My morning routine is pretty straightforward. Wake up, turn on my bedside light with my eyes closed. Lay there and let my eyes adjust through my eye lids for 15 seconds or so. Open my eyes, reach for my book, and read the page for the day. Set the book down, think on the reading for a moment. Reach for my phone, re-read my 2021 framework and then my dream list. Take a deep breath, get out of bed.
When I start my morning with a thought provoking reading followed by reviewing my values, goals, dreams and other short lists my mind is very active. I see the concept I just read about and envision how I can live it. Simple. Easy. Just save that thought in my backpack for later and then pull it out when needed. Execute the concept flawlessly in the heat of the moment the first time. Repeat. Easy. Simple.
Ahh… the benefits of philosophy in a vacuum. So very simple.
Reality seems to offer a very different set of challenges. There are other people involved. There are emotions involved. Variables not discussed in a book seem to change the calculus of the solution. That simple, easy, and flawless execution dreamt about while laying in bed? Not a chance. While in bed the concept is a dream, in reality the concept is action. The action is always so much more difficult to execute than the dream.
Today I was reminded of the difference of my early morning philosophy and reality on several occasions. In some cases I did not act in the way I’d envisioned and thought about. In other situations I executed almost how I’d imagined. Had I not practiced in the morning I would have most likely failed all in action today. By having reality rough me up a little today I was able to see the areas I need to work on. I was able to see progress – both already made and in the future. Experiencing the difference between early morning philosophy and reality today reminded me to practice more completely in the morning, to envision the action happening and not just think of the concept in a vacuum.
At the core of it I am thankful for both thinking on how to act and then actually acting in reality. If my mindset stays focused on growth I can find ways to improve and grow. If I get frustrated at either side my progress will stagnate, then wither, and then die. I’m grateful for remembering to cut myself some slack for my imperfections while also holding myself to higher standards. It’s kind of a weird dichotomy, but if I stay the course I’m excited to see where it grows.