I remember the two times in my life that I slept through an alarm. The most recent was a couple of years ago after returning from Nigeria. I was so tired and sick but I had planned to go into work the day after I got back (bad idea).
I woke up around 3am and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Nothing was working.
So I decided to drink some NyQuil.
My thoughts were “at least it would knock me out for a few hours”
A few hours turned to waking up at 12pm. My manager in New York had called a few times looking for me and such, I was stunned when I woke up.
I stared at my phone and thought it was a mistake.
It wasn’t. I fixed the situation by thinking on my feet but damn it got me.
Alarms are annoying.
They are loud, obnoxious and necessary. Many times, anything that is a combination of all those things is not typically fancied.
They interrupt beautiful unearned but deserved sleep and cut short those dreams of you and Idris Elba or better yet, you and I.
They however, are the focus of my piece today.
A few days ago, I began to think about how we use alarms in reference to our goals.
Many of us ignore the first alarm aka the first opportunity to take a leap at something.
Think about it, most of the ideas/goals/dreams/opportunities you have, come from various places but most fail to act the first time.
How many times have you thought about that business?
Or that trip? That job or that relationship?
And how many times have you hit snooze?
Alarms are similar to those goals.
We love to ignore the first sound of them, the first time the challenge comes or the first jolt into a new level.
We silence it.
And even for those that have decided to step up to the challenge, many still don’t.
You know how?
They set multiple alarms back to back. Basically using them as a safety net.
Eventually getting up but taking the long way and ignoring the calls to action.
Imagine not executing because you have placed multiple fail safes along the way. But what happens when you snooze too long and you “oversleep”?
Miss your opportunity to get ahead or set the tone? That you take your time and wait but someone else has now executed on your vision or gained more of the market share.
Many of us miss out on chances to be great because we ignore the first alarm. The first sound, call to action or simply, the first reminder.
Now I am not asking you to jump at everything immediately. There is value in being strategic.
But always know this, there is not fatigue felt on the day of victory.
I am not like Steve Harvey telling you not to sleep, please enjoy your sleep but remember you are working towards a life where alarms are not annoying but simple reminders of new opportunities for greatness.
Next time you hear the first sound at being great, jump at it.
You’ll be better for it and so will the rest of your world.
Till next time, stay up.
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