I am a foodie and love great conversations.
Recently I enjoyed a dinner in an Italian restaurant with some of my colleagues and new acquaintances. Looking forward to having a wonderful evening with great conversations, we waited for the main course. We talked about our experiences and current issues in our respective customer projects as each of us are working in consulting.
And then, there we go again: “I got to know this buddy [referring to me] as an early morning bird, 4:30am wasn’t it Mark?”
To be honest, it was a short awkward moment for me. Not again! And that wasn’t the first time. What was so surprising or interesting that one has an early wake up routine? Was I being judged again by people who barely know me? Then, I reminded myself that we are created equal, but don’t live the literal exact lives. I felt excited to share my passionate views and experiences with other people!
What Are Your Priorities?
Of course, I don’t know anyone who has established a consistent morning routine from the beginning of his or her life that starts at 4:00am. It’s more an evolving process which takes many ups and downs, realising with the fact that each and every day only has 24 hours.
I can vividly remember the day I moved out from my parents’ home to start a new chapter in my life as an undergraduate at HP, and later HPE. It was filled with joy and excitement because I was finally able to take responsibilities for myself and to work on the vision that I have for myself. That is, getting fitter and physical stronger by shifting my diet that harmonises with my goals. Becoming a role model for other people who struggle with the same issues that I once had – overweight, bad diet habits, illness, weak immune system, being told it was almost impossible to reshape the own body. An established workout routine that would provide me with the necessary balance, joy and fun.
I set this as an absolute priority above anything else. Sacrificing my health has never been an option for me, not even the biggest pay check would bring me to that decision. Therefore, I put everything to work to hit the gym in late evenings, knowing it would be quite busy there as most people have the same idea as well.
What Is Your ONE BIG THING?
However, after a few weeks I realised how tough it was for me to keep this consistency. More and more responsibilities seemed to pile up. On the other hand, I know what it means to face tough challenges, to make deliberate decisions and not being hold back by old patterns and habits.
I decided to wake up a bit earlier and to shift my workouts in the early morning hours instead. I used to get up at 6:00am, prepare my lunch, grabbed some coffee, reading the news and heading to work or to the uni.
Then, I decided to get up an hour earlier. At 5am, I had enough time to prepare my lunch (if it wasn’t already prepared the night before), read one of the books that were on my list, started to meditate, putting some notes for the day, such as activities and capturing for what I’ve been grateful for.
With the necessary determination, I decided to get up at 4:00am. Enough time to hit the gym at 5:00am and to finish at 7:00am, so that I can easily go to uni or to work at 9:00am. At first, I thought I would never ever be able to establish the routine until I realised that the benefits were greater than any doubts:
- A refreshing mind
- More productivity
- The most important thing for myself was already done for that day
- More focus on the important activities and tasks
It didn’t take me months to see the first results. They came after a couple of weeks and it has kept the momentum ever since. But the biggest benefit I saw, and still see, is an empty gym. Something I never encountered before that as I was usually known to workout at midnights to avoid larger crowds. And even that never worked.
Clarity + Priorities = Results
Once it was clear to me what my priorities are in this life and what my vision is that I have drafted for myself, I knew what was required from me. We all get caught in daily activities that require our attention. We are all busy. However, these are no excuses once you realise what your actual priorities are. No bad habit is strong enough to keep one limited if that person has a clear big picture. The ONE BIG THING that unleashes the energy persistence and enthusiasm to work on it. The one thing that needs to be protected from the daily rushes, urgent attentions, responsibilities. Every single day.
This ritual has kept me quite happy for more than three years now. There’s no greater feeling than knowing to wake up with energy and enthusiasm to work on something that really matters to someone which goes beyond any job assignment or pay check.