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My ‘morning’ advantage

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Elbert Hubbard said, “Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” I have observed that the people that are at the top in life are also on top in the morning. People like Tiger Wood, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and the listless numbers of very high achievers are notable for their early morning routines. High achievers get things done before the world wakes up. The bitter truth about life is that many people get ahead in life through what is called the ‘unfair advantages’, one of it is the ‘Morning Advantage’. There are many insane productive benefits in waking up very early in the morning. There is a French proverb that says, “Paris is owned by the early risers”.

Morning is an important part of the day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of the day you are going to have. Winners begin early. Henry Ford, the acclaimed inventor of the modern automobile once said, “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste”. What will get you ahead in life is that daily and consistent thing that you do between 4:00am and 8:00am that others are not doing! How you handle your morning routines will determine how far you will go in life. It is what you do before others wake up that put you ahead in life. The habit of waking up earlier before others is a sign of highly effective people. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

One of the mysteries of life is the unique power in the compounding effect of daily actions. There is power in this compounding effect: the buildup of little actions over time to create significant and noticeable results. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. Your future is hidden in your morning routine. To predict your future, just take a close look at your morning routines. You will NEVER change your life until you change something that you do daily. Your morning routine matters. The way you start your day matters. Your morning rituals matter.

As a personal development coach, one of the major things that I normally do around my mentees is to see how to influence and tinker with their daily routine in such a way that it will align with their ultimate destination. My competency watchword has always been: If you want success in the long term, you must be able to make daily adjustments on a short-term! Paula White once said, “Your future is found in your daily routine. Successful people do daily what others do occasionally”. Losers do occasionally what winners do daily; losers do later what winners do early. If you really want to know the reason why some people succeed and others don’t, you need not look far-the secret is in their daily routines. There are seven action points that can amazingly change your morning routine. They are:

• Be intentional about your morning; plan it a day before: Someone once said that tomorrow’s activities begin the night before! People who cultivate the habit of writing a to-do-list for the next day before sleeping has been experimentally found to achieve more at completing those task than those who only write theirs just in the morning. Writing your ‘To-Do-list’ the night before helps you start your day with clarity and hit the ground running. For many people, morning is a high-energy time and having your to-do list already in hand means you don’t waste any super-charged minutes figuring out what to do next.

• Overcome the inertia of remaining on your bed: Chauncey Depew said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are”. Visions without execution are just hallucinations. Overcoming the inertia of staying on the bed is the most important decision to get going for the day. Always resist the attempt to go back to sleep. Abraham Maslow said, “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”

• Wake up with a goal: Anthony Robins said, “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals that do not inspire them”. Your goals or your dream has what it takes to wake you up in the morning. When people struggle to wake up early, it is an indictment on the potency of their goals. A former president of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam once said, ”Your dream is not that which you see in sleep. Your dream is that which keeps you from sleeping”. My morning mantra is this: If you wake up in the morning without a goal, go back to sleep! You must wake up with goals and action points, not just intentions. Steve Maraboli once said, “Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.” When you wake up with a goal, you will go to bed with satisfaction.

• Don’t wait to be motivated, move yourself: Movement creates momentum, momentum creates motivation. Most people relapse back to sleep after waking up because they were waiting to be motivated. Movement creates motivation. Don’t wait for your spirit to be stirred before you take necessary and strategic steps in life. One of the signs of maturity is moving yourself to create motivation and not vice versa. The longer you keep moving consistently, the bigger the momentum.

• Eat the frog: “Eat that frog!” means to start your day with the biggest, most important, and most dreaded task. It’s also the task you are most likely to procrastinate on. It is personal development term coined by Brian Tracy. Brian Tracy advised that we must discipline ourselves to ‘eat that frog’ first thing in the morning every single day.

• Be accountable to someone with your morning routines: Steve Covey said, “Accountability breeds responsibility”. Being accountable to somebody such as friends, family, your spouse, a trainer or a mentor can be a powerful tool to ensure progress towards your goal. As a personal development coach, I have come to realize that the only way to intercept our ‘destructive’ tendencies is through accountability to people that can hold us responsible.

• Reward yourself daily for an effective and productive morning: Rewarding yourself brings positive reinforcement. You need to develop a daily reward system for your goals. You must constantly reward yourself for what is working and also discipline yourself around that is not working. For your resolutions to be resolute, you must NEVER forget to reward yourself!

Maximizing your morning can become a winning edge in life. Richard Whately said, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with dreams or wake up and chase your dreams. The choice is yours! You need to start asking yourself some very sincere and candid questions: How is your morning routine holding you back without you realizing it? What are those things you need to stop doing in the morning, and those things you need to start doing in the morning? Is your morning routine in tandem with the future that you are anticipating? How can I get a coach or a mentor that I can be accountable to? Success is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day. Pay the price by waking up early in the morning to command your day. Don’t ever forget that whenever you wake up becomes your morning. Never forget the adage and maxim: Early bird catches the worm!

I will be recommending some books that will guide you on the idea of evolving a winning morning routine: The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (before 8am) by Hal Elrod; Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy; Wake Up Successful – How to Increase Your Energy and Achieve Any Goal with a Morning Routine by Steve Scott; Vision to Reality: How Short-Term Massive Action Equals Long Term Maximum Results by Honoree Cordor; Take Control Of Your Life: A 2 hour plan to help you set and reach your goals by Rachel Rofe; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.


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Gbenga Adebambo
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