Why I get up early

My puppy has long since destroyed my slippers, so now I have to stand barefoot on the dewy grass outside each morning (teeth clattering and ears freezing). This is my life now – each day I get up early to take my doggie outside before I leave for work. I stand in the cold darkness (while Bogart the Beagle sniffs around) and wonder what I did in life to deserve having to get up this early.

Sunrise

I used to get up when it was still dark outside back when I was still in school. But it was different then – my mom literally had to kick me out of my bed like I kicked Bogart out this morning. If you asked me in high school why I got up in the mornings, I would’ve told you that it wasn’t exactly my choice.

But it’s my choice now, much like it was when I first started studying. Parental coercion suddenly became self-discipline.   And here I am with stars still out above my head, getting up early to go to work. It’s only now, thinking about it, that I realise even in the cold of winter, getting up early isn’t something I do because I have to. It’s a choice I make, much like it was a choice when I was studying.

I won't have to get out of bed for days and days!

The reason I make this choice with each new dawn is simple: lying in bed the whole day is not the life I want to lead. I actually want to do things, get things done, throughout the week. And I guess that’s why so many people go the extra mile through studying via distance learning.

Distance learning is tough, maybe even tougher than getting up early. It takes self-discipline, dedication, and self-motivation (there’s no mom to kick you out of bed in the morning and tell you to open your textbook and study!). It’s a choice you make, even though you know it would be much easier not to make it.

Distance learning is for those who want to make something of their lives. They get themselves out of bed in the morning because they know that’s the only way to get anything done throughout the day. And you know what: these are the people who are going to be successful in life.

All in all, I have to admit, getting up early in the winter isn’t all that bad. At least I get paid to do it. And I was only able to get a paying job because I finished my studies by getting up early in the mornings. That’s how you get things done. One thing is for certain though, with my next pay cheque I’m buying myself some cosy new slippers and keeping them out of reach of my puppy.

Beagle puppy

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Do what you love

 

“Happiness is by choice, not chance” – Jim Rohn

There is this general misconception in life that if we have two or three university degrees, work long hours, and earn a five or six figure salary, we will be happy.

Life is hard, challenging, demanding, and sometimes asks too much of us, but we do not have to enslave ourselves in order to be happy.

Let me be clear – there is nothing wrong with having an education and striving towards your goals by working long hours. We all have different ideals and dreams. But if you ask yourself today: “Am I happy? Genuinely happy?” and you hesitate to answer, then I have a simple solution for you.

You do not necessarily have to change your career or uproot your whole life in order to find the happiness that you deserve. There are simple things in life that can make us feel secure, loved, happy, excited and content.

Riding a bike at sunset

Here is a list of a few things that you can do:

  1. Find time to do some exercise. Not because you need to lose weight, but to get some blood and endorphins flowing! You will feel healthier. Exercise does not necessarily mean spending hours in a gym – you can do something less strenuous, such as going for a 20-minute walk every day.
  2. Look in the mirror and find a physical quality that you like about yourself. Write it down and remind yourself of it every day.
  3. Think about 5 non-physical things that you like about yourself, and add it to your growing list.
  4. Think about 5 activities that you enjoy, such as playing with a dog or kitten, cooking food, swimming, or listening to music. Write them down and try to do at least one of them once a week.
  5. Write down 5 things that you would like to do, but have not yet gotten around to doing, such as taking cooking classes, travelling to certain destinations, studying a course, or learning a new language. Set yourself goals to do at least one of those things in the next year.
  6. Make time for yourself to relax and be comfortable. This may entail taking a bath, wearing your favourite pyjamas, curling up under a blanket, or having a massage. Do this at least twice a week.
  7. Make a list of your favourite sounds, smells and tastes. Sensory stimulation is one of the best ways to trigger happiness. It may be the sound of the rain, the smell of freshly mown grass, or the taste of a chocolate croissant. Take the time to experience these things again. Some are so simple, for nature provides us with these comforts.
  8. Make a list of 5 goals that you want to reach in the next ten years. Motivation is a great way to elicit happiness.

I am responsible for my own happiness

We have a right to be happy. We tend to forget that happiness is right at our fingertips. Eating more healthily, exercising, and doing things that we love are important steps in the direction of happiness.

Remember that we are responsible for ourselves, and therefore have the power to be joyful and content. Write your own story. Do what you love!

 

“Happiness is a direction, not a place.” – Sydney J. Harris

Happiness is a choice. You are the only person who can make you happy. You're as happy as you choose to be.