In the past few weeks, I was having a lot of trouble with getting out of bed without snoozing. Every single night, I told myself I would get out of bed immediately as soon as my alarm would go off. In reality, I would wake up, walk to my alarm clock, shut it off, and wake up at an embarrassing time — sometimes a few hours later.
As a solo-entrepreneur, I determine my own schedule, and I don’t have to be in an office at a specific time. Although this freedom is great, it doesn’t help with getting out of bed without snoozing.
It wasn’t like I didn’t get enough sleep either. It was purely because I didn’t want to leave the comfort of my warm bed in these cold and dark winter days.
After a few weeks of this unproductive behavior, however, I had enough. That’s when I discovered a Stoic affirmation that would help me stop snoozing and sleeping in ever since.
The Wise Words of Marcus Aurelius and Seneca
Right after shutting off my alarm, I grab the piece of paper where I’ve written down the following wise words of Marcus Aurelius and Seneca, both Stoic philosophers:
“I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for? The things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? So you were born to feel ‘nice’ instead of doing things and experiencing them?” — Marcus Aurelius
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing.” — Seneca
Merely by reading and mentally rehearsing these affirmations a few times, I’m motivated enough to stay out of bed. These affirmations remind me of my duty — doing work that improves the lives of others — and my limited time on this planet. After reviewing it a few times, it just doesn’t feel right to go back to my comfortable bed again.
The main reason why this affirmation strikes a chord is that it reminds me of my own mortality. It’s hard to think about, but I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet. Today might be my last day — and I definitely don’t want to waste hours in my bed if that’s the case. Maybe I have ten years left. Or perhaps I’ll live to age 92. I don’t know. And precisely because I don’t know, I should postpone nothing.
At the end of my life — whenever that may be — I don’t want to leave with untapped potential, unfinished projects, and unfulfilled dreams. Especially not because of something so useless as snoozing and sleeping in (considering you’re getting enough sleep, of course).
This Stoic affirmation reminds me on a daily basis that I don’t know how long I have left, so I should postpone nothing. It reminds me to go out of bed and make a difference. Read. Learn. Practice. Experience. Do work that improves the lives of others. That’s infinitely more valuable — and memorable — than lying unconscious for a few more hours.
Now Do It
If you’re having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, or you simply want to start your day more motivated and inspired, copy this Stoic affirmation and rehearse it first thing after waking up.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab