“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” — Jim Rohn
I have been running an experiment on myself where I have been following a set of rituals or daily disciplines for the past few weeks. I was inspired by many of the successful people I admire.
A common trait that all of them embody is they have a set of morning rituals that they stand by. These are MUST DO TASKS they abide by because it puts them in peak mental, emotional, and physical state. This allows them to tackle obstacles, harness creativity, and remain present.
Conditioning our mind every day to be at its peak takes preparation. My morning routine starts the night before.
Every day we are given 86,400 seconds. What we focus on invariably makes our life. We only have so much space and energy to devote things too. I’ve chosen to be hyper-vigilant of where I use this energy because it’s precious.
Putting this much attention and devotion to how I spend every day simply boils down to my standards and how I value myself.
The higher standards I set for myself, the more I value myself. The more I value myself, the better impact I can make in the world.
The Night Before
The few hours or so prior to bed is when my preparation for the following day begins.
I am more deliberate about planning the following day. Not everything is 100% regimented. I follow a few daily rituals and allow creativity and spontaneity to find me.
This is exactly what I do before going to sleep.
- I retire my phone for the evening and leave it charged in my kitchen, so it’s away from my bedroom. I use my phone as my alarm clock, so when it goes off in the morning, I have to get my ass out of bed.
- I spend about 15–20 minutes journaling. I write about any noteworthy observations, my feelings about the day (good or bad), and if there are any lessons that I can take into the next day. I don’t have a template or restrict myself to what goes onto the paper. I like to call it freestyle therapy. It’s been a healing exercise.
- I write an article or jot down ideas for my blog, Finding Swamy. I write freehand and leave all technology behind. It’s just me and my notebook. I look for something that I feel others can find value in and let the pen do the rest of the talking. I do this because it’s important for me to put authentic material out for my readers.
- I write a to-do list for the next day. I have one for work, and one for tasks that need to be completed outside of work. I’ve learned from experience that it’s better to keep the lists with no more than 5 items. I think about what’s most important and make it a point to tackle those. When I complete the tasks the following day, I cross them out. I’m not sure about the psychology here, but I feel I get a quick dopamine rush when I complete something on my to-do list.
- I write my workout out the day prior. I like to have a plan of what I am going to do physically. It makes the next day easier as I’m not fumbling on what to do in the gym. Tomorrow, I’m going to run a few miles, complete 50 burpees under 5 minutes, 1000 jump ropes, and a few power lifts (squats and deadlifts)
- I read for about 30–45 minutes. Currently, I am reading a short collection of stories from Rabinath Tagore. He was an Indian writer and poet in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He has a beautiful way of dancing words right into the heart. He once said, “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”
- I spend 15–20 minutes meditating. I concentrate on my breath and use the technique learned in Vipassana. For me, meditation is a practice of self-restraint. It’s where I deliberately focus all my attention on the moment bestowed before me and make it a point to acknowledge thoughts for the temporary miracles they are. When they cross my purview, I react to them little. The intent of the meditation is to focus on my breathing and allow everything that happened in my day to go away. This is so I can leave space and energy for the gift of the birth of a new day. It’s helped me sleep better.
The Next Morning
The adage, “Win the morning, and win the day,” has become a cliche, but its oatmeal-like banality should not be taken for granted.
My morning ritual is a combination of priming the mind to be in a positive and grateful state, physical exertion, and supplementation. Below, I list what I do every morning.
- I drink a large glass of water. My wife recently bought a Berkely Water Filter. Although its initial cost is hefty, the benefits it produces are long tail. Without sounding too preachy, it removes almost all contaminants from the tap water. It’s a better alternative than buying plastic water bottles which are toxin harboring, wasteful garbage.
- I meditate again for 10 minutes. The mornings are when the body is fresh. It’s when the mind is empty and thoughts want to eagerly consume as much space as they can. Meditation helps me silence these thoughts so I can reserve space and energy for things that drive meaning in my life (projects at work, writing, relationships, etc.). It also helps me foster patience, something that is going away in our digital-driven world.
- I put myself through an intense fasted workout. The struggle of a good workout is like a daily baptism for the body. My workouts aren’t laborious. At most, I spend one hour doing a combination of cardio and weight lifting.
- While I work out, I listen to motivational videos. Tony Robbins and David Goggins have been on the playlist as of recent.
Below is what I intake every morning. The regiment I’m on right now has given me consistent and sustained energy throughout the day, and flat out just makes me feel good.
- I take a daily men’s vitamin from Solaray. It’s a good company that produces products free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and flavoring.
- I’ll put about a cap full of trace minerals into my water bottle. A few of the amazing benefits of trace minerals include regulating blood sugar levels, assisting in iron absorption, being an antioxidant to protect against cell damage, and aids in the formation of bones and cartilage.
- 1 salt pill. Contrary to mainstream belief systems that have been shaped by our food industry, salt is a very important mineral that needs to be incorporated into our daily life. I take Vital Salts. Since I am active, it helps against muscle cramping, supports energy, endurance, and balances electrolytes levels, which is essential for our cells and organs to work properly.
- 1 tsp of cod liver oil. I use the brand Nordic Naturals because they have managed to take out the fishy smell. I take cod liver oil because it fights inflammation which is arguably one of the health concerns that many deal with today. Here are some science-backed benefits of cod liver oil.
- I like to begin my day with a nice double-shot espresso with a splash of local raw cream, also known as a garoto in our household, and I’ll add a teaspoon of Lion’s Mane Mushroom. It gives me a healthy jolt in the morning and helps with anxiety which I’ll sometimes get depending on what is happening at work. If you want to see more information, check out this article from Healthline.
As might have seen, my morning ritual does not include breakfast. This is because I practice intermittent fasting and go without a meal for14–16 hours a day. I consume my first solid meal around 11 AM and it consists of three hardboiled eggs.
Making Each Day Count
I’ve always been a student of personal development. I’ve made it a habit to first look at myself if anything goes wrong, and when my environment becomes inhospitable, I know there is something inside of me that needs to change for the better.
Becoming the best version of myself ranks as one of the most important things in my life and I know this only happens when there is progress and where there is progress, there is sacrifice and struggle.
It’s not easy to wake up every morning and put the body through rigorous movement. It’s not easy to meditate and stay in one place for 15–20 minutes. It’s not easy to calm down cravings and opt for something healthy. But despite these sacrifices, the benefits carry their weight in gold.
We don’t have that much time on this planet and how we impact ourselves, will dictate how we impact others.
I am taking hold of my life, and I know becoming a disciple of discipline is one way to build a healthy spirit and strong mindset.
I know far too well that obstacles will find me soon in the future, and by putting myself in a peak state every day I am able to hurdle over these obstacles.
I encourage you to make your own rituals. Stick to them, be consistent and find your little slice of happiness. You deserve it, but you’ll have to work for it.
*Disclaimer: All the information contained in this blog post is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. Any action you take upon the information you find in this blog post is strictly at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blogpost.
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