his statement was, “Either you run your day, or it runs you.” Do you feel like you’re being run by the world? Or do you feel like you’ve got the world by the tail, that you’re the one in charge of your day? So today before we leave, I want you to focus on three small tasks. First and foremost develop a morning routine. Capture those golden minutes of the day before anyone else can interfere with your thoughts and get your day derailed. Number two, I want you to sit down and review your goals. If you don’t have them in writing, place those goals in writing. In future episodes we’re going to talk about how to set those goals and how to define them. The third thing, I want you to focus on the big rocks first in your day. Now you may not be a morning person. You may say, Jimmy I have tried for years to wake up before 10 AM. I’m just not a morning person, but I can work till 1 or 2 AM in the morning. Hey, that’s ok. We’re each built with a biorhythm that’s different than the other. Just find the time of day that you can focus, when it’s quiet with no outside forces interrupting your thoughts. And focus on the big rocks. I also have a great book that I recommend. This book has been out for more than 35 years. And it’s a book that I read a long long time ago that was very instrumental to me. And I heard this gentleman speak and met him on two occasions. He was instrumental on my focus on positivity in my life. The name of this book is called See You at the Top, by Zig Ziglar. You can find it at your local bookstore or you can find it on Amazon. But See You at the Top will help you frame your mindset so that you can once again take control of your life and be the person you wish.