August 8, 2023
August 8, 2023

I woke up at 5:00 AM today, not as part of a "seize the day" productivity practice, but because I struggled to fall and stay asleep. Like many of us, I grabbed my phone and spent 30 minutes scrolling through it, a decision I knew I would regret.

Realizing I couldn't go back to sleep, I got out of bed, made coffee, and surprisingly decided to have breakfast. This was a rare occurrence for me, as I've been practicing intermittent fasting for over 5 years. However, I wanted to treat myself for not sleeping well lately.

I ate my cereal and downed my coffee as I watched Matt D'Avella's digital minimalism video about quitting his phone for 30 days. Ironically, failing my own digital minimalism routines and completely forgetting about my practice of mindful eating.

Within just one hour of waking, I've violated 6 principles and practices that I've been trying to establish for myself.

  1. Get out of bed immediately. Instead, I stayed in bed.
  2. No mindless shopping. I didn't do this directly, but indirectly via Reddit when I browsed my phone in bed.
  3. Output before input. I consumed content before creating content of my own.
  4. Intermittent fasting. I had cereal, not because I was hungry, but because I wanted to feel better.
  5. Mindful eating. Didn't think twice about my cereal nor coffee as I watched a video as I ate.
  6. Digital minimalism. Didn't do this either. I was basically glued to my phone.

This experience highlights the significant impact of habits, both positive and negative, as well as the importance of daily discipline. The 6 choices I made in the morning were, for better or for worse, intentional. I acknowledge that I could have made better decisions. However, it's important to recognize that those were not the only choices I made.

I also actively chose to stop watching the video and put my phone away. I also made the choice to open my journal and write my morning pages, which you are currently reading. I also decided to take deep breaths and be present in my surroundings. Most importantly, I chose not to beat myself up over the things I could have done differently. Instead, I course corrected and dedicated my time and effort to the small actions that contribute to personal growth - my everyday effort to better understand myself and to become a better version of myself. In doing so, I embraced (and practiced) grace, patience, and optimism.

These conscious choices help establish the systems that prevent us from spiraling into moments of weakness, hopelessness, anger, doubt, or despair. They serve as reminders that we hold the power to make choices and take ownership of our actions. At any given moment, we can choose to do what we believe is right.

"There's only 2 people in the world you need to impress - your 5 year old self, and your 80 year old self", as the saying goes. I'm not sure if either of them would be impressed with how my morning started. However, I believe that these moments serve as building blocks for the person I aspire to become in the future.

Excerpts from my journal. I.M. Journal #4. Page 90.