Find the Gift

The other day I woke up at 4:25 am. This was on a Friday after not sleeping well all week. Even though I didn’t want to admit it, I knew exactly why I wasn’t sleeping. I’d committed to finishing my book by the end of the following Monday and it wasn’t done yet. It seemed like the entire week had been filled with roadblocks. Major client issues to solve, tax related files needing to go to my accountant, no project on my calendar fitting into the pre-blocked timeframe. All the things at once.

When I woke up after yet another nightmare exactly two hours before my alarm, I sarcastically asked myself why am I up right now? Then I decided to set aside my initial grouchiness, and ask the question again. Why 4:25? What made me wake up at this particular time?

As I opened my mind to seeing this as a gift rather than a penalty I received the answer. “This must be the perfect amount of time to finish the chapter I couldn’t finish writing last night.” Newly inspired I washed my face, rearranged my pillows for sitting up, opened my laptop, and got to work.

Guess what. Those two uninterrupted hours were the perfect amount of time for me to finish the chapter. That chapter was the last difficult bit I needed to finish. By the end of the day I had completed all the other minor edits and that draft of the book was done… 3 days ahead of schedule.

Instead of working all weekend like I’d planned, I relaxed all weekend. After making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything major, I sent the book off for editing on Monday.

We can’t always control our initial reaction. We can control everything we do afterwards. Next time something super annoying or frustrating happens to you, stay curious, ask a couple of questions, and try to find the gift.

Sample Questions

  • What might be the benefit here?
  • How can this experience serve me?
  • In what way is this the perfect thing at the perfect time?

Enjoy the journey.