At this point, I’m thoroughly convinced that a morning ritual is a base-level requirement if you want to achieve the type of success that you’ve always dreamed about.
It’s right up there with goal setting, reading good books, and having an insane worth ethic.
Martin and I have interviewed quite a few successful people here on the Do You Even Hustle podcast (and researched even more on during our spare time). And you know what we found? The one thing that keeps popping up is the implementation of a morning ritual.
Pretty much every high performing person we’ve met, talked to, or read about has a specific, predefined set of tasks that they perform when they wake up… without fail!
The tasks themselves differ, of course. Some meditate, some have a healthy breakfast, some exercise, some fast, and so on.
What’s the point of doing the same thing day in and day out, for years upon years?
Doesn’t it get boring?
In fact, at one point I assumed that a morning ritual was the effect of success, not the cause. That it was a luxury which successful people could afford to do in the morning because they were in the big leagues.
My internal dialog went something like this: “Sure he can spend 20 minutes to meditate, have a healthy breakfast, exercise and read a good book when he wakes up… he’s a god damn millionaire! When I wake up, I only have 40 minutes to get ready and start work!”
Holy shit was I ever wrong.
In fact, I’m almost embarrassed to admit it.
Turns out, it’s actually the other way around; rituals are probably the most important part of their day because they cause things to happen.
They allow these entrepreneurs to become high performers. It puts them in a higher level of consciousness. It gives them clarity of thought and direction.
Basically, it helps them transform into a person that is a cut above the rest.
And I think I’ve figured out why!
It’s got to do with mental energy and willpower
Studies have shown that willpower is like a muscle – and like any muscle, it can get fatigued when stressed to its limits. But it can also grow back stronger!
However, the last thing you want to be doing is stressing your willpower and mental energy on useless tasks like deciding what to have for breakfast, what to wear, whether you should workout etc.
It might seem trivial at first, and I thought so too, but it wasn’t until I implemented a ritual of my own that I realized how much mental energy I had left over for tasks that actually required it.
This isn’t all theory either, science backs this up!
There was a study done on this where they sat test subjects in a room and placed a freshly baked cookie right in front of them. Then the researcher would get up, instruct them NOT to eat the cookie, and leave the room for a brief period.
As you can imagine, it takes a serious amount of willpower to sit inches from a freshly baked cookie and not eat it – especially when no one is in the room to physically stop you from doing so.
After some time the researcher would come back in the room, and ask these poor souls to solve a series of impossible puzzles.
Why give test subjects a puzzle they knew couldn’t be solved?
To see how much time, on average, a group would spend on the task before giving up. I can’t recall the exact figure, but I do remember that the group which had to refrain from eating the cookie did significantly worse.
In fact, it wasn’t even close!
Those who were allowed to eat the cookie spent nearly twice as long trying to solve the impossible puzzle than those who had to fight the urge from eating it.
Or in other words, those who didn’t stress their willpower early put in almost twice the effort into a task that actually mattered!
If you’re a fellow hustler and entrepreneur, then you know that our days are filled with challenging tasks. We are constantly problem solving, putting out fires, innovating, dealing with bullshit and other nonsense.
It’s not all bad, of course, but even enjoyable and meaningful tasks take a lot out of you.
And if you’ve exhausting a significant chunk of your mental “gas tank” upon the first few hours of waking up, you’re going to be wiped by mid day. Or worse, you’ll end up doing a half-assed job and simply give up, allowing your competitors to steal your customers and audience right from under your nose.
Here’s The Bottom Line…
Having a daily ritual is like giving yourself permission to conserve brain power for more important tasks later in the day.
Don’t Have A Morning Ritual? Steal Mine (It’s Proven!)
Now that you know how important rituals are, the next step is to obviously implement one in your life.
But I have a suggestion – why reinvent the wheel? I’ve been using one for over a year now, and its been inspired by the rituals of some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet.
In other words, it works!
So why not just steal it, use it and kick some ass? Here’s what it looks like:
- Upon waking, drink a small glass of cold water, and set coffee to brew
- Take a shower/get ready. Ideally you want to put on something that makes you feel great. I also highly recommend getting a waterproof Bluetooth speaker that can hang in your shower. Connect it to your phone and load up a podcast that will fill your brain with useful and valuable info. You can find ours on iTunes… just saying!
- Prepare oatmeal and set aside. While the oatmeal cools, drink coffee while filling out the Hustler’s Success Planner (this is where I get to write down what I’m grateful for, read a new quote of the day to get me motivated, focus on my long term vision, and plan out how my day is going to look like)
- Once planner is filled out (takes about 10 minutes), eat oatmeal as I look at my vision board*
- Dominate the day!
“Wait, What The Heck Is A Vision Board?”
Basically a collection of pictures that represent the lifestyle you want. It can be physical, like cork board, but I use Evernote instead since I can access it all over the world. I have this note pinned to the favorite section so that it’s easy to find.
So what type of pictures do I have inside?
Currently I’ve thrown in the type of house I want, the places I want to travel, the cars I want to own and so on. But besides having the right pictures, you also need to have the right mindset.
The idea is to not only look at these pictures, but visualize and make them your reality. Pretend you’re already living that life you’ve put together. If you’ve read or watched The Secret then you know what I’m talking about. It all sounds corny, I know, but the results are undeniable.
My Personal Experience With The Vision Board
For the past 6 months, I had a picture of a 5-figure cheque which I viewed daily. In fact, I basically pictured myself walking to the bank to cash such a cheque.
Because that’s how much I wanted to make in one month. Just this past July (of 2016) I managed to bring in $11k in sales (follow us on Instagram to see the screenshot). And now that picture has been replaced for something that contains six figures. I’ll be sure to let you know when it becomes obsolete 😉
I hope I’ve convinced you enough to adopt a ritual when you wake up. If you’re big on success, self improvement or getting ahead in life, I firmly believe that a morning ritual is Step #1.
Every person that has achieved something significant in their life will tell you the same thing. There might be arguments about what to include in the ritual, but the point is you need to have one.
You can always tweak it later.
Do you currently have a ritual?
Let us know what it looks like in the comment section below!