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  • bsillem

Mornings Matter

Our middle son is in the midst of his third season of working turf care at a local golf course. These folk function to prepare and perfectly manicure the golf course daily in advance of players. Their jobs start at the crack of dawn. Our teen has been getting himself up for a few years now at ungodly hours. As the days get longer, their start times get earlier. Much of the summer is spent with a shift starting at 5:30am. This start time gets junior out of bed pre 5am. Just when many of his peers are hitting the sheets, he’s getting going. His ability to get himself going five days a week during the summer months is pretty good. I find it both impressive and motivating to watch. Being a morning person, I take pride in being the first one out of bed. I don’t like being bested by my son.

Several times a week, after dropping my son off at the golf course, the dog and I will head for a hike on a nearby trail. We’re often the first ones there. I’m always a bit rueful where another car has “beaten” us to the trail. Taking the hike and getting some fresh air and serene views first thing is a great way to start the day. On our strolls up the mountain we regularly run into another gentleman and his pooch out and about. Gord is riding his bike down the mountain trails with Bandit. He’s already been out there on the mountain for at least a half hour before us. We go about our thing and will meet others doing activities on our way down. Seeing people kick start their own day in their own way is motivating.

People that are starting their days proactively are usually doing something constructive. They aren’t starting their days with binge watching Netflix or Youtube. They are getting up and going to the gym. They are heading out for a walk. They are reading or studying something. They are getting to work. They are tending to others. In some shape or form, they are adding value. This is inspiring to watch.

Our garage has two levels. Our lower level has been converted into a home gym. Several of us in the family enjoy working out and doing so with a friend or two from time to time. We have some friends who enjoy a morning workout whom we have offered access to the gym. During the periods when they are spending more time at their second home in our region, they come for early morning workouts. I pride myself on getting up quite early. When I’m outside with the dog first thing in the morning around 5:30am and I see one of their cars parked outside, I know they are getting after it in the gym. I don’t need to see them, hear them, or watch them to be motivated. Just seeing their car outside and knowing they are taking charge of their day makes me want to get serious and busy with my own day.

Observing ambition, discipline, and effort is appealing. Contrast this with seeing sloths. How do you feel when witnessing folks lying around under blankies in dark rooms watching Netflix for hours on end? How do you feel when seeing folks sacked out on the couch during the prime hours of the day while the sun shines staring at their phones, scrolling through social media, or playing mindless games? How do you feel when seeking folks stuck under the sheets well into the morning desperate to do anything but start their day? Does observing any of these waken or depress you?

Chapter 6 of Earn Everything, titled Mornings Matter, suggests why the start of our day is important and offers suggestions to consider. As the title of Aubrey Marcus’ book suggests, Own the Day, Own Your Life. Our lives simply are the sum of our days. Getting our days off to a good start gives us the best chance at having a great day. The more great days we have, the better our lives will be. So, in order to give ourselves the best chance at a good life, we should strive to have solid mornings. The commonality of the above examples is that each person involved is viewing their morning as a “get to” and not a “have to”. They are starting their day on their terms, doing what they desire.

Making your morning’s matter isn’t about starting at a specific time. It’s about starting on your terms. It’s not about beating others out of bed. It’s about getting up and pursuing things with a purpose. Mornings are when we’re rejuvenated. It’s when the day ahead offers possibility. It’s a new beginning. A chance at a fresh start. When we’re looking forward to the next day we’re putting ourselves in a position to earn our way.

An amazing AM includes three components: Move, Improve, Groove. A good morning will include something in each of these three areas. It doesn’t have to be in a specific order. Move is some kind of exercise. Get your blood flowing. Improve is about learning something. Read, study, do something which helps you get better at something you care about and in which you are interested. Groove is about rewarding yourself. Do something pleasurable that will fuel your energy. It’s best if of the three components the Groove is left last.

Starting your day in your way reflects the reality that you matter and your actions can make a difference. You are taking charge and owning responsibility for your efforts and direction. Making your morning’s matter reflects your agency (Chapter 1). We’re encouraging you to become the master of your mornings. Too many of us start our days on someone else’s terms. We start the day in react mode, as victims, under the control and direction of others. We’re grudgingly “dragged” from our beds by demands which seem to be outside our control. Not only will developing a routine around starting your day well help you enjoy your days more, it will distinguish you from others. It demonstrates a commitment to W2D WOW.

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