The Heroic Minute

Contrary to popular belief, hitting the snooze button does not and will not keep the dream alive. It could actually destroy your dream that you have of accomplishing great goals in life. What no one wants to tell you is that hitting the snooze button shows that you have little or no control over yourself, and for that reason you might just make yourself incapable of really realizing your dreams.

How many times do you hit the snooze button on your alarm or tell your cellphone to ring again in 5 or 10 minutes so you can sleep a little longer? Maybe you don't do it so often when you have class or when you have to get to work. Some people just forget about it all together and don´t even set an alarm because they love sleeping in, and it seems like they have nothing better to do. Are you going to waste your time in bed?

There is a little trick that St. José María Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, wrote about and it works wonders: the heroic minute.

The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and... up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish.

It seems like something so small, but it can change your whole day.  Fix a time to get up, and get up. Now, we aren’t talking about sleeping 12 hours, you have to set a reasonable time. Everything should be done in moderation and sleep definitely has it’s time and place. Usually, 8 hours of sleep is enough to have enough energy for the next day. 

Maybe you don’t realize it, and many people don’t, but sleeping in late and hitting the snooze button shows that you have a weak will. You aren’t capable of doing something you set out to do the day before: waking up on a fixed time. It is the first battle of the day, and if you really try, you can win it and start the day off stronger than if you ate your Wheaties.

Like our saint says “Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection”, meaning that if you find it difficult to follow through and you are about to hit snooze, lift up your heart to the Lord, Our Blessed Mother, the angels and saints and offer it to them or for someone who needs it. Who knows if one day you will meet a soul in heaven that is there because they received a grace from the day you were going to sleep in but decided to get up on time and offer it for someone to receive the grace of conversion. As mentioned before, it seems like something so small, but it can change your whole day…and maybe someone’s life.

If you start off your day with this small mortification that strengthens the will you will see how much it can help you fight the other small and big battles of the day. On the contrary, if you ignore it, and continue sleeping you will just continue with that sluggish, lazy, gross feeling that usually accompanies someone who sleeps too much. If you begin to live this heroic act you will even come to see how much you can do during the day when the time you have is well spent, and if one day by chance you sleep in you will wake up with a feeling that the whole day has passed without taking advantage of it. 

Just some advice...if you really know yourself and think that a minute is too long, then call it the heroic second and don't wait any longer to get out of bed. Ask St. José María Escriva to help you, and start to live!