Why do you wake up every morning? What is it that pulls your eyes open, cranes you out of bed? If an answer managed to pop up inside your head, you’re one of the lucky ones. There is no right or wrong answer to my questions, obviously; and whatever this thing is, and for whatever this thing means to you, it is a thing that you must behold with complete appreciation.
You have a reason, and that isn’t something everyone can say for themselves. To have a thing, an idea, or a goal that compels you to rise from bed each time the day breaks, is a privilege. It is among the perks that come with having what people call a ‘passion’.
My passion is storytelling. It is the means through which I communicate my ideas, outpour my emotions, and pose my curiosities. It is no surprise, then, that the day, for me, begins with reading—my preferred means of consuming ideas, emotions, and curiosities. There is a zen-like bliss when you wake up in the morning sink deep in thought, which, for me, only reading can give. It can be anything: the news, poetry, fiction (in the above photo is David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel The Pale King, which I frequently revisit).
It has become second nature to me, this habit of reading every morning. Much as it sounds like a romantic justifying his romantic way of life (which is probably what is happening here), my habit is in fact also rooted from a sort of pragmatism. The brain, no different from every muscle in your body, needs a proper workout. Dedicating at least fifteen minutes of reading, then, is no different from running a few miles every morning—a habit I wish I’m more proficient in doing than merely three to four times every week. (I’d like to cover my ass here: you can’t fault someone for doing more frequently an activity to which he’s more accustomed; and besides, reading is physically less exhausting for me. But I don’t say I’m aloof to the sort of sensation that running brings even to a scrawny, crustacean-like, obviously-didn’t-do-well-at-P.E.-class guy like me.)
Aside from having a good read, my mornings won’t be complete with a bowl of good grains and fiber (you can’t go wrong with a bowl of fruits, cereals, and oats), and a cup of freshly brewed coffee (no sugar! Sugar is the devil!). All this constitutes a “good morning” for me, which is essential to, eventually, making a “good day”.
I’m writing this blog post late at night. I reflect on how the day has been. I have had an overall good day because I decided I’d have to have a good morning early on. Perhaps, it works like this; perhaps, positivity is a simple game of scale. By deciding your outlook for today, you are dictating how your life is going to be for tomorrow, and how your life is going to be for the next few tomorrows—and the few ones after that. And positivity stems from only a few things, one of them being your passion. So, perhaps, it is paramount to ask yourself what you are passionate about. What’s keeping you soldier on, despite its many obstacles, through life? What wakes you up every morning? What is your passion?
Quick aside: Shia LaBeouf seems to have it all figured out, doesn’t he?