On a typical morning when I go in to wake up Quinn, my 4-year old, I begin by gently kissing his cheek and saying softly, “It’s time to wake up.” I continue a little louder, “It’s time to wake up.” After about 5 minutes in this little dance, I have opened his shade and am speaking at full volume while he lays snoring with his eyes shut tightly. I imagine we all feel like this guy some mornings.
However, this past Tuesday was completely different. I walked in and began the routine saying softly, “It’s time to wake up.” Instantly his eyes shot open and he jumped out of bed. Within minutes he was dressed, his bed was made and he was racing down to the breakfast table. As he sat down excitedly he announced, “Today I am going to finish my world map!” (When you look at the photo below you may notice it is not a map of the world, which his brother did, of course, point out). Thirty-minutes before it was time to leave he had his jacket, shoes and backpack. He was ready to go!
His passion, inspiration and sense of purpose filled our kitchen. His energy was contagious and impacted his older brother, his dad and me. He had, single handedly, changed the environment in our home that morning from one where we simply focus on getting the task at hand complete to one filled with anticipation and possibility. He didn’t tell us we had to feel what he felt and he certainly didn’t use profound words of motivation. He simply showed up with passion, clear about his purpose and immediate goal.
In his book, The Happiness Advantage, author and Harvard researcher, Shawn Achor says, “Researchers have found that even the smallest tasks can be imbued with greater meaning when they are connected to personal goals and values. The more we can align our daily tasks with our personal vision, the more likely we are to see work as a calling… for people with a calling view [of] work, their work is fulfilling not because of external rewards but because they feel it contributes to the greater good, draws on their personal strengths, and gives them meaning and purpose.”
Give yourself the gift of 5 quiet minutes.
Sit Quietly. Breathe and center yourself.
Bring to mind a time when you felt empowered, inspired, and passionate? Allow yourself to really feel and remember that sense of aliveness (Tap into your inner 4-year old).
What can you do to bring that sense of purpose and passion back to life for yourself today? How can you become contagious?