Conducting Your Present

“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Hygiene: noun. conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.”

I think about hygiene as a rhythm for health, since a rhythm is just a repeated pattern of behavior. So, if you are working to heal and grow, chances are you need a hygiene assessment.

Daily Rhythms

We are the sum of our individual daily rhythms. We are an overture, a song, a symphony, a concerto. I’ll pick on me to elucidate…

There’s a daily rhythm to my…

Spiritual practice

Eating

Working

Evening

Physical fitness

Hygeine

Sleep

Let’s look at that last one… my sleep. My rhythm is: in bed by 9pm, get up at 5am. That’s both a goal and a reality. *Maybe* once every other week, I get crazy on a Friday night and stay up till 10, and if that happens, then I’m up at 6 instead. I *know* my brain and body NEED 8 hours a night. It’s not negotiable, and it’s not worth enduring life on sleep deprivation. Sleep helps too many areas of life and sleep deprivation HURT too many areas of life for me to even mess with it.

This was not always the case. I’ve had other rhythms. When my band was recording our album back in 2000, my day had a very strict rhythm, albeit it looked completely different. We recorded from roughly 7pm to 5am, I’d get to bed from 6am to 11am, be back at work from 12-5, then to the gym, and back to the studio by 7. It was clockwork. 

I’ve also had no rhythm that I was actively conducting. I’d be all over the place in terms of when I slept and how long I slept. My emotions, focus, memory, outlook, mood were all equally as unstable as a result.

What kind of sleep rhythm are you conducting? Are you giving your brain and body what they truly need every night?  If not, do you feel trapped in a rhythm you don’t know how to change?

How you conduct yourself is a gift. You ARE FREE to compose and conduct as you feel called. Your existence is permission enough to create whatever it is you feel you’re here to do. So, how do you want to live? Not: what do you want to have…. Life’s not about the product… it’s about the process… it’s an exercise in being. That’s really it. 

What I’ve noticed is that when I pay attention to the rhythm of my days and weeks, my months, and years get better and better. I compose and conduct daily and weekly “Health Rhythms” (to borrow a phrase from my dear friends at REMO drums), and my life works much more along the lines of what I’d like to see in it than when I don’t keep my eye on rhythm in daily and weekly increments.

Take a Rhythm Assessment

The healthy things you know to do… what’s their rhythm in your life right now? Is there one? Was there one at one point, and then a stressor or situation displaced it, and it’s been gone since? I just finished reading the book “Tiny Habits” by Stamford University professor BJ Fogg, and it reminded me that as humans, we have the ability to change our behavior over time. It’s not something that only some of us were handed in the genetic lottery.

I KNOW that I need to remind people of this, because many people suffer from the thinking, “That (outcome/result) was possible for ______ (others), but not for me.” One of the speakers in my January summit’s talk is literally titled “From the Prison Yard to Harvard Yard.” If Andre Norman can be sitting in prison waiting to be killed by a rival gang member on a daily basis, and then change direction, get out, and get his degree from Harvard, I know we have the power to change even the most entrenched rhythms in our life. 

What I hope you take away from this scattered collection of thoughts is this:

Pick 1 – just one thing – in your life that you know is good for you that you wouldn’t mind doing more, and put that increase in tempo in your schedule. Create space in time for that to happen… starting tomorrow. 

THE world won’t change, but YOUR world will.

Take back your rhythm. 

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