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What Is Your Reason to Get Up?

February 4, 2021 By Professor Of Professional Development Leave a comment

Think back to when you were in middle school, high school and then, in college. If you were like me, you stayed up as late as possible watching TV, playing video games or listening to the radio. You may or may not have squeezed in a little bit of homework. You were young and invincible, and at night, you never seemed to feel tired.

However, the next morning was a whole different story. In fact, you were toast. I remember those mornings like they were yesterday. Before school, my mom would say, “Derek! Get up!  Up, up, up!” On road trips, my basketball coaches would pound on all the doors of all the players when it was time to giddy up. If your parents or coaches didn’t wake you up completely, you would always hit the snooze button until the very last possible second, to get “there” just in time.

Virtuous or Vicious Cycle … You Get to Choose

Fast forward to today. Have you changed? Do you bounce out of bed in the morning like an excited kindergartner? Or, do you roll over and squeeze in as many zzzz’s as you can until you are forced to fall out of bed like a sluggish teenager?

Believe it or not, you have a couple of choices. You can choose to be productive from the moment you wake up, until the moment you go to bed. I call this the virtuous cycle. Or, you can choose to accomplish next to nothing in 24 hours. We’ll call this the vicious cycle.

Two Questions in Two Weeks

Several years ago, a friend asked me, “How did you become a morning person?” One week later, at a training session that I was facilitating, a person in the audience asked me, “Why did you become a morning person?” Although I never really thought about these questions before, the answer came to me very easily … and both questions had the same answer. I am a morning person because I have a REASON to get up. I had become a person with true motivation for making every waking moment count.

5 Questions to Help You Find Your Reason to Get Up

You might be wondering how I went from being a nighttime person, only to become a  productive morning person.  You might be thinking, “Derek, how did you find your motivation? How are you getting up without a struggle?” After days of pondering this, I realized that I spent an entire year working through these 5 questions…

  1. When are you most inspired? I’m most inspired when I’m learning and growing.
  2. What are you best in the world at? I’m best in the world at my commitment to personal growth and leadership. [Yes, you’re best in the world at something. Stop telling yourself that you’re not.]
  3. What gives you greatest meaning? Helping others catch fire by committing to personal development gives me greatest meaning.
  4. What do you do when you’re alone? When I’m alone, I read, write, think, study and share self-help content.
  5. Who are your heroes or role models? My role models are John Maxwell & John Wooden for leadership and Darren Hardy for personal growth.

Do You See a Theme?

My reason to get up in the morning is simple. It allows me to commit to my own personal growth and leadership … and then gives me time to help others do the same. I honestly want to get up, while so many people feel they “have to” get up.  I believe that most people who struggle when they have to wake up, have yet to identify any clear reason that motivates them to want to get up!

My Reason Changed My Life

Today, I’m beyond thankful to view my “alarm” clock as an “opportunity” clock.  I think we can all agree that being alarmed creates a negative feeling. Having an opportunity is a positive feeling and one that I want to pursue.  Are there days when I feel like sleeping in? Of course there are. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t all want to hit the snooze on occasion. But here is what I know…

Whatever your “reason” is that motivates you to rise early and creates a  “+” feeling,  it will always supersede the “-” feeling  that you suffer when your alarm blasts off.

I haven’t hit the snooze button for over 2 years. Is it easy? No. You can trust in me, however, that when you find your reason, it becomes a lot easier to get out of bed. Find your motivation, because routines are boring and not very rewarding without your own good reason.

ACTION: It’s time to find your own life-changing reason and get about changing your own life. Work through the 5 questions to help you find it. To help you narrow it down… write, reflect, tweak and repeat. When you are ready, make a decision. Don’t worry about making a lifelong commitment to your reason, because just as you will grow and change over time, so will your reason. Be aware. Decide on your reason, change your life.


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