Habits | Optimism

It Has Potential

Looking out the window on a brisk morning on Cape Cod. Streaks of dark clouds mix with blue sky. Faint orange hints at the possibilities of the sunrise. It doesn’t look like a 10 right now, but it’s not a bust either. This sunrise has potential.

Isn’t that the feeling we look for in every morning? We woke up, hey that’s a 10 right there! Aches, pains, ailments and troubles subtract from the score. Broken promises, setbacks, slips of the tongue, angry drivers and blatant disregard for others subtract more. But right now, what might go wrong in the day doesn’t matter a lick. This day has potential.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”—Henry David Thoreau

It’s a lot easier to start with a 10 and work to keep it there than to wake up with a 4 with a pit in your stomach dreading the day, trying like mad to build something of it. Each day has potential, and so do we, if we’ll make something of the opportunity. So I weave together habits of reading and writing and a bit of movement and great coffee and try to keep the 10 going as long as possible. Sometimes just making it through the day is all you can hope for, and this isn’t a call for blind optimism. But it is a call for gratitude, for starting the day on a positive note and working to keep the streak alive instead of endlessly pushing uphill like Sisyphus.

My coat is too thin to linger out in the wind chill so I cheat and look out the window at the brightening sky. The sun crested the hills and I walked across the crunchy, frosted lawn and down to the water. The sky is a light blue streaked in faint pink. Pretty, but not a 10. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to see it, and to reflect on the potential this day brings. No day is perfect, but every day can be great, or at least pretty good, and that adds up to a great life.

“The key to a great life is simply having a bunch of great days. So you can think about it one day at a time.” – Peter Adeney

“They say: “Think big! Have a compelling vision!” I say: Think small. Do something super cool by the end of the day!” – Peter Drucker

There you go, start with a 10, do something super cool by the end of the day to keep it a 10 (or as close as you can get it) and string together as many great days as possible. Seems a worthy challenge, and the best opportunity to make something of this potential.

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