Another morning begins as the alarm clock screams unapologetically and echoes throughout the bedroom.
Next comes the poetic dance that is the morning routine, preparing lunch and grabbing the car keys. Many of us stop for a coffee or two on our way to work. We may drop off a letter at the post office or wake up beside our partner, unaware that the first person we see in the morning has a profound and lasting effect over our entire day.
Sleep inertia is the term used to best describe the time in between waking up and feeling fully awake. Some days that feeling lasts for hours, and others only a few brief minutes before turning on the kettle. Like a chain reaction, our attitude is often affected by the girl at the coffee shop who keeps rolling her eyes, or it's made a little better by the librarian who has remembered our name and the name of our favorite author.
How does your own morning disposition affect both your social and professional life? The first half of the day is usually the most productive, filled with the most appointments and it is when we make the most important calls. This means everyone we see or speak to during this time is changed by our temperament, and vice versa. We may not think anything of it, but a first impression has a serious influence on how others will see us long-term.
It only takes seven seconds for us to make a first impression and judge another for the same thing. How can something so small have such a large impact? Intuition is something that has been honed over millions of years by our ancestors who had to sense danger or be viciously overcome by predators. And now we too use intuition to feverishly climb the corporate ladder, or sort through our competition. Within the first several seconds of meeting someone, we can determine whether they are trustworthy, competent, promiscuous and even intelligent. Those who lack such intuition may be the friend we all have that seems to make poor choices in partners, or always seems to be blindsided when someone proves to be dishonest.
Each day we are reborn, perhaps better or a little worse than the day before. New challenges greet us with a crooked smile, waiting to see if we will accept or walk away. Our instincts guide us through it all as an invisible, yet ever-present armor. It is natural for us to prioritize everything.
From the moment we wake up, we think to ourselves, "What is most important?” “What needs to be done first?” and so it starts. Days, months, years all guided by instinct, all cleverly designed by our own perception and understanding of the world as we, unique individuals, view it.
If we allow ourselves to be off-put by, say, an unhappy co-worker or another negative event, our perception of the world around us becomes a little darker. We begin to give off negative energy, and perhaps for that day, the path towards our personal goals has a few more twists and turns. Emotions allow us to feel and experience life with wonder and awe, instincts protect us when our hearts overflow with wonder and our brains are tempted to become sidetracked, as well.
Emotions should never be put before instinct. Throughout history, there have been countless stories of betrayal that could have easily been avoided, if not for the overwhelming emotions that were nothing more than a distraction. Perhaps Mozart's sister may have been the famous composer if jealousy had not skewed her judgment and focus.
Before we become overwhelmed in the waking hours, or allow ourselves to be tired and angry from sleep inertia, we must think about how we affect everyone around us, the impression we make upon the people we meet and how it influences our position and status. Intuition does great work far beyond our field of comprehension, as long as it is allowed to work. If the chain reaction is to bring affirmative change, then let us first start with our morning routines and see the magic of intuition and positive emotion transform our lives completely.