How I Settle My Mind to Get Needed Rest

by Rob Marchalonis.


I confess, some of my most difficult times as a leader have been in the middle of the night. Can you relate? As a younger leader, I would often lay awake in bed for minutes (or hours) during the quiet darkness of the early hours. My active mind would keep me from sleeping, often pondering leadership or business-related issues. Many of these were related to “people” and “decisions” – employees, customers, or others and choices that were upcoming or had already been made.

“To maintain my health and sanity, I had to find a solution.”

After years of interrupted rest, I had to find a solution to maintain my health and sanity. As a child, when I couldn’t sleep, I remember being told to “count sheep”. Still not sure why. (We had dogs, but never sheep.) Years later, as an adult and businessperson, I did what any good leader would do – I adopted a strategy and process to solve my problem!

“What if I simply counted my ‘blessings’, putting a new twist on an old theme?”

My simple strategy was to shift my thinking from “worries” to “blessings”. Not a radical idea, but I added another layer of process that significantly helps me clear my mind and get back to sleep. What I do is consider my blessings in categories, from the top down, and then examples within each. For me, it looks like this:

My Prioritized Blessings

  1. Faith – “I live in a world with a loving God who wants the best for me and has a plan, even if I don’t always agree with it.”
  2. Family – “My loving and supportive family give me acceptance, encouragement, and grace – often when I don’t deserve it.”
  3. Friends – “Friends bring fun, laughter, and interest to my life, keep me humble, and offer support in good times and bad.”
  4. Health – “A properly working pain-free body allows me to see, hear, taste, smell, feel, move, relax, and much more.”
  5. Freedom – “I live in a country with tremendous freedom, paid for by many, resulting in amazing abundance and opportunity.”
  6. Mind – “My brain gives me the ability to think, reason, understand, question, learn, teach, enjoy, and remember.”
  7. Nutrition – “Clean and healthy water, foods, drinks, air, and sun provide daily sustenance, refreshment, and enjoyment.”
  8. Profession – “Meaningful work lets me serve others, giving purpose to life and the ability to provide for myself and my family.”
  9. Interests – “I have the freedom, time, and resources to pursue various hobbies, curiosities, and other enjoyable activities.”
  10. Fun – “I am able to enjoy travel, adventure, nature, music, reading, movies, relationships with others, and much more!”

What keeps you awake at night?

Yes, it’s true that the very reason I sometimes lay awake is because one or more of my blessing categories are weak or suffering. None of us are perfectly blessed in this world. When I think through my list however, I’m reminded how fortunate I truly am. This almost always shifts my mind from worry to gratitude… and lets me drift back to sleep… in peace and comfort.

What causes you sleepless nights?


Rob Marchalonis helps business owners and leaders increase productivity, prosperity, and peace with smart Leadership, Strategy, and Process (LSP) solutions. Schedule a discussion at 717-397-3444 or email ©2020