Rise & Shine

rise & shine

Every morning when I fill out my planner, I write the words RISE & SHINE at my 5:30 am time slot. I was thinking the other day about this phrase and what it really means to me. Rise & Shine is an old saying, with roots in the military where soldiers were expected to rise early and put their best foot forward in working hard right from the start of their day. 

It also has to do with the sun rising and shining every morning. There is comfort in knowing that every single day we can count on the sun to rise and shine. It is doing what it is designed to do. It may be hidden behind cloud cover but we still know it is there. 

How about us as human beings?

How are we doing in the Rise & Shine department? I think we all have the rising part down but some of us struggle in the shining. I want to be the kind of person who not only rises but also shines! What does that look like? How is it accomplished?

For me, it is about setting my intention toward that goal. It starts with a desire to make it a goal in life. Growth begins with awareness but it is realized in action. I can want to shine when I rise, but until I put a plan into action, it is meaningless.

Part of No Longer Being a Bystander means that I no longer just think about doing something but I put it into practice. For example, I no longer dream of being a runner someday. I have worked hard to become a runner. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time. It took determination. However, the first thing it took was intention followed by action. I was so out of shape that I started with walking and continued to walk on a regular basis, building up my stamina, until one day I could actually run. As soon as I ran, I was a runner.

Once I’ve set my intention to shine every day, I need to have a plan of action to implement that intention. What can I do to help myself not only rise but shine?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Evening routine – If I want to shine in the morning I know I need to get a certain amount of sleep the night before. And if I need a certain amount of sleep, say 7 hours, I have to be intentional about when I go to bed. I can’t expect to shine very brightly if I’ve only gotten 5 hours of sleep.
  2. Writing it down – I find that when I write a goal down on paper or capture it electronically somehow, I am much more likely to achieve that goal. According to Inc.com, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. So when I write down Rise & Shine in my planner each day, I’m planting the idea in my brain to accomplish it each and every day.
  3. Think about the impact – When I think about the impact I can have on the people closest to me, my family living in the same house, it draws me toward my goal. I know that I have an influence over them so the environment I set for our home is largely determined by my attitude and how I express myself. I want them to feel loved, accepted and cared for every day. That is much easier to accomplish if I am shining. The potential impact is not reserved only for my family, it can affect anyone and everyone I come into contact with whether at the grocery store or on a Zoom call.
  4. Happiness – Think about it. No one wakes up in the morning wanting to be grumpy and unhappy. Most of us have a strong desire to be happy. Instead of waiting to feel happy before acting happy, try acting first, whether you are feeling the feeling or not. Sometimes the feeling follows the action. Choosing to shine every morning will put you on the road to happiness, not only for you but for those around you.

My challenge to you is to not only rise but shine as well. Be a shining light of positivity in the midst of negativity and despair. The world needs bright lights shining in the darkness. As the old Sunday School song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”


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