How to fill your tanks to propel you through your day

Are you a morning person?

I don’t think there’s any doubt that productive mornings are a recurring theme among the most successful individuals, so I always like to read recommendations about ways to squeeze the most productivity out of my mornings. That’s why Benjamin P. Hardy’s Medium article, 8 Things Every Person Should Do before 8 a.m., caught my attention.

Hardy outlined his morning routine and it included one item I found especially interesting: Get inspired.

Frankly, I don’t believe that inspiration is one of the things most people typically seek in the early morning hours. However, the more I considered his idea, the more I appreciated its importance. Inspiration is what fills our tanks. If you insist on operating without inspiration, every task you do can become brutally oppressive work.

If you watch one of the physically exhaustive reality shows, like Survivor, you’ll often hear contestants say that they are doing it for their children, or their spouses. Their inspiration is the desire to set a good example or provide for their families.

A guy on the National Geographic show, Life Below Zero – it follows the daily lives of people who live above the Arctic Circle in Alaska  – once simply said, “Everyday I have to do something that benefits my wife and family.”

We might discuss whether or not that qualifies as inspiration, but if you heard the tone of his voice, I think you would agree that it was.

Yet inspiration can come in a wide range of forms, among them:

  • Inspirational quotes,
  • Biographies,
  • Works of art,
  • The desire for material gain, and
  • An encouraging word from a friend, family member, or respected colleague, such as a coach or mentor.

This list is far from exhaustive. I’m sure you’ve experienced all of these at different times in your life and you probably have some others that you would add to my short list.

The danger is that “inspiration” is an intangible asset. Organizing your morning with a to-do list is tangible. Downloading the latest, greatest productivity apps is tangible. Discovering the sources of your greatest inspiration is more personal. But if we overlook this important human need, our lives – both personal and professional – become devoid of meaning.

The biggest question we face as humans is the “why” question. Why are we here? What is our purpose? When you’re being powered by “inspiration” that question, starts to take care of itself. You have things that you know you must achieve.

Sometimes when we are inspired by the greatness of others there is something inside ourselves that tells us that we can do it too. Sometimes being inspired by the beauty of art will flip a switch inside us that empowers us to strive for perfection and completion.

Physics tell us that there’s no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. Energy from an outside power source is always required to keep a machine running.

For the human machine, that outside energy source is inspiration. Grab some inspiration every morning so you can power your way through your day.