This dad is teaching his daughter to love herself and others with a morning mantra.

It's important to have morning rituals that help motivate you to take on the day.

Morning yoga on the beach. Photo via iStock.

OK, so not everyone lives near a beach, but don't worry, sun salutations are just as effective in your living room or office as they are at this Instagram-worthy locale.


And your morning motivator doesn't have to be something physical. It could be a few minutes of meditation or reading a few passages of an inspiring novel while sipping your morning coffee. Whatever it is, it should leave you feeling good, which will in turn help the rest of your day go that much better.

That was Ron Alston's notion when he started a morning ritual with his daughter of looking into a mirror and repeating outstanding affirmations.

Photo by Ron Alston, used with permission.

Alston is a YMCA program director and personal trainer in Virginia, and as such, he's always been an advocate for bolstering confidence in easy-to-reproduce ways. He started this ritual with his daughter, Aliya, to build her up each morning and remind her that she's "the greatest."

The ritual actually began with Alston and his father when he was a boy.

"My dad did this with me in the mirror as well, which I believe has helped make me more confident and positive," Alston said.

He started inspiring Aliya before she was born. He'd play her the 1996 Bulls anthem, which any Bulls fan knows is one effective way to get a positivity boost.

When Aliya grew up and started to talk, however, he brought her in front of the mirror and taught her to repeat a few choice phrases that he hoped would fill her with strength. These include "I am strong," "I am smart," "I work hard," "I am beautiful," and "I am respectful."

"The world will try to tear [children] down in many ways, but they must know they are unique and great in their own way,"  Alston said.

Naturally, the insanely adorable and uplifting video went viral. It's been viewed over 13 million times, and shared more than 360,000 times.

Many parents have thanked Alston for empowering his daughter in this way and declare they too will start similar traditions.

It doesn't have to take much, but a simple ritual like this can make such a difference in your life, in your children's lives, and in the lives of everyone you meet. Taking a moment to evoke your own worth and acknowledge the value of every person you interact with can only make our days brighter.

Watch the father-daughter morning motivation session here:

Morning Motivation Starting off with positive affirmations can set a great tone for how your day unfolds. Learning this from an early age can be very beneficial in the esteem and confidence of a child. We are all Destined for Greatness!

Posted by DFG Health and Wellness on Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less