The most important decision you will make today – well…you already made it.
In reality, it was made before you went to bed last night. And in some ways, you made the decision last week, last month, and you’ve been making it for years.
How am I going to start my day?
Did you hit snooze? Did you go to bed early enough to get sufficient rest? What did you think about first thing this morning? How did you prepare for what you’ll face today?
Many have never thought intentionally about the best way to begin the day. It just happens – every morning. Sometimes it goes well – sometimes, not so much.
If you don’t slay your dragons before breakfast, they’ll usually get the best of you. Your chances are better if you are prepared and have a plan for the first few moments of the day.
To prepare for each day, I ask 4 questions every morning:
1. What am I most grateful for today?
The answer is different every morning. Every morning I spend a few moments thinking of at least one thing or one person that I can be grateful for – and I intentionally pray about that one thing with a spirit of gratitude.
I often include challenging circumstances and relationships in these moments of thankfulness. It’s funny how this works – you don’t worry as much about someone or something when you’re grateful for them.
2. What can I can read or listen to?
I read something nearly every morning. A day or two each week I listen to books or music that are positive and relevant to what I am experiencing at that point in my life and work.
Most mornings I read several chapters from ancient Scripture – which helps me focus on timeless wisdom and universal principles that will positively impact my life and work.
I like music – my undergraduate degree is in music education – so I listen to music some mornings.
Listen to or read something positive and engaging to get the intellectual juices flowing.
3. Am I going to serve or be served?
I am a task-oriented, results-driven person. So it’s easy for me to gravitate toward being directive rather than toward servant leadership.
While we may understand the importance of servant leadership, it’s is something very different to actually practice it. In recent months, this discipline has become a top priority for me.
I don’t have it all figured out. And I don’t nail it every day. In fact, I probably fail more often than not. But I am making progress – because I am determined to grow purposefully in this area.
4. What would a great leader do?
A speaker at the 2012 Chick-fil-A Leadercast recommended this discipline – when faced with any challenge, ask yourself, What would a great leader do?
I now ask this question early each morning – and a number of times throughout the day.
Great leaders make great decisions – lots of them. When you make decisions the way great leaders make decisions, you are a great leader.
So, are you in a funk? Can’t get out? Try this tonight –
- Determine that you are going to get 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Note 2 or 3 questions or disciplines that you will start your day with tomorrow.
- Then try it.
Question: How do you spend the first few moments of your day? How does the rest of your day go? Engage in the conversation by leaving a comment.