It's six a.m. The alarm sound pierces the happy dream bubble you've created. Yesterday, you set the alarm. Although class is at 9, you set the alarm to go for a run. To lift. To get a head start on your work. To go on a hike. To work on your music. To write. To create. To perfect.
This window of time is valuable, and you seemed to agree when you set the alarm. But your perspective has changed a bit. You convince yourself that sleep is more important. You skip practice. You skip your run. You skip class. You fall back asleep, pushing that twang of guilt back and immersing yourself in dreamland.
I've been there so much I should be majoring in sleep and procrastination. But, consider this. Life is a "create your own adventure" book, and excellence demands us to make a series of hard choices. Sometimes those choices seem difficult to make in the very moment, but in looking at life on a broader scale, they seem like a no-brainer.
Why should we push ourselves to excel? It’s easy to think of external factors, for example: we go to the gym to look good, we try hard in class to become successful, etc. But we know that money, success, and looks don’t last. We should push ourselves, rather, for internal factors. Our impulse to strive for conquering ourselves - our baser parts, our laziness, our self-indulgence, our character weaknesses - is at the heart of what truly makes us human. And that journey of self-discovery which enables us to self-conquer is what brings meaning, purpose, and ultimately true and deep satisfaction to our lives.
Let's not ask ourselves why we can't get up in the morning (we are tired and content, right?) Let's ask ourselves why we should be getting up. The answer is passion. My answer is ultimate frisbee. Yours may be photography. A business dream. Running. Music. Quidditch. Whatever it may be, you love something for a reason.
Think of your passion right now. Think of your personal goals for that passion. Keep them in your head. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, remember why you set your alarm. The next morning, remember again. We’ll work on it together.