“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
What a time to glow up!
Did you know that early birds perform a lot better than people who stay up late nights?
A few months ago, I don’t really like that. But there is something common that many top achiever do, and that is waking up early. A team USA trainer said that Kobe Bryant would come into the gym at 4am in the morning just to practice and would not leave they he hit 400 shots. Casey Neistat, an extremely widely known YouTuber, wakes up at 4:30am everyday to get his day started by editing the beautiful vlogs that are seen by millions of viewers. Keep in mind, you do not have to wake up this early to do things, it is strictly your preference. Moreover, I would like you to know that this is extremely difficult to do on a ‘non-consistent’ basis.
These two examples are experts at their profession. But were they born morning people or did they develop a habit of waking up early? I don’t know the definite answers to these questions. However, judging from personal experience and what I have observed in other people, I can see how they got there.
Considering that everyone goes through some form of puberty in their teenage years, there is a part where sleeping in sounds better than waking up early. We live that way for months upon months and honestly, nothing is wrong with that – its how puberty is supposed to be. You need this sleep to further develop your brain and body.
However, unknowingly, that’s almost how habits start. Before you read on, here is something that you need to understand deeply and intimately: humans are animals. Just like birds, dogs and cats – we are animals. In the morning at a certain time, you wake up to hear birds singing – its their habit. Dogs and cats go to the bathroom at the same time everyday – its their habit. They are no difference between a dog, cat or bird other than the anatomy and the fact that humans having a slightly superior mental. However, even if we do have superior thinking, all living beings have some form of habit.
When animals continually do these things it becomes easier to do. It usually takes about two months to form a habit (average is 66 days). I’ve seen this phenomenon happen in people in the military who never use to wake up early. Now, they wake up early with no alarm clock and just get their day started. Doing it over and over with strengthens the habit and soon you’ll notice that you’re doing it without even thinking about it.
The book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, demonstrates how habits are formed nicely. It is a great read if you want to destroy bad habits, create new ones and avoid making bad ones. Essentially, there needs to be a ‘cue’, something that tells you it’s time to perform a habit (e.g. alarm clock). Next, you perform a ‘routine’, something that you do (I go workout). Lastly, you ‘reward’ yourself for it (I use this time to check social media or emails). The Power of Habit breaks it down further but essentially that is how habits are created.
So imagine if you created a habit that empowers you. That makes you better at your craft, art or body. The easiest way to do it is by making it a habit. I strongly encourage everyone to make waking up early a habit. I’ve noticed that I have more time in the day and that it is a myth that you have to be a “morning person.” You can become a morning person and I guarantee it will change your life.