The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day – Henry Ward Beecher

The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day — Henry Ward Beecher

It has been said that your attitude at the start the day can have more affect on you than ten cups of coffee! If that is true, we have to challenge ourselves to begin our days with positive thoughts that prepare us for success. This series is about just that — — starting the day with the right thoughts.

I have been sharing the Success Thought of the Day now for about 17 years. The brief story behind it starts with my joining JPMorgan Chase back in January of 2000. During the interview process, I was invited to meet with people at various buildings, I believe 270 Park Avenue and 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza — — both of which are very well kept buildings, representative of the JPMorgan Chase brand. However, when I received my offer letter I was told to report to another building I had not visited. Upon arrival that morning I could not help but notice that aesthetically, things were very different. More important than the aesthetics outside the building, were how it felt inside — — without going into details, I would just say it did not feel welcoming.

To make a long story short, I found that the environment was not conducive to conversations amongst the new team that I was just provided the opportunity to lead and it really concerned me. During my 2-hour morning commute from Philadelphia to New York, I would read newspapers, books and articles on the train, often finding something noteworthy that inspired me. On one particular morning, I decided to send a “quote” to the team. To my surprise, I found that throughout that day, that quote provoked people to not only give it some thought, but talk about it with others. That reaction was beyond what I could hope for and so I did it again the next day and here we are some 17 years later of me still doing it.

The natural question of course is, after I stopped leading that particular team, why didn’t I stop? A few reasons — — the first, it has become a part of how I start my day, but the second — — which is more important to me, it that people have come to expect it. When I left that particular team, many asked me to keep them on “the thought of the day list.” I didn’t know I had such a list, but I guess I did!

So that’s the story. I will post them here often, but If you would like the email version sent to you for yourself, your team, students, etc., so can sight up for it here. It costs you nothing except the risk of some daily inspiration!