A great secret to an amazing life is the power of observation. It helps to play a little bit of detective when it comes to your own life. Examining why you do the things you do and more to the point how they impact you life can go a long way towards taking control of that very same life. Let me give you a personal example to help explain this point a little better. When I was a young child I used to watch this nature show. The opening scene involved these men flying over a group of animals in Africa and one would lean out and shoot a tranquilizer dart into the herd. The animal would continue to run for a few seconds before stumbling around as if it drank too much rum and then just fall over. This scene is very close to how I am when I wake up for work at 4:30 in the morning. Before the coffee kicks in, I am that animal that got the dart. I stumble around the house, tempted to fall back into bed.
This morning was different. Although as I rose out of bed after about 5 hours of sleep, I felt that I might have escaped the dart. Maybe the man circling above my house missed? As I continued to get ready I only felt more alive. After the coffee was brewed and I had packed my lunch, and kissed Margie goodbye, I was off for the 30 minute drive. I listened to the band Tito and Tarantula and sipped my coffee as I drove along. Just a little bit before 6am, I arrived at work and felt better than I can remember feeling in a long time! As I began my daily labors I began to ask myself some questions, “Why was I feeling so good?” I did not sleep a very long time. I actually ate a frozen pizza for dinner. Not a healthy energy giving meal. I took my usual vitamins, the coffee wasn’t that strong and nothing else seemed to be out of the ordinary. So why did I not feel like the lion in the picture above?
Why had I seemed to escape that feeling of walking in quicksand that envelops me every other morning? I began to recall everything I had done both the night before and that morning. Was there anything new and different? Obviously there was. Instead of sleeping away the first few hours of my day as I usually did, here I was feeling…well…almost human. I made notes of the songs I listened to on the way to work. I made note of what I ate for dinner, what Margie and I had done the evening prior. Nothing seemed to different. Tomorrow I am going to try a few of these activities again and monitor the results. I’ll keep you posted as to what seems to work for me. It may or may not work for you. As I write this, I feel like I should adopt the habit of Voltaire who drank 40 cups of coffee a day. I am sure my cardiologist wouldn’t like that and I might have to move my laptop to the men’s room, but I digress. What gave me so much energy this morning and why do I feel like I could fall asleep somewhere between the D and K keys on my computer?
This is what I mean by becoming your own detective investigating your life. If you have a day (or even a particular situation) that seems to work out quite well, ask yourself the elements that played into the situation. If you a day where it feels like you were flushed down the commode of life, investigate that too. What caused that situation to go south? Then, do more of the former things and less of the latter. Continually perform what David Goggins calls a living autopsy. Examine what things in your life give you good results and which hold you back.