Think Your Own Thoughts First

March 2, 2013

It’s too easy to wake up in the morning and start your day in the midst of noise.

Maybe you clamor out of bed and immediately plow through the dozens of emails that came during the night. I’ve done that – and woken up many times to that little round red number staring at me from my iPhone. How about flicking on the TV to catch the news before you leave the house? Maybe you check Facebook on your phone while you brew some coffee. Even your family could be part of this: maybe you launch into your day by corralling your family and the many needs they have. All of those are fine things and I’m not here to create a new list of rules to follow. But…

It’s easy to start your days without ever allowing yourself to think your own thoughts.

“Thinking your own thoughts first” sounds selfish, but hear me out.

Photo courtesy of christianreimer via

How would your day change if you chose to start it with silence? For me it’s a game changer.

If I spend time each morning alone, quiet and listening it makes a world of difference. This could be a moment of reflection, a mental break, a quiet prayer, reading the Bible or prioritizing my day. When we take a little time to put away the digital media, the news, and even the needs of our family – when we begin our days in quietude – we find ourselves in a position of strength. Why? Because when we allow God to fill up our reservoir, we have more to give, more to contribute and are more focused on the people and things that need our attention.

We start our days with focus, rather than in a blind sprint.

Jesus regularly got away to spend time in prayer and quiet solitude. It is essential to us as humans: we need to make ourselves still before God. It is often the best medicine for the heart and mind.

Maybe you need to get up 15 minutes early or go to bed 15 minutes later to make this happen. Maybe you need to prioritize a break more highly. Maybe you need to figure out a way to make the most of your mornings (Andy Traub has a great book for you). It’s going to look a little different for everyone, but the principle remains the same. Silence begets strength.

If you don’t find a way to make it happen every day, you never will.

Try it. Take a week and carve out as little as fifteen minutes each morning to pursue silence and see what happens. How does it change your attitude? Are you more focused? Are you better prepared for the curveballs that life throws us daily?