I rarely go to sleep under my own will.
I fall asleep in unconventional ways: mouth open drooling on the roommate's couch, jeans at my ankles while my body is dangling off of my bed, retainer next to me instead of aligning my teeth.
These are the typical ways anyone who knows me can find me sleeping after a long day of work. After a day of fighting distraction, finding motivation, and seeking answers I am usually exhausted by the time the referee confirms I am down for the count.
Regardless of what time I go to sleep, my alarm calls my name at 8:15 AM every morning. Regardless of all the things I had to juggle yesterday, my alarm still screams at the top of its lungs to get me up at 8:15 AM.
Instead of responding to my alarm the way I'm supposed to—getting up brushing and flossing my teeth, and drinking a cup of tea or water—I usually retaliate with a slap across the snooze button.
I shamelessly tell myself, “I deserve another 10 minutes.” Followed by, “I earned that extra 15,” which we all know turns into another hour in our warm and comfortable bed.
The moment I realize I just woke up at 10:20 AM I frantically jump out of bed and run to the bathroom to begin chastising myself about oversleeping.
It wasn't until recently—on the 472nd day of groundhogs day—I realized I had been operating incorrectly this whole time. I would beat myself up for falling short. I would focus on the problems I created instead of finding the solutions. I would dwell on what I didn't do, instead of brainstorming the things I could change to help improve my circumstances.
In that moment I felt like I jumped into a time machine and traveled back to my days in college. If I wasn't skipping chemistry class, I was sleeping during chemistry class. But somehow I would still find a way to internalize the chemical reactions from the lesson.
One basic reaction I would always think about was the classic, sugar in water. Everybody knows sugar dissolves in water, but what usually zooms over people's heads is how it happens.
It isn't until you boil and begin stirring the water that you taste the change. Without that extra push, that sugar cube would happily sink to the bottom of your cup and chill with those other sugar homies.
Once you add what we chemists call “activation energy,” you get that sugar cube off of his ass so he can do what he was created to do.
Some of us reading this right now, know what it feels like to be a sugar cube sitting at the bottom of that cup. Some of us know what it feels like to hit snooze day in and day out. Some of us even know what it feels like to say "I quit, I'm throwing in the towel!”
And I don't blame you. It is scientifically easier to relax than to go out there and do something. It is so much easier to say, “I don't feel like using my God given gifts,” and just go out for drinks.
It is so, so, so, so much easier to hang out with people who are impressed by everything you do than to surround yourself with people who challenge you as an individual.
It is so much easier for me to tell myself, “Chris you suck at writing. Stop writing, go lay down, go watch TV,” than to encourage myself to keep going on fighting through the mental blocks.
Fighting through the obstacles. Fighting through the doubt, because I know greatness is on the other side of that mountain—that valley.
My challenge to you—on behalf of Human Influence—I challenge you for one week to: let go of the snooze button, let go of the remote, let go of your phone, and begin creating the things you've always dreamt of.