If you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, think about a relationship you’d like to create with your alarm clock. What would be the healthiest and happiest version of that relationship for you?
If you were an alarm clock, what kind of relationship would you want to have with your human?
For instance, maybe your alarm clock would appreciate it if you’d pat it on the head now and then and say, “Thanks for waking me up today. I appreciate you!”
- How would your alarm clock feel about being put across the room and kept at a distance from you? How would it feel if you groaned when it sounded off?
- How would your alarm clock feel if you kept using the snooze feature? Would it potentially lose respect for you?
- Have you ever thought about the relationship you’d like to have with your alarm clock? How would you like to feel towards it, and how would you like to imagine that it feels towards you?
I normally use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, set for 5am. I never use the snooze alarm since that wouldn’t help me experience the relationships I want to have, with my alarm clock, with myself, and with the start of my day.
I like relating to my alarm clock based on mutual trust and mutual respect. My alarm clock is my buddy who helps me start the day at the time of my choosing. It’s very reliable. I enjoy knowing that I can trust it to sound off when I tell it.
If my intention was to get up at a certain time, and I didn’t just leave the alarm set by mistake, then it’s important to get up to honor that relationship. If I can trust that my alarm will sound off, I also want my alarm to trust me too, to trust that I’ll get up when I intended to get up.
While it may sound odd to have a relationship with an inanimate object, you’re already doing that, anyway. Some patch of neurons in your brain is already storing your associations to your alarm clock. Like it or not, that relationship exists in your mind, and it will continue to exist. So you already have some stored thoughts and feelings towards your alarm clock. Do those thoughts and feelings serve you well? Or could you change how you’re framing that relationship to make it better?
If you’re going to have a relationship with your alarm clock in your mind anyway, why not make it what you want it to be? Make it a relationship that serves you well. Make it a relationship that helps you get the results you want.
If your relationship with your alarm clock is dysfunctional, do you really think that will help you create and maintain highly functional habits? How is that going to be good for your day’s startup routine?
For me a good relationship with any device involves trust, respect, and appreciation. I don’t want to use devices I don’t trust, respect, and appreciate. Especially if it’s the first device that connects me with my day, I really want that to be a positive and uplifting relationship. If the very first sound I hear to begin my day immediately links me with a negative emotion, a downer thought, or a corrupted relationship, well… that’s a stupid relationship then, isn’t it? How is that possibly going to do me any good, especially if I let that relationship wallow unfixed for years?
If you have a messed up relationship with your alarm clock, or with however you like to begin your day, I invite you to fix that relationship. Start by making a real decision about what kind of relationship you’d like to have. Then go have a little talk with your alarm clock to share your thoughts and feelings about the relationship you’d like to create with it. Imagine that it’s listening to you attentively, and then listen internally for what it wants to see from you.
Imagine creating a truly win-win relationship here. Consider what kind of relationship your alarm clock would love to have with you. What does it want from you? What kinds of behaviors would it be like to see from you? How would it like to be treated? You might think that this is taking the idea far, but I encourage you to think along these lines anyway, since it can help you get clarity about the right kind of relationship for you.
I have a very positive relationship with my alarm clock. I can get up right away when it goes off and leverage it for a good start to my day. I’ve never put it across the room. I’ve never used the snooze alarm. I like and respect my alarm clock. I honor its purpose in my life. I appreciate what it does for me. I don’t have to burden myself with a negative relationship that I might drag forward into all of my future years. This relationship is all in my mind anyway, so it’s my choice what to make of it. Why not assert your freedom of choice here as well?
If it helps you get up feeling a little happier and a little more enthusiastic to imagine that your alarm clock is proud of you… or to imagine that your alarm clock likes being appreciated by you… that’s all good. Feeling appreciation is wonderful, so why not give yourself any reason to begin your day with that sort of feeling? Use your imagination to help you here. Don’t let a lack of imagination cage you in a negative relationship.
What is your version of a golden relationship with your alarm clock? What would that look like? What thoughts and feelings would you like to bring to this relationship? Whatever it is, you can create that relationship. But it sure helps tremendously if you take a moment to consciously decide what that relationship is going to be.
Steve Pavlina is widely recognized as one of the most successful personal development bloggers in the world, with his work attracting more than 100 million visits to StevePavlina.com. He has written more than 1700 articles and recorded many audio programs on a broad range of self-help topics, including productivity, relationships, and spirituality.
This story was originally published on Steve Pavlina’s Blog.