In the darkest times of my life, I was constantly looking for the silver bullet that would solve my problems.
Then I chanced upon this video.
And the next morning, I made my bed.
Everyday, for a number of days I can’t remember, I made my bed.
Actually, to this day, I still make my bed first thing in the morning.
And on the surface, I found no connection at first. I mean, how can just making my bed in the morning change my life?
Well, a lot, actually.
First, it was about creating habits.
Habits of small actions that can make a small change in the environment that you live in. That I lived in.
These visible changes served to show to me that I had the power to change my surroundings. That I had the power to make an impact.
And by starting with small actions, I was proving to myself, to the world, and to face of the failures and fears that I had – That I can change, and move on.
That I have power, always had, and always will.
I just forgot.
Get Momentum To Make Changes
Second, it was about creating momentum.
In the low points of my life, I felt stuck. It felt like whatever I did, I couldn’t move. It was like thrashing about in the water, drowning slowly, not getting anywhere.
Then, as a routine, I started to make my bed every morning.
It was a new action for me, and it was an action that I felt that had a good impact on my immediate surroundings. I mean, at least I won’t be sleeping on a messy, and possibly, unclean bed.
Along with that, was the realization that I had gotten myself doing something regularly that I wasn’t doing before, that I was doing now.
That I was able to sustain something right, something productive. Even something very small such as making my bed.
It allowed me to think: “If I could do this everyday, what’s next that I could do?”
It Became A Ritual
Over time, I started to attach more meaning to making my bed every morning. It became a ritual to make my bed, and the day felt off if I hadn’t done it.
There were times when, while making my bed, I would tell myself that I was on the road to recovery.
That I’m thankful for my bed.
That I was changing my life one morning, one moment at a time.
That I was fixing what had gone wrong, and fixing myself as well.
That I was thankful to be alive.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but making my bed in the morning, served as an anchor. It was simple enough for me to be able to do always, and fast enough for me to actually follow it up with other tasks.
So what started as making my bed, started to include prayer, exercise, reflection, writing, and gratitude.
I’d like to say that the practice of making my bed and the realizations of starting small, creating momentum, and making it a ritual and habit was enough, but at some point, I used the ritual to push me forward, closer, to fulfill my intentions.
In so many words, I wanted to build freedom in my life. That was my intention.
And I found it hard to forgive myself, which only served to hold, and even amplify, the negativity that I already had.
So while I was doing my morning ritual, starting with making my bed, I began imagining myself smiling, fixing, being more confident, and telling myself that I’m getting stronger, freer, kinder, and more confident in myself.
And appreciating and enjoying the result – that I had made my bed.
I told myself that this ritual, these actions, would help me get to where I wanted to go. And they did. Slowly, I did start seeing myself as stronger, freer, kinder, and with more confidence.
By being intentional with what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to go.
By taking small actions, consistently building positive habits.
By working on myself, and taking care of myself.
By being kind to myself, and forgiving myself.
And I was only able to do all of that by taking steps forward in my life.
I wasn’t worrying about direction. I just wanted to get back up on my feet. I’ll fix my direction later.
To solve my problems and issues, it wasn’t a silver bullet I was looking for. Maybe what I needed was a heavy, cumbersome, awkward, silver spoon that I had to use to feed myself the medicine I needed.
And that spoon and medicine came in the form of making my bed, which then led to other actions.
I had the medicine all along.
Did you have a small habit that changed your life? Please share in the comments below!