The Blind Men and the Elephant
There is great old fable about a King asking a group of blind men to touch and describe an elephant.
The first blind man runs his fingers along the elephant’s trunk and compares it to a pipe or hose.
The second blind man, his palms pressed against the elephant’s side, is confused by this and says, “No, it’s like a wrinkly wall”.
The third man, who has a hold of the elephant’s leg says that they are both wrong; for him, the elephant is like a tree trunk.
And finally, the fourth blind man, gripping the elephant’s tail, disagrees with all of them and suggests an elephant is more like a rope or a bendy, rough stick.
None of the men are aware of the whole elephant; none are experiencing the same thing. Instead, each is getting a partial perspective based on their experience.
And yet, they’re all touching the same (patient) elephant.
First thing in the morning, what does your day feel like? An opportunity or an obligation?
Likely, it’s both.
We all have stuff we have to do and not all of it is pleasurable, but we can make our days much more enjoyable if we shift and/or expand our perspective.
Take a minute at the start of each day to map out what you need to do and what you want to do and get stuck in with equal vigour for both.
And remember, each day is a fresh opportunity to reset if you need to.
We share things all the time – anything from pizza to money – and when we share something, that act of sharing diminishes what we have.
But this is not true of kindness.
Kindness is the only thing in the world that increases when we share it. And that’s not just a lovely thought, it has been borne out by research.
If we perform just one act of random kindness a day, we will experience less anxiety, stress and depression.
Additionally, our body is flooded with the same hormones that make both parties calmer, healthier and happier – a double whammy win!
These hormones include serotonin, the feel-good hormone; endorphins—they reduce pain; and oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone and helps to reduce blood pressure.
But there is also a third winner in this kindness scenario – those who witness kindness are also more likely to pay if forward.
Take a moment each morning to commit to a random act of kindness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to trigger a kindness pandemic to help us deal with the other one.
One of the best ways to start your morning is to move.
Even a quick 10-minute power walk around the block to kick start your day can make a huge difference to the way you feel.
If you are lucky enough to live near green space and nature, even better—who doesn’t love trees?
If you are unable to get outside, then there are loads of apps and many online videos (YouTube is your friend) that offer quick 7-minute HIT programmes or 10-minute yoga stretching.
Try out the tips in these articles on Life It Or Not, for beginners just getting into exercise!
Exercise for Beginners
How to Exercise at Home
Take a minute to consider what you could do in the morning and incorporate it into the daily routine for yourself and other family members.
If you are finding it difficult to motivate yourself to exercise, give this article a read.
You are where you need to be
In challenging times don’t add to how tough it is by beating yourself up about poor choices or worrying about the stuff you can’t change or control.
Take a minute to think about your life right now.
Perhaps you find yourself in a situation you didn’t want or expect – most of us can relate to that! What have you learned about yourself as a result?
Always remember, you have the power to turn a negative into a positive.
- The easiest and fastest way to turn a negative feeling into a positive feeling is to put on your favourite song and sing along at the top of your voice. Or dance around the living room for 5 minutes. It works! It literally changes your body chemistry.
- If you want a quieter alternative. Stand in the superman pose for two minutes. Legs hips distance apart. Hands on hips, shoulders back. This is called a high power-pose and it will increase your confidence hormone and decrease your stress hormone. It might feel silly – but try it.
Do what’s next
Life can be overwhelming at times, so much to do.
So just focus on what’s next.
Do what’s next until it’s finished, or you can’t make any more progress and move to what’s next after that. Just start with the next thing and keep going. You’ll be amazed at what you get through.
Use these micro moment ideas to help develop constructive morning habits.
By kick starting our mornings, we’ll give ourselves and our families the opportunity for a wonderful day ahead.
About The Author
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.