Kansas, Or Oz?

‘Welcome to my morning, welcome to my day.
Yes, I’m the one responsible, I made it just this way.’
(Farewell Andromeda, John Denver)

The alarm clock goes off, and a deep sleep unceremoniously crashes into another morning. Bleary eyed, after a speedy debate over 5 to ten more minutes of blessed ‘snooze alarm time’ you drag yourself to wakefulness. Gracelessly you stumble to the toilet, the coffee maker, and (shudder) perhaps that first cigarette as you reluctantly storm the gates of this new day. In a pattern set in stone since soon after puberty, we drag ourselves into the morning with a mumbled curse, our brain seemingly over-wrinkled like a well slept in suit.


Your first waking thought is ‘Incredible! It’s morning!” You bound out of bed like a well lubricated gazelle. Your eyes are wide and excited. Thrilled to greet the morning!

What makes that difference? Is one an anomaly, and the other the norm? If so, which is which?

If you have the choice, which one would you choose? Or is there a happy medium between ecstasy and ennui that would be more to your liking?

Exploring the difference between these two morning states is an endeavor well worth the time, and unusual requirements of belief suspension and perspective shifting, required. Here are a couple of simple tips to get you started.

First, pretend like you get to choose your morning tone just like yo get to set your phone’s ring tone. Imagine you get to write the script for your first waking thought. Would you choose “Oh bother, it’s morning again!” or “ Wow! It’s morning—let’s Go!” As you consider, I ask that you actually imagine a voice behind you saying those two lines. Do it now.

Which of the two feels better? Or, if you don’t care for my words write your own script for a glorious first thought. As you get ready to fall asleep each evening, remind yourself of what your new and improved first thought is going to be. Practice it a few times before you drop off to sleep. When you awaken, get into the habit of mentally repeating that script, even if, for the first few mornings, it isn’t technically your first thought. A trick I used initially to remind myself was to set a sock on top of my alarm clock just before I went to sleep. Having to fight through the sock to hit the ‘snooze’ button in the morning eventually, after a few confused responses, reminded me to repeat my new morning script. Soon the new script becomes automatic, and a self-fulfilling prophecy for your day.

Secondly, if you are going to rewrite your morning script, why not set it to music. Imagine swaggering into your morning shower to the James Bond theme song. Think of what music would serve as the best sound track for your new script. If you have an alarm clock that can wake you to music, set it up to wake you to this song (my favorite is “Fanfare for the Common Man” performed by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer). If you don’t have that sophisticated of an alarm clock, simply pick your tune and mentally hum a few bars before you go to sleep, and make the determination that you will repeat that tune upon first awakening. As you remember your early morning script, you will also easily recall the rousing tune. Mentally hum or whistle the tune, or even do so out loud…a rousing background to your new morning. Both music and script will aim those first few minutes of your morning in a direct line toward a glorious day.

With a bit of practice you’ll start each day with a rousing script and soundtrack that will start your day with verve and excitement. Where you go from there is up to you!