What I Did Alone In My Hotel Room This Morning-And You Can Do It Too!

I have learnt a new idea about what to do by myself every morning when no-one is watching. It’s perhaps the most exhilarating 10 minutes you can spend with yourself. I have just done it, and before leaving my hotel room, am going to share this gem with you… if you dare!

I’m in Phuket and a bit disappointed. I have visited here four times previously, twice in the late 80s, twice in the early 90s (different girlfriend each time- those were the days!). I haven’t been back for almost 20 years. Until this business trip brought me here for two days. Phuket has changed. For me, for the worse. Over-developed, dirty, crowded. For others no doubt, for the better. And it is still a beautiful place.

But I cheered up when I focused my thoughts on how fortunate I am to have been here many times before, filled with laughter, sunshine and fun. I took those memories with me to the very quiet 10 minutes I spent with myself just after I woke up. This is what I did, and why I encourage you to give it a go too.

Every morning, I spend 10 minutes ‘being grateful’ for all the great things I have in my life.

Stop. Don’t delete this post. I have not gone all herbally and burning josh sticks and stuff like that. Just sit with this idea for a minute. It really is powerful. It’s like injecting yourself with a dose of optimism and goodwill. And it only takes 10 minutes.

I read this idea somewhere a few weeks ago, and have been giving it a go. Here’s how it works. Before your day gets its momentum and you get washed away in busyness, pause, sit, reflect- for 10 minutes- about all the great things that you have in your life. For me, this morning, I reflected upon…

  • My health, fitness and well being- it’s better than it’s been in 20 years… I ran for an hour yesterday, and could have done another 30 minutes
  • My family- are well, safe, evolving, secure; I am so excited by them and what the future holds (fingers crossed)
  • My mother- is visiting family in South Africa and is happy… plus out of my (not very lush) hair for two months
  • The opportunity I get to travel to interesting places, like Phuket- I don’t take it for granted
  • The fact I have had a life filled with exciting relationships – including the opportunity to have had four Phuket adventures decades ago with wonderful, intelligent, vibrant girl friends
  • My opportunity in an hour to present to 20 senior business people a confronting yet deeply personal road map on how to keep learning and growing
  • My ability at 5.30 pm tonight to run along a beach and watch the sunset (it’s rare to be able to see the sun set over the ocean when you live in Sydney)

And that took 10 minutes. I finished that reflection with a lighter heart, a spring in my step, a recharged resilience to tackle the myriad of pressure, expectations of me, issues and irritations that the next 15 hours will bring.

For some, this 10 minute reflection would lead them to a sense of gratefulness to a higher being- perhaps a God. For me that’s not the case-  it’s simply quiet reflection that I am extremely lucky and need to remind myself of that every single day.

Give it a go.

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31 Responses to What I Did Alone In My Hotel Room This Morning-And You Can Do It Too!

  1. Olga February 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Simple but so right and so important

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks Olga!

  2. Nick mercer February 27, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Great post Chris I can see a new strand of yoga being developed…

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      Thanks Nick- hope business is good. Chris

  3. Kay February 27, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks Chris, I needed to read this today. Counting my blessings.

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm #


  4. Gill February 27, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Good post, such an easy thing to do and so effective. The same idea is used at where you log what you are grateful for on a daily basis (along with a few other journal-type exercises). I signed up a couple of weeks ago, I love the fact that I get a daily email reminder from them so I have no excuses not to reflect for a couple of minutes each day!

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Thanks Gill- I like that idea and will give it a go. Chris

  5. Justin Di Lollo February 27, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    This is great advice, Chris.

    I was reminding my MBA students at AGSM this week about some similar advice I got from a good friend (and class president) when I was in the MBA class of 1999/2000 that’s along similar lines.

    It was in the first months of the very tough full-time MBA program and I was struggling – with the unfamiliar and difficult subject material, with the stress, with the hours and just generally with being in the unfamilar space of NOT being the smartest kid in the class!

    He said to me, “Justin, what’s really important to you? Is it this MBA (no!) or is it other things”. I reflected on this and realised what was REALLY important in my life was my partner, my family, my cat, my health and a whole heap of other things that had nothing to do with the stress I was feeling.

    Your advice is fantastic. Reflecting on the good and truly important things in your life won’t solve today’s stresses – but it sure puts them in perspective!

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks Justin- I know you for one do appreciate the great things in your life and genuinely appreciate them. Chris

  6. Clare February 27, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    When I wake up I usually spend 10 mins checking email/news/FB. Instead, tomorrow I will try this…I think it will change my day.

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Thanks Clare- let me know how you go. Chris

  7. Talia February 27, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Definitely a fantastic way to begin the day – something my parents have always encouraged me to do and something I don’t do often enough, positive refelction – so powerful! 🙂

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Keep at it Talia!

  8. Dan February 27, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    I’m not a morning person at all but I’m going to put in the extra effort & give this a go!!

    • Chris Savage February 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Let me know how you go Dan

  9. Thomas Harris February 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I experience a significant energetic lift which sets me up for a good start to the day.

  10. Tony Spencer-Smith February 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    More humane and relevant advice, Chris.

    Like many people, I tend to focus on people whom I conceive to be better off than me in one way or another. Your advice is one way to get away from that. Another would be to try to focus on those who are less fortunate than oneself – there are legions walking a world of impoverishment and suffering. How ones own troubles pale compared to theirs.


    • Chris Savage February 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks Tony- good advice.

  11. Donald February 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Thanks Chris, time for reflection is vital in this over busy world; thanks for the reminder, Donald

    • Chris Savage February 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks Donald!

  12. Sven February 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Nice one Chris.
    I do this everyday as well I I always find it centreing and uplifing. The only difference is I started doing it at night and found it helped me wash off the stress of the day and sleep more easely

    • Chris Savage February 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Thanks Sven. Thats a great idea. I’ll try it. Chris

  13. Karima March 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Lovely way to spend 10 minutes. I wrote about this a few months ago myself, and for some reason people seem amazed at the fact that making a habit out of something so simple could alter their mood/day/feeling about their life.

    The more people spread this message the better.

    Thank you.

    • Chris Savage March 4, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Thanks Karima!

  14. Stella March 3, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Across the globe I’ve had similar thoughts on both levels. Being away from “home” so long I have often spent long hours with fellow expat wives lamenting the loss of lifestyle in our countries of origin; whinged about the frustrating challenges of life as a woman in the Middle East; discussed the sacrifice of our career to follow husbands; teared up at the distance from extended family and friends. But after five years here, I realised that time has passed so quickly and that before I know it my son will be grown, the expat life will be a distant memory and I will miss the many advantages and adventures that life overseas has brought. My child is happy and healthy, we have travelled extensively, met some wonderful people, built a network of friendships that span borders I never thought possible and dipped a toe into a somewhat interesting if not erratic work culture, So I try to think of all the things I am grateful for, at least for a moment or two a day.
    PS. I also recently visited Phuket and at first felt the same disappointments that you did when I compared it to old memories of my last visit. This time however, I was able to share the experience with my husband, children, niece and nephews, sister in law, my mother and my sister – something I never thought would happen and this has made Phuket one of the best places I have visited!

    • Chris Savage March 4, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      Stella- beautiful story. Thanks!

  15. Nicole March 15, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    Hey Chris!

    I stumbled on wrestling possums today after I found out about your “almost cancer” diagnosis. Fantastic post – thanks for your candor and generosity in sharing.

    I was in a similar position back in April 2011. Thirty four years old, living and working (at Ogilvy) in New York. One day I was fine. The next day I had cancer. I had treatment in Australia. I came back to New York last year. A few months later I found out the cancer was back.

    At first (both times) it felt like I got the “Me” envelope. I really wanted the “Provence” one. The reality is, regardless of the hand your dealt, or the envelope left in your hand, there’s plenty to be grateful for. I write about it here – – not nearly as eloquent as your blog. But, I do have pictures. Whenever I need a reminder of all I have to be grateful for, I can open the page and glance over the pictures for a little pick me up.

    Thanks again for sharing your “journey”.


    • Chris Savage March 15, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks Nicole. Amazing story. I will look at your blog closely. Hope you are doing ok. Chris

      • Nicole March 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

        Don’t look too closely! Just everyday things. Not actually that amazing at all. Except maybe to me 🙂


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