In Dr. Mardy’s Quotes of the Week for March 24 – 30, 2013, “the doctor” speaks about:
…having a set of guiding beliefs that are so fundamentally important to your existence that they actually get you going as you rise from bed in the morning:
In centuries past, these beliefs tended to be religious in nature, and people verbally articulated them in their morning prayers. While this is still true for many, the guiding beliefs for a growing number of people tend to be philosophical or psychological in nature (as reflected in “affirmations” and other forms of self-talk). Michael Crichton provided a broad view of the entire landscape when he said in 2003:
“Even if you don’t believe in God, you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.“
The trouble for many people, though, is that they are hard-pressed to fully articulate their “morning beliefs,” even though they set the tone for the remainder of the day. For example, people who fundamentally believe that the world is a dangerous or menacing place get out of bed in a very different frame of mind than people who believe the world is a mysterious and even wondrous place. Similarly, people who believe the world owes them a living approach the day in a very different way than people who wake up feeling grateful for being alive and well. If each one of these different sets of beliefs were formally stated, they could be easily expressed in very few words. In a bumper sticker, if you will.
As you wake up over the next week, stay in bed for a few moments to reflect on what you are thinking as you approach the new day. If you record your morning thoughts in a notepad, you will have enough information after a week to do a reasonably thorough content analysis. If you then tried to summarize your morning beliefs in a bumper sticker, what would it say?
I say, this is a very good idea. While I rarely have the luxury of staying in bed for long enough to have any kind of coherent thoughts, I do take the time to write in my journal every morning after I take my son to school. I’ve never tried to summarize anything to this degree, however, nor has it ever occurred to me to try to put any concise statement of my “beliefs” into the form of a bumper sticker! But, it might be interesting to try.