Have you ever wondered what it is about successful people that allow them to start their day already in full stride, and attack the day with great purpose? It all begins first thing in the morning. What you will find is that the morning routines of successful people are all quite similar. Yes, each person will have variations about how they will start their day, but it’s all about setting the tone, and preparing both body and mind for what lies ahead. Just remember, how you start the day is how you will end your day!
In the sports world, you will notice that professional athletes are extreme creatures of habit, rituals, and routines. Basketball players will go through the exact same routine prior to taking a free throw, and they will repeat this same routine exactly the same way throughout their careers. The same can be said for baseball players, golfers, and other high-performing athletes. They prepare the same way each time, so that when it’s game time, they can perform at the highest level imaginable. So if it works for great athletes, why would it be any different for people who find success in business and other areas of their life?
Everyone will have a routine that is unique, but it’s important to master the morning ritual to allow you to find the ultimate success. Some of the world’s most successful people have used it to propel them into new heights, and accomplish incredible feats. People like world-renowned author and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, and publisher of Success Magazine, Darren Hardy are huge believers in the power of a morning routine. Successful people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and thousands of others have all relied on their morning rituals. They have spent their lives mastering their practice, and have shared some of their tips.
Tony Robbins has sold millions of books, spoken to millions of people, and continues to live his life at a frantic pace. However, despite his incredibly busy schedule he still takes the time each morning to practice and prepare. He has said that, “If you don’t have 10 minutes for yourself, you don’t have a life.” He refers to his morning ritual as ‘priming,’ and breaks it up into three simple steps.
- Breathing Exercise: Robbins practices an ancient yoga exercise called Kapalabhati Pranayama breaths. He does three sets of 30 while sitting up straight, taking a deep breath and then exhaling forcefully by constricting the abdomen. He says that this exercise changes the way he breathes and moves.
- Express Gratitude: This simple practice can be something very simple like being grateful for a sunny day, or something very minor. He says that, “when you’re grateful, you can’t be angry. And when you’re grateful, you can’t be fearful.”
- Pray: He then spends three minutes seeking strength and wisdom. He also uses this time to wish positive thoughts about his family, friends, and others.
Darren Hardy has also lived with a strong passion, and belief in his morning routines and rituals. He says that ‘how you start your day will very much dictate how the rest of your day will go.” He believes that the routines are a way to “get in the zone.” It helps to ensure that the mind, body, and spirit all on the same page. He has three key points that he uses in his own routines:
- Body: Darren Hardy believes that there are three important things he must do to get him ‘in the zone.’ First, he immediately drinks eight ounces of water to quickly push him toward his eight glasses per day goal. Second, he has some type of protein, either through a small breakfast or a protein shake. Next, he believes it is important to release energy, clear his mind, and get the blood flowing through some sort of movement or exercise.
- Mind: Hardy likes to focus on accomplishing one big task per day. For him to be successful, he starts his day by focusing his mind on this important task, which carries him through his day.
- Spirit: Similar to Tony Robbins, he spends this time to show gratitude and reflect on the things he is grateful for. He says that this is a way start the day with energy and calmness.
Successful people have a great understanding of the importance of starting their day off on the right foot. Whether it’s someone like Steve Jobs, who would get out of bed and then look at himself in the mirror and ask himself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today,” to someone like Bill Gates who spends one hour per morning on his treadmill, there’s great importance in finding your routine. It’s a way for them to organize their thoughts, prepare themselves both mentally and physically, and have the most productive day as possible. It’s not just an obsessive compulsive behavior—it’s a form of preparation. All great leaders are able to prepare for what faces them, and with a proper morning ritual, they can be ready for anything that is thrown at them.
One thing that is important to understand is that successful people have varying routines, rituals, and ways that they start their day. Some may read their email first thing upon waking, while others will refuse to check it until 9:00am, or some other specified time. Some may wake at 4:30am and immediately head to the gym to get in some cardio, while others like the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, would not wake until 7:30am, but stay in bed until 11:30 while he ate breakfast, read the newspaper, and went over some dictating with his secretaries. Each routine is different, and each routine is powerful. Those whom have found great success have not just found it in one area of their lives—they have learned to set themselves up for this success, both in business, health, and mind.