(Photo by //No More/Flickr - Creative Commons)
By Dale Avery
I had the chance this past week to visit with a large group of 5th graders at Pepper Ridge ElementarySchool.
In fact, this was the 3rd year in a row I have had this opportunity to discuss careers and the reasons I chose the one I did. As I was preparing for my presentation there were a few questions I asked myself such as why did I pick the job I did, who were the people who helped me get there, what did I study in school that helped me get there, and what would I have done differently.
The main itemthe school asked the presenters to focus on was one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. As I was as reviewing the habits I selected a few to concentrate on such asHabit 1 Be Proactive; Habit 3 Put First Things First; Habit 5 Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood; Habit 6 Synergize; and Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw.
These are all good habits and ones I strive to keep on my owndevelopmental list. But when I was done preparing my comments, it really dawned on me that I have incorporated these and other habits into my drive and excitement to get out of bed in each morning.
At this point, some of you may be trying to guess what really gets me out of bed in the morning - an alarm clock, a crying child, birds outside the window or a noise in the neighborhood. But what gets me out of bed in the morningis actually what I anticipate when I go to bed the night before!
As most know I grew up on a farm and getting up early was an expectation, but that habit has served me well over my 52 years. I love getting up early in the morning because I am curious about what the new day will bring.
When I get up I have a routine. I usually wake up 5 or 10 minutes before my alarm goes off and get dressed for the gym. I grab my I-phone and catch up on the sports and news. I head to the gym at 4:40 to meet up with my fellow workout friends who have been standing in line with me for over 4 years to get into the gym – yes, we want to get our favorite equipment first. Our waiting line has a lot of people from different backgrounds and ages – yet we are awell-connected group.
During my run at the gym I mentally go through my day and with expectations about the great people I will meet with and the things I get to do knowing I am blessed to enjoy another day. Once I am done at the gym it is time to go home to get dressed and see my lovely daughters off to school. I then head to work with music on in my truck to keep me on my roll of having a great day. At work I truly try my best every day to provide a positive attitude and environment for all those I meet and work with
At the end of the day, I always self-reflect on my day and ask myself what things I really enjoyed about the day and what things I could have done better. I do this each nightso I can take these learnings to become a better person the following day.
By doing this and by the grace of God I will get to do it again tomorrow. So what gets me out of bed in the morning is the expectations I go to sleep with that I will wake up every morningto enjoy the blessings of a loving family, friends, a great place to work, my health and the ability to help others enjoy life. My question for you is – what gets you out of bed in the mornings?
Dale Avery, CPCU, is the assistant vice president – Enterprise Services at State Farm® Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Ill.
Avery began his career with State Farm in 1982 as a personal lines underwriter in Lincoln, Nebraska and assumed his current position in 2006. Avery, a native of Missouri, received his bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University. He earned his CPCU in 1991.
Dale resides in Bloomington with his wife, Laura and their two daughters; Megan and Jenna.
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