“Live each day as if it is your entire life.” – Sakai Yusai
Childhood is one of the most delicate and influential areas of an individual’s life. The things our parents say to us during those crucial formative years becomes our own inner dialogue. We develop the tools that allow us to transact the complex experiences of adulthood. In the short stint at the beginning of our lives, we do most of our growing, our learning, and becoming who we are.
Now, think about your entire life as a day. Where would the ‘childhood’ of your day be?
That’s right, the early morning.
My mother always said, in relation to me completing homework when I was a kid, that “an hour before breakfast is worth three after school”. Which meant putting in the time and effort to do something in the morning would result in more work getting done and less slacking off than if you tried to do it after school, when you were spent and tired.
Think about taking on a complex life skill, like learning an instrument, another language, or training to your physical-genetic peak. Most people would agree that you want to get a jump on that early in life, both because you have more time and that you are younger, and more spry, capable of handling the complex and often grueling task of skill acquisition.
The morning of your day is when your brain is the ‘youngest’, both in this metaphor and in actuality. You are at your absolute freshest. Your brain has a minimum of waste from neuronal activity, leaving your thinking clear and fresh. Your muscles and organ systems have had a chance to rest with a minimum of activity. Overall, you are at your best.
When you consider the tragedy of having a rough childhood, the crushing blow that can be delivered to an adult psyche from having a weak emotional support system, no creative outlets, or abuse… think about how that relates to this scenario. If you wake up and allow yourself to be bombarded by negative thinking and anxiety over the future. Or if you wake up to a pile of fast food and 4 hours of television, the ramifications can be felt throughout the whole day.
This is not to say that your trajectory can not be turned around at each and any moment in your day/life. I am a firm believer in that, however, no moments are more precious than the ones you first experience when you wake up. Cherish them, utilize them. Make the most of your day, and your life will follow in turn.