One stunning realization I discovered, after years of being in a place where I had constantly wanted to change my situation, was that I was doing one thing every single day that kept me stuck exactly where I did not want to be.
There was a time in the not too distant future when I was quite dissatisfied with my days. I didn't like that I had to get up in the dark and come home in the dark, that I had a long commute in rush-hour traffic both ways, and that I didn't feel healthy in my body or mind. Each morning, when the alarm went off, the first thought I had was usually some type of curse word. I wasn't happy about being pulled from my comfortable bed, into the cold air and forced into a shower before 6am had even struck. From that sleepy and ungrateful delirium, I literally cursed my day.
Is it any surprise that my ride to work was unpleasant, that I spent my day in a never-ending stress-filled mad dash, that I complained all the time, that I always looked like someone who needed a vacation, even after a long weekend?
One day, I switched gears entirely, and started to use my dreaded commute to think about what it would feel like to wake up and be truly happy to start my day. I pictured waking naturally up to the light of day, having time to ease into the morning with a healthy breakfast and, most of all, feeling excitement to head out to my work day (which would absolutely not include a long commute). I started focusing on how good it felt to put energy on what I did want, and less (or, even better, none) on what I did not want in my life.
It didn't happen overnight, but today, I live out every single part of that vision, and what's more, the first thought in my mind as I open my eyes is one of gratitude. I now start the morning recalling specific experiences from the day before for which I am sincerely grateful, and I am always astounded by how many there are. This one tiny change has made a world of difference - with my head on the blessings in my life, it is only easier to find more and more of them each day.
I never realized that my clock radio wake-up routine would have been so detrimental, but looking back, it was blocking me from seeing the good in my life. When you bless each day with gratitude, rather than cursing it with thoughts of stress and anxiety, your whole life really can change.