Why Did You Get Out Of Bed Today?
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
“It’s been said that the first hour
is the rudder of the day.”
So why did you wake up this morning? Have you asked yourself that question? Maybe your answer is similar to one of these:
- Because I have to work
- Because I have to take the kids to school
- Because the alarm clock went off
Hal Elrod poses that question in his book The Miracle Morning.
He makes a very interesting point about how we start the morning. When you drag yourself out of bed, or choose to hit the snooze button, what you’re really doing is resisting life.
“I have to wake up,” “Oh no its time,” or my personal favorite “I don’t want to go to school.” No, that’s not the kids saying it…!
Consider the negativity behind these statements. We start the day with negativity and then just build on that.
OK, maybe you don’t associate mornings that way? What about:
I find that most business owners, managers, and executives I speak to can relate to these phrases. Why don’t we use words like rested, thoughtful, peaceful, energized, excited, invigorating to describe our morning?
Get up every morning like it’s Christmas morning
What if every morning you woke up and felt like an 8 year old on Christmas morning? Sure, you may have stayed up late at night. Maybe you couldn’t sleep from the the excitement you felt the night before Christmas.
Or you drank too much chocolate milk so you were up all night using the bathroom.
But as soon as those little bright eyes of you opened up in the morning, I bet you jumped out of bed, ran to the Christmas tree, and then ran into your parents room to wake them up so you could start opening up your gifts.
Well, every morning is a gift,
and it’s about time we start
thinking about it that way.
Well, The Miracle Morning provides that roadmap.
And you know what? It’s not even some big secret. Most successful men and women have some form of purposeful morning ritual. People like Benjamin Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Will Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Ghandi, just to name a few.
Many swear by it and how it’s changed their lives. But before we address, the how, let’s talk about why.
Why do all this? Excellent question, I’m glad you asked.
I’ve tried getting up early in the past. I’m not a morning person. I’ve done it before and just couldn’t keep it up. So why have I been able to get up in the morning so consistently, when I’ve failed in the past?
The answer is “purpose”. Yes, just like my last post on Think and Grow Rich.
Before, I had two purposes for getting up early:
- Start working earlier
- Go to the gym and work out
Can you see why I failed? There wasn’t a strong enough purpose. In fact, “start working earlier” only meant I got to do more work. Fulfilling? Where’s the purpose in that! No wonder I failed. Even working out only encompassed one area of my life, the physical.
So what’s the point of getting up earlier to do some crazy* routine?
To become the person you need to be in order to achieve your life’s purpose. I could relate to Hal:
“I didn’t have a compelling life purpose that got me up in the morning even when I didn’t feel like getting up.”
This is actually the one place where I have a bone to pick with The Miracle Morning. This is the cornerstone of having a Miracle Morning and being successful at what you do, and yet he barely touches on how to develop your life purpose.
That’s OK though. There’s books like The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren that can help you with that.
And this is where this book really shines. Hal Elrod quotes Jim Rohn:
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become”
The Miracle Morning presents
the most common habits
practiced by successful people
You’ll get six of the most common practices used by some of the names mentioned earlier in the post. You can do them in any order, and allocate as much time to each one as you’d like.
I believe part of the “magic” and secret sauce has to do with their simplicity:
Silence. Practice silence, meditation, or as my wife likes to call it, contemplation.
Affirmations. We all have an internal dialog, even if we’re not conscious of it. Make it purposeful and positive.
Visioning. This is what “The Secret” is all about. Visualizing yourself fulfilling your life purpose.
Exercising. Get the blood flowing. Engage your body. Our body, mind, and spirit are interconnected. If one’s not right, the other parts of us will suffer.
Reading. Never stop learning. Cultivate a habit of always learning and growing. We just can’t.
Scribing. Write down your thoughts, feelings, goals. Keeping a journal is a very healthy way of getting things off your chest or off your mind.
In The Miracle Morning, Hal suggests doing 10 minutes of each of these things, but do at least 2 minutes if you feel you don’t have the time.
What I’ve gotten out of this book
The greatest takeaway for me was realizing this:
You need to have a very strong purpose to do pretty much anything, whether it’s getting up at 500 AM – 530 AM to practice a morning ritual, or other goals you set for your life. If the ‘why’ isn’t strong enough, motivation ain’t gonna get your there.
Another takeaway was being comfortable in my own skin speaking affirmations.
Kinda felt like Stuart Smalley sometimes. The SNL character famous for speaking in the mirror and saying “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
I used to make fun of “those” people, Tony Robbins being one of them. But I’ve also listened to some Tony Robbins in the last week and dang it, the guy is smart!
He’s a lot less of a “motivational speaker” than I had thought him to be, and much more of a performance strategist. There’s no room for delusional thinking, which is what I associated with motivational thinking.
Here’s what my Miracle Morning
typically looks like
As soon as I jump out of bed, this is what I do:
- Brush my teeth and drink a glass of water. As simple and obvious as this might be, it wasn’t for me. I picked this up from the book. Drinking water, that is. I’ve always brushed my teeth in the morning! What made sense was rehydration and how it helps your body wake up. Think about it, you’ve gone 6-8 hours without any fluids.
- Exercise: 5 minutes of rolling out and 13 minutes of yoga while listening to Gregorian chants.
- Meditation: 5-10 minutes: I continue listening to Gregorian chants, do some breathing exercises while reciting prayers.
- Journaling: 5-15 minutes. I do this right after meditation because part of my journal includes writing down 3 things I’m grateful for. This flows much better for me, as I’ve just been in prayer and I’ve already been thanking God for many things. I’m using the 5-Minute Journal
- Affirmations: For about 5 minutes, I put my Stuart Smalley face, doing self-talk, including speaking out my Chief Definite Aim. I created this after reading Think and Grow Rich, which I talked about in my previous post. There are a few other statements connected to areas in my life where I am seeking improvement.
- Reading: Well, I do this at different times during the day, not really during the morning ritual. As of this writing, I’m halfway done with Seneca, Letters from a Stoic.
To date, I’m noticing a huge difference in myself. I’m way more calm and peaceful with my kids, and they’ve noticed it! I feel like I’m more productive during the day, and I’ve managed to keep this up for 21 days already, no small feat for me.
I’d love to hear about your own morning rituals, how any of the practices in this post match what you do, and why you have your ritual. What about it makes it stick?
See you in the comments 😀