What Gets You Out Of Bed In The Morning?

What Gets You Out Of Bed In The Morning?

The pursuit of happiness tells you to find what you love; even if it's not what you're "supposed" to love.
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The other day I went to a Big 3 consulting panel held by a consulting club here at UM. They offered a lot of good advice about the field of consulting and getting into the field and figuring out the direction you want to go. But they also offered a lot of other kinds of advice about more conceptual ideas about life and work and balancing the two.

One of the questions asked of the panel was "What gets you out of bed in the morning?" For all of the panelists, it was something to do with their job or something to do with a close personal hobby. That warmed my heart; these people genuinely loved their jobs so much that they wanted to continue solving those problems, even if that's what they had been doing the day before for 14 hours.

It was inspiring to hear that. It makes you want to think twice about what you're going to pick for the future, whether that's something that you're going to want to get out of bed every day for, even when the job gets tough.

But one of the panelists gave us a different piece of advice in the midst of this, "I love my job," spiel. She said, "Do one thing that you genuinely love to do every day. Otherwise, I don't know how you would ever wake up in the morning or survive these Michigan winters."

Do one thing that you love to do every day.

Outside of your job, do something you love every day. Take time out for you. Yes, you have to eat, shower, work, and get through your to-do list. But you are not a machine. You're not supposed to be on all the time. You deserve more than your 5 minute shower for a break.

You should be able to do one thing you love every day. For the panelists, that might have been reading a book for a half hour before bed or going for a run or talking to friends or making a piece of artwork.

It made me think. What's my passion? What gets me up in the morning? What's my one thing I love to do every day?

Certainly, school feels more like work and I don't relish the feeling of going to classes at 8:30 in the morning or cracking open my still-warm laptop to write yet another essay. So what's got me churning? What's got me lugging through the mess of responsibilities and the sea of doubt and stress and uncertainties?

I think it's my friends.

Yes, I think it's these losers:

I imagine that's not the thing my parents want to hear. But it's true.

Regardless of when I go to bed, I wake up without fail around 8 a.m. It's my natural biological clock, I guess. Without fail, as soon as my eyes snap open, I start panicking about everything I have to do that day. (No mom, by panicking I don't mean actually panicking. It's a healthy anxiety. Usually.)

But soon enough, my thoughts move over to the moments during the day when I'll be able to see my friends. When I'll be able to share something with them, when I'll be able to hear their laughter. Even if I only get to see them for a short 30 minutes during dinner on weekdays, those 30 minutes tide me over for the exhausting amount of work I have to do all day.

Because of my extroversion, I need a group of people like this in my life. A group of people whose energy I can feed off of, who I can rely on, who boost me up when I'm down. People I feel comfortable sharing next to anything with.

It feels wrong to equate them with my family and with the role my family plays in my life because my family is certainly my biggest rock and source of support and no one would ever be able to take their place in my life. But here on campus, these friends are like my family away from family. The close bonds we've formed feel just as permanent.

When I need them, they're there for me, and when they need me, I love being there for them. For the first time in my life, being there for someone else doesn't feel like a chore or an obligation, because they don't treat me like that either. They fuel me. They keep me going.

If in my life my friends are the reason why I wake up in the morning, I'd say that's a pretty positive thing. At least I have something to get up going in the morning. Life is meant for the pursuit of happiness and you have to do what you can to get to that happiness.

I know I'm supposed to find purpose in something else, something more meaningful, something that would contribute to the greater society. But I find that my friends and being with them, learning about them, learning from them, and helping them grow as people is my purpose. It's what I enjoy doing. It's the one thing that I love doing in my day aside from all of the other work I have to do.

I want to leave you with a few questions to ask yourself. What gets you up in the morning? How can you work that into more of your daily life? Life is short, short, short. Don't spend all of it working on stuff you didn't care as much about. There's this great thing called perspective, but most of us miss out on it until the very end of our lives when it's already too late.

Try reminding yourself of what's important now, and strive to make that happen. Take the time for the pursuit of happiness while you still have legs to get you there.

Cover Image Credit: Riya Gupta

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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4 ways to become a better friend

It's not hard to be a good friend, but taking these tips into consideration will make it even easier.

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Friendship is something worth valuing, and in today's selfish society, it is hard to come by good friends. Hopefully, with these tips, it will help people see that it is simple to be a good friend. All it really takes is compassion and regard for your friends' feelings.

Most importantly, be the kind of friend you want to have yourself, and provide your friends with the same energy and attention you would appreciate in return from them.

1. Listen closely.

It's easy to be distracted by our own thoughts because of how many we produce. Yet, when someone is talking to you, try your absolute best to listen fully, and push out all the other meaningless stuff filling your head. Not just to hear what they're saying and provide a simple response, but to take what they say and how they say it into consideration.

Don't be on your phone or constantly rambling about yourself because everyone loves a good listener, especially one they can call a friend. Focus on what your friends are telling you, remember it, and process it. In order to give any worthwhile insight back, you need to be able to really hear what they're saying.

2. Check on your friends.

As a friend, it is your responsibility to make sure your friends are okay and let them know you care. Check on your friends, even when they seem okay because they might not be. If you know your friend is going through a tough time, step up and call them often. Distraction is a great way to help someone stuck in their pain.

Like the tip above says, listen when they tell you what's wrong, and do your best to console them in any way you can. Sometimes, a friend reaching out is all it takes to brighten someone's day. So, text your friends to simply see how they're doing because it will show them that they matter to you.

Even if someone is no longer your friend or one you're not that close with, have the compassion to check on them if you suspect something is wrong.

3. Be positive.

Being negative gets you nowhere in life, and if you're especially negative around your friends, it will most likely cause you to lose them. Be the light in someone's life that you may be lacking in your own. You friends want to be able to come to you to feel better, not to feel worse.

Help your friends see the positives in a situation when they're struggling to see themselves. Also, be positive in the way you treat your friends. Don't put them down or try to make them feel bad about who they are and the things they've done. Instead, lift them up and point out the qualities in them that you admire.

I think some of the best friends are those that encourage you and inspire you. Be a positive friend, and you will attract those types of friends right back.

4. Make yourself available.

We are all obviously busy with our own lives, but that is no excuse to neglect the lives of others. If you really don't have enough time in your day to shoot your friend a text or give them a call, you should rethink the very lifestyle that keeps you so busy.

From personal experience, I can tell you that feeling like your friends aren't willing to make time for you really affect your self-esteem and, at some point, the excuses they provide you with make the situation even worse. So, text your friends often, and move things around to see them because the relationships in your life are far more meaningful and important than any job or class that you have.

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