The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companion slept, were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Sow a thought and reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Have you ever wondered what distinguished a highly successful person from the never-do-wells? A widespread belief is that success in life is the product of serendipity, heredity, environment or any combination of these. Some believe too that to be successful, you need just one “lucky break” and bam, you are made.
Numerous self-help books have held up such views on success to ridicule. We’ve been constantly shown in a world of cause of effect, that success is not an event, but rather follows a predictable course – it’s a process. Thus if someone would just conceive a thought about doing something, act on that thought and repeat the same steps, soon enough a habit (either good or bad) is developed which if continued could either lead to their making or ruin – it’s precisely this same step that has produced some the world’s greatest athletes, iconic football stars and impulsive addicts as well. As a result the highly successful individuals in the world today happen to have taken advantage of this process to inculcate positive habits into an ideal morning routine to excel in their respective fields.
If we look through the lives of the successful, we’d discover that their lives are the aggregate of tiny positive habits which have given rise to traits that constitute their personality make up. They don’t spend their mornings going through the motions, rather they conduct their mornings with a masterful touch, with clear objectives, groom the right habits and that is the making of them. Let’s take a look at 7 uncommon early morning habits of these highly successful people.
Habit #1 They Plan Their Day The Night Before
Like I’ve said before, highly successful individuals from up close are people on a mission. They ensure no motion in their life is wasted as against going through the motions. So how do they do this? Each night they set aside time they to define their objectives for the day ahead and that is the reason they are always ahead of the chasing pack. Often they draw up a step by step plan for what they hope to achieve each day. They know only too well that not planning is planning to fail.
Habit #2 They Get Quality Sleep
No matter how high your drive for success, you shouldn’t ever contemplate sacrificing your sleep. It’s central to your overall performance in life and this is a nugget highly successful people never bargain with or compromise just for the sake of winning. Sleep is key to enhanced life performance and as vital to the body as gasoline is to automobiles. Highly successful people know that to get up early with their energies at peak, they’d need some quality sleep usually between 7 to 8 hours each day. It’s early to bed, early to rise.
Habit #3 They Wake Up Early
Ever had one of those mornings when your alarm went off and you just felt like remaining in bed to finish off your sweet dreams. What you didn’t know is that highly successful people feel just as well on certain days only that their drive for success powers them each day ensuring they don’t spend a minute more in bed when the morning alarm triggers off. Highly successful people know that everything they require for life lies just outside their comfort zone and are not afraid to trade their comfort for success. Successful people probably know that their performance levels are highest within the first few hours of the morning, usually between the first 2 to 3 hours before work and they utilize this time to clear their minds, work their bodies to stay sharp and fitter as they ready themselves for what lies ahead.
Habit #4 They Might Take A Cold Bath
I’ve added this to the list on a personal note. I’ve tried this and known it to be very productive. So why would a successful person have a cold bath in the morning? Cold showers can act as unconditional discipline helping you get out of your slumber in the morning. It also has proven scientific benefits. Here are a few
It Triggers the release of anti-inflammatory norepinephrine that kills off pain from injuries
Cold water helps reduce muscle soreness
It’s a boost for happiness. Cold water unleashes neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine which can help combat against depression.
It Kills viruses and fights off tumor factors
It increases the supply of norepinephrine or adrenaline which can boost focus, energy, moods and sleep cycles.
Habit #5 They Prioritize
Successful people just like regular everyday people are inundated with a barrage of things angling for their attention each morning, most of which are unproductive. As they roll out of their beds in the morning, they might feel the temptation to head to social media, update their Facebook timelines, and go through their twitter feeds or even indulge habits that are counter-productive. They might equally feel the need to connect with a former colleague on LinkedIn but instead, they chose to prioritize their goals and learn to ignore the not-so-important. They know the dangers of indulging their whims as they begin their day and just how inimical this can be to their long term success. Instead, they prioritize and in doing this, they maintain their focus and learn to rule out all influences that don’t have any bearing to the tasks they have at hand.
Habit #6 They Prime Their Minds And Body for success
Highly successful people know the significance of having the right emotional balance for optimum daily performance of their set goals. They know too that more than goal-setting, one’s level of motivation is a make or break for success. While most individuals wake up on the wrong sides of their beds depressed, enniued and disillusioned, highly successful people wake up and get into their grove – a positive routine to frame their minds. For them success is about unlocking the right ignition. Here are examples of things they do during this phase of their day
They engage in meditation:
I’ve written about the benefits of meditation in an earlier article on the 25 habits that make you smarter. But I’ll mention just a few here. Usually successful people spend a few moments of their time “doing nothing”. They spend about 10 to 15 minutes to wind down and just focus on their breath. This helps them gain mastery over focus, helps them manage stress, stabilize their mood and more.
They exercise their bodies
Highly successful people know that morning exercise helps their bodies stay fitter while also setting the tone for everything else. A solid exercise routine also holds the key to a healthier body and its rewards is reaped in the years ahead. They visit the gym, engage in workouts, or go for a run. These activities promote self-discipline, speed up our metabolism rates and can shake off drowsiness.
They Listen To Inspirational and Motivational materials
As part of priming their minds for the right emotional state, highly successful people listen to stellar motivational stuff, mostly videos or podcasts for increased motivation. They might also pick a motivational book from their private libraries and quickly run through a few pages.
Habit #7 They Review Their Day in the Evening
Aristotle once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Highly successful people never allow a day of their life go by without a review. This works best preferably in the evenings after the days exertions. This is the time for self-analysis, to ruminate over the attainment of the day’s set agenda. It’s a time to get useful feedback on the workability of the approaches adopted to set goals, to gain insights into what worked and didn’t. Then they have their takeaways and try not to make the mistakes of the previous day. They focus 100% on what worked for them.