"Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit."
Start out your day on a courageous note by consciously and intentionally waking up with a strong, healthy, and optimistic attitude. This initial direction to the day makes a big difference! By starting out on the right foot, the rest of the day is much more likely to fall in place. So make the commitment to begin every day with a Wake-Up Call of Courage.
The first attitude to have when waking up is gratitude. Be grateful for having another day. Be thankful for having another opportunity to help and serve others. Even when facing great challenges, find something to be grateful for.
To turn this attitude of gratitude into a strong habit, connect this pattern of thinking with a specific action that you take every morning. Many people find that a good trigger for this is the action of placing your feet flat on the ground for the first time when getting out of bed. Connect putting your feet solidly on the ground with the thought pattern of giving thanks. Do it intentionally every morning, right when you put your feet flat on the ground. After a short time, this will soon become a powerful and self reinforcing habit. To make it a strong habit faster, pause for a few moments and dwell upon your feeling of gratitude as you get up. Think of the things you are thankful for, and internalize a strong feeling of gratitude. Emotionalize your thoughts. Let your gratitude completely fill you up.
Now, as you get fully up out of bed, summon up your courage. Think of your goals and your dreams. Visualize your goals from the perspective of a courageous person. Your goals are not simply fantasy and pipe dreams. No. Your goals are real. Your goals are achievable. Your courageous actions will cause you to achieve your goals!
Your strongest, most motivating goals will be ones that bring about the greatest benefit to others. This will result in the deep personal satisfaction that comes from helping others. Goals that are selfish or small do not inspire courage. Have big goals, that serve a grand purpose. Have goals that you enjoy pursuing and that you find deeply satisfying. These are the thoughts that nourish and strengthen your courage.
You will find that as you go about the rest of your morning routine, thoughts of gratitude and courage will continue to grow and strengthen. Encourage this growth. Reinforce positive thoughts and ideas. Just as watering plants makes them grow and thrive, nourishing these thoughts will cause gratitude and courage to become stronger.
The wake-up call technique can help you build up and strengthen your courage. Although the technique is simple and straightforward, it has real power.
SUMMARY: THE WAKE-UP CALL OF COURAGE
1. As you wake-up, think of the things and the people for which you are grateful. Emotionalize and internalize this feeling.
2. Anchor this feeling with a specific action you take every morning, such as putting your feet flat on the floor as you get out of bed.
3. Now, summon up your courage. Feel the strength and the boldness fill you up.
4. When your courage is strong, visualize your goals and your dreams. Have the attitude that your goals and dreams are 100% realistic, and that through your courageous actions, you will achieve these goals.
5. Remember that your goals that serve a greater purpose other than just yourself have the greatest power. Go for your goals that will bring you the greatest satisfaction while at the same time bring about the greatest good.
Published by Tom Heston MD 3/26/2012
Tom Heston MD is a Johns Hopkins trained physician who practices clinical medicine in the Pacific Northwest.