I never miss a day, I wake up every morning at 4 AM.
I didn’t always get up early, and still don’t think of myself as a natural morning person. I’m growing into one, and I’m loving that reality but it’s something I had to learn and develop over time.
But that’s OK. Life is about growing, about developing, embracing the little changes that add up, about the things we pursue and the ways we declare to the Universe and one another: This is my purpose.
4 AM begins in increments
In the beginning I made a goal of getting up at 6 AM and did this for several days before slowly rolling back my wake-up time by about 5 to 10 minutes every so many days.
Eventually I was getting up at 5:45 AM and then 5:30 AM and finally, I made it to 5 AM.
I thought I’d want to stay at 5 AM for a while but life happens to the best of us and I had to push back even earlier if I wanted enough time in the early morning to knock out my goals and work on my own projects and tasks before everyone else’s.
That’s where 4 AM first came into the picture. Out of necessity, and dogged pursuit of building the life I want and not the life I have to grind out for everyone else, day after day and year after year.
That’s where the first real lesson comes into play. The why behind me getting up so damned early.
Let me be clear, I don’t do it for popularity, for some skewed idea of being worthy of something and I definitely don’t do it for fun. I do it because I’m after something big enough to sacrifice and struggle for.
Quick snapshot of my life, all I’ve ever known is struggle. Whether it’s money and never having quite enough (I budget with the best of them and thank God I do, but we’re always limited by a paycheck if that’s our source of income, right?) and now with various health issues and such, struggle is my reality.
But, what things I can change, I’m working hard to change. That means embracing the pain, sacrificing comforts where I can (life is about balance and rest and no-productivity days should absolutely be part of your strategy in smashing goals).
Question: What are you willing to do to get what you most want?
In the background of what I was just writing is a sometimes disliked word and an often times misunderstood one: Discipline.
I’m not talking about the smash-your-soul and bear the agony kind. Not at all. I’m writing about the build-a-life kind. The kind that pulses with the rhythm of routine and rituals. Discipline that is part of the package of both a life you can be proud of and a life you build of your own making. The life you always wanted.
Discipline is the fuel of your dogged pursuit.
I never take a day off from my wake-up routine
This sounds like bragging rights but I don’t mean it that way. Lemme explain: I know my weaknesses, I know that if I took a day off, eventually, it might lead to two, or three, or four. It might lead to some laziness, it might chisel away at the discipline I’ve established.
And that’s just not acceptable to me. It’s not worth the risk. My mornings mean too much to me, and my goals are far too valuable to risk it.
So, I have made the decision that is right for me, and that fits my own truths and decided to get up every single day at the same time.
Know yourself, live your truth. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just finding what works for you and working it. That’s what we’re after here. If you can schedule and plan a Saturday or Sunday sleep-in, great, go for it! That’s truly awesome and I won’t judge you for it.
But, but, but…always make sure you know your truth and work with it.
This mean experimenting a bit and figuring out what fits. That’s fine, we all have to grow into what works. And guess what, it doesn’t quit even after you find your rhythm. Growth demands flexibility, sometimes full-on change. That’s all part of it.
Just be willing to find your truth and live into it. (That’s not a typo, live into it, like lean into it, but do it with your life. Live forward, embrace the progress)
Will I always get up at 4 AM? Who knows, but that misses the point entirely. The real question fr me and you both is what will we give to get what we want most and just how bad do we want it? How bad do you want whatever you’re after? If that means getting up a bit earlier, would you do it?