I admire our cats, they can sleep anywhere, at anytime, they simple sit still and nod off. Here you see Gabbi napping. As I watched her sleep it made me want a nap. Let me correct that, it made me realize I needed a nap.

Sometimes we are all go and no rest – that is a good time for a nap. Sometimes we slept poorly the night before, that is a good reason for a nap. Sometimes we feel frail, weak, poor, or like ‘something’ is coming our way – that is definitely a time to take a nap. One of my favorite reasons for a nap is a damp, rainy afternoon. Nothing like sleeping when you don’t want to do anything else.

I have a friend who is an expert nap taker; he has it down to a science. He has 20 minute power naps every afternoon and approaches his late day activities with a refreshed sense of energy. I admire this habit. I struggle with naps. Once I have hit REM mode I don’t want to get back up…I’m warm, I’m comfy, I’m relaxed…I want to keep sleeping. The real challenge isn’t the nap, it is how I approach it. I want sleep, and I need to think about the nap as a tool to help me perform better, feel better, it’s a way to refresh myself for the rest of the day. I see sleep as a reward, when it is really a tool, a method to help me stay healthy. When I am able to change my mindset about naps, I will be able to nap better and more effectively. 

If this mindset thing is true for naps, where else might it apply in my world? I though about that and realized some of my most pronounced life lessons have come when I was willing to change my mindset. We get locked into the way it is, has been, how it has always been done…and we get trapped. We want change. We want to improve, grow, learn, evolve…and yet the ideas in our head prevent us from being able to let go. I always thought naps were great but hard when they ended. My napping expert friend told me his method and how it works for him…now I have a different perspective. I can see how someone else doing it differently is more successful than me, and I see the advantages. Listening and learning from others helps open our minds and thoughts to a different way of doing things. I might be smart, but there will always be someone else who is smarter…so tap into that wisdom. 

Changing your mindset may also mean admitting that other people know more than you, are better than you, and that you could learn a thing or two…for many of us who are ‘accomplished’ in our areas of expertise, this is the real mindset change. The smartest and brightest people I know are the ones who are ALWAYS willing to learn from others. So this afternoon I am going to let me cat and my friend teach me how to take better naps. Gotta run, time to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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