Original Link : https://medium.com/mind-cafe/how-stoicism-made-me-a-morning-person-fdd95dbd9dc5

To improve your life, you must first change your way of thinking.

How often do you dream of living a better life?

If you’re anything like my former-self, you have a habit of researching an incredibly productive morning routine so you can optimize every aspect of your life.

But despite feeling motivated for a few minutes, the excitement quickly fades when you try to get out bed the following morning, and convince yourself that you “deserve to sleep for a couple more hours.”

Right? It’s a common problem that many of us face. After all, we want to be productive, make the most of our time on this planet and enjoy every waking moment of the day.

So naturally, one of the biggest problems is finding a reason to wake up early and begin creating a daily routine that allows us to fulfill our potential. John C. Maxwell said it best:

‘You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

When I first learned about stoicism, my entire life changed in ways that I never imagined. For example, I was quickly able to develop a mindset that would enable me to become the best version of myself.

So below are a collection of ways that stoicism has made me more productive each morning. Each one of these insights helped me to improve my way of thinking, and I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.


Gratitude Sets The Tone For My Day

If you wake up grumpy each morning, you’ll probably have a negative attitude towards everyone you meet throughout the day. For example, when you’re not in a great mood, you might get easily provoked by other people.

But in contrast, I’ve found that practicing gratitude inevitably helps you to become more optimistic as you’re thankful for everything that happens. In the words of the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius:

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Now that I spend a few minutes each morning being grateful, I’ve noticed that I’m a lot happier in daily life. Because when you make a conscious effort to focus on everything that you have, it makes it incredibly challenging to worry about what you don’t.

So when you wake up tomorrow morning, take a moment to think about three things you’re currently grateful for, and what you can do to show an act of kindness to another person.

You’ll discover that practicing gratitude is an incredible mental exercise that will change the way you see the world.


I Can Deal With Any Problems

When you’re at work, college, or anywhere else, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama of daily life. But if you want to stop overthinking, you must first learn how to overcome any type of adversity that will hold you back from a better life. In the words of Epictetus:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Similarly, in the horrific conditions of a Nazi Concentration camp, the neurologist, Viktor Frankl once said that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

I’ve learned that it’s pointless to worry about external circumstances as you have no control over them. So instead of trying to change a situation that you have no power over, consider focusing on the events within your control, and letting go of everything else.

Each morning upon waking up, I remind myself of this fact so I can live each day with a renewed sense of confidence & optimism. Because when your response to adversity defines your mindset, it becomes much easier to use challenges as an opportunity for growth, instead of fear.


I Gain Clarity On What I Want To Accomplish

Seneca once said, “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” I think that profound statement also applies to every aspect of our lives. Because when you have no clear direction on where you want to go, it’s easy to get lost in a perpetual state of complacency & procrastination.

So instead of living each day with no sense of purpose, I’ll take a few minutes to write down my goals, and anything that’s on my mind in the present moment.

For example, I’ll create a structure for a new article, write down topics to learn in another language or anything else that could help me achieve my objectives. As a result of this simple practice, I can easily avoid procrastination as I know what needs to be done at any given moment.

If you want to add more structure to your days, start by buying a notepad, using the notes app on your smartphone, or anything else that may work for you.

Because when you decide to use your mornings as an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts, you’ll quickly notice that every other aspect of your life will soon improve. In the words of Darren Hardy:

“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful.”

So every day, ask yourself: “How can I use my morning routine as an opportunity to become a better person?”

That’s all you need to do.