3 AM

More often than not, the worst decisions most of us make in life are the ones

do you hear something?

do you hear something?

 we’ve ignored when the wake up call comes. You may hate it when it happens but the voice that wants to be heard at 3AM may be the one you need to be listening most closely to.

Parents put this ridiculous thought in their kid’s heads that nothing good happens after 11 PM. Well, that’s not exactly true. Saturday Night Live, Leno, and the UFC Live from Las Vegas dispel that notion. However all this is lost on most ‘basic men’ because their day ends when the weather and sports is over on the 10:00 news. Admit it. Besides the fact that Conan O’Brien is an insufferable putz, the Home Shopping Network doesn’t sell tools, and every night can’t be Friday night; the ‘basic man’ needs sleep to rejuvenate the natural luster of our complexion and to stave off the aging process. What?

There is a deeper reason why some good things actually do happen after 11 PM. In fact, so good it wakes you and won’t let you get back to sleep until you deal with it. No, don’t go there. “That” is not where I’m headed.

It’s those annoying issues of life, personal reflections on a conversation that went wrong, important decisions, kid problems. It’s all the things that make your life more complicated than it needs to be; which causes such a stir that it wakes you and forces your mind to deal with them in quiet. Most people call this type of event a bad thing, an annoyance that upsets their normal pattern of living. And frankly, it is annoying. But don’t confuse annoying with important and useful just because it happens at 3 AM.

The waking hours of life are noisy. The decisions and opinions you make during the day are constantly bombarded by competing interests, many of which have no bearing on what is best for you and your big picture. That 3 AM hour is quiet, your thoughts are yours. The noise you were bombarded with during the day is given a different priority and the clarity of a bigger picture unfolds. There is a reason why your brain wants to work. It’s because you have issues! Your brain has a voice and it wants to be heard. It seldom tells you what you don’t necessarily want to hear when its being drown out by the noise of the day.

Whether its to resolve a personal issue, sort out a complex business problem, or confront your conscience you are awake for a reason and the interrupted nights won’t stop until issues are effectively resolved or you lose your conscience. I highly recommend the former over the latter.

Bob Dylan’s son, Jacob, is a talented lyricist and fronts a band called The Wallflowers. He wrote a prescient lyric, …”a guilty conscience means at least you have one”.

With all that is going on in our society, one has to wonder how many people have had or are having a 3AM wake-up call. Did Bernie Madoff get one on December 10, 2008? How many times did Eliot Spitzer have a good nights’ sleep? Or for that matter, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Charley Rangel, Tom Geithner, Jeffrey Skillen, or Ken Lay. Of course that’s assuming they had an operating conscience to deal with their specific issues.

More often than not, the worst decisions most of us make in life are the ones we’ve ignored when the wake up call comes. You may hate it when it happens but the voice that wants to be heard at 3AM may be the one you need to be listening most closely to.

Who says nothing good ever happens after 11:00?


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