I was a slow starter. I did my best thinking and writing in the morning. But my body needed time to adjust from supine and senseless to vertical and viable. Everything changed when I found this article. It targets three areas: body, mind, and spirit. Since the body plagued me, I attacked it first:

Coming out of bed, your body needs three things for certain — water, protein and movement … 16 ounces of water gets you started … You need protein in your first food of the day, even if you are going for a run or a workout … Movement gets blood moving, clears the mind and releases energy.

The first day, I jumped up at 6:00 a.m., bolted down to the kitchen, and chugged 16 ounces of water. I immediately learned fighting one’s gag reflex is a physical activity and a more strenuous one than I was used to performing so early. Clever.

I grabbed my protein powder, realizing I’d have to mix it with … more water. I shoveled two heaping scoops into another 16 ounces of water, shook the concoction until the powder dissolved, and chugged that. I had to lash my jaw shut with baling wire and put Vise Grips on my lips, but I kept the protein shake down.

Then I headed to the gym. Concerned about keeping 32 ounces of protein-suffused liquid down — and able to breathe only through my nose — I ruled out cardio. I loaded a barbell, reclined under it on the bench, took a deep breath, and … awoke around noon. Refreshed from my nap, I resolved to address my mind:

Your mind needs focus or you will waste time and energy … A billionaire I interviewed told me one of his keys to success — he tries to accomplish only one thing per day. A very big thing, of course, but from the moment he woke up until he finished his day, he threw every available effort at that one thing.

I’d already successfully focused on one thing — keeping my protein shake down. I’d be a billionaire in no time. I removed the Vise Grips from my lips and used wire cutters to snip the baling wire from my jaw. I jogged to the mailbox for my first big check. It wasn’t there. But it was imminent. It had to be. I was pumped, primed, and perfectly prepared for perennial prosperity.

Knowing I had it all but made, I grabbed the magazine again to make short work of my spiritual shortcomings. Since the body and mind parts had been duck soup, the spirit thing would be a cinch:

Being grateful, aware of all you have … starts your day with energy and calm. When you greet your employees, clients, and suppliers throughout the day knowing that you included them in your reflections, they will feel that in your interaction and it will make for a better exchange regardless of the circumstances.

I assumed the Lotus position, closed my eyes, concentrated on my breathing, and reflected on my gratitude. It worked. Everyone with whom I came in contact that day shared my gratitude at not honking up that protein shake. I was transformed.

I’m not a billionaire yet. But I’m a new man, a properly awakened man. I’ve aligned my body, my mind, and my spirit.

And I did it without tossing my cookies.

By Phil McElhinney from London (Jeremy Wariner), via Wikimedia Commons.