“What happens in the first hours of the morning will mark your day, will mark your week, will mark your mission, will mark your life.”
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Why a morning routine for Latter-day Saints?
What is the first thing you do when you wake?
Do you fumble around looking for your smart phone only then to hit the snooze button? Or do “get up and do something more than dream” and create a better you?
Or how about another scenario? You get groggily wake up, plop yourself in front of your computer and browse the Facebook news feed; or watch YouTube videos; or check out the latest NBA trade or draft rumors; or perhaps your scour Pinterest for a new irresistible dessert recipe that you may never get around to making.
The last scenario. You get up, say your prayers, read the scriptures, and then prepare yourself for the drudgeries of work. But although you have done the spiritual footwork, the other aspects of your life seem to be stuck in the mud, un-moving and uneventful.
Is there a fix? Wherever you fit in these scenarios, the answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’. The Latter-day Morning is a set of routines and habits, that when properly exercised, generate success in your personal, spiritual, family, and professional life. For those of you in scenario three, it also means applying principles of success and “words of wisdom” found in “the best books” throughout the world to create a more meaningful life for yourself.
Through waking up earlier, approaching tasks with a greater vision, creating a richer relationship with Our Father in Heaven, and working on yourself before any other tasks you will attain greater happiness, success, fulfillment, and abundance than you have ever experienced before.
I am just your average Joe. Okay, well, my name is Mark, so I guess I’m just your average Mark. I was born in the Church, served a mission when I was 19, went to BYU-Hawaii, courted and married the love of my life, and have a beautiful baby daughter. I’m not a General Authority, CEO of a global corporation, or an Olympic athlete. I’m just Mark.
But I think that’s what makes this Latter-day Morning routine so special: it can take an ordinary person, like me, and transform him into a happier, better and more successful person.
A year ago, I fell under scenario three. I was successful in my own ways, but there were times where I was moving aimlessly through life. I live in Japan, the country I always wanted to live in), work in a profession that I passionately enjoyed (teaching English), and I wasn’t lacking in any of the necessities of life. Despite these facts, I would wake up with animosity because I worked in a neighboring city and had to get up at time that I thought was too early in order to make it through traffic. I would sit in traffic and dwell on all the negatives in my life.
To make up for lost free time, I spent my commute listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I couldn’t find time to open up my scriptures during the week, but I countered that by listening to the audio version of the scriptures and General Conference talks. I sometimes worked out, but it wasn’t enough to dent the stored up fat of laziness. Luckily, my life wasn’t going backwards; I was progressing, but only at a sloth-like pace.
Ultimately, my silent and un-worded prayers were answered. Through my love of audio books and audio programs I found ideas that would change my thinking and philosophies. Each idea lead to another; each audio book introduced me to a new author; each podcast brought me new light. Finally I realized a fix to my misery—a morning routine that would incorporate the “worldly” principles of success and the doctrines of the Gospel.
Little by little, I applied my findings into my life. The changes were small at first (the first day, I only woke up 10 minutes earlier) but I felt the changes immediately. My mindset changed; I began to find abundance and fulfillment in my life; Spiritual studies were no longer the second fiddle to a multitasked activity; and I had new goals, vision, and purpose to form a more successful life.
Although I’m still nowhere close to where I want to be in life, and probably leagues away from what God has planned for me—I doubt any of us are—I’m now on the right path and facing the right direction.
I’ve seen this routine kill laziness, banish fear and doubt, provide energy and relief, and even cure depression. If you can relate at all, and if you want to change your life, I invite you to join the Latter-day Morning revolution (click here to start now). Instead of hitting the snooze button tomorrow, implement the routine that will bring you a lifetime of success.
Love you, and God bless,
Mark K. Bacera
Image credits: wikepedia