There are people from all walks of life whom we consider to be successful in whatever way we personally may define success. When you study these individuals and how they manage their lives, many times you’ll find interesting things they do that set them apart from others. First of all, their confidence in the face of hardships is driven by their ability to let go of the negativity that holds so many individuals back from being successful. It seems that successful individuals are those who in many ways thrive on facing obstacles and how they overcome them. Their mantra in life could be summed of with “Obstacles do not block the path; they are the path.”
This perspective helps successful people think differently from most everyone else. This unique way of thinking is important because, if you think like everyone else, no matter how smart or talented you are, you will hit the same “ceiling.” By thinking outside the box and being different (going against the grain), successful people are on track to rise above their limitations. So let’s take a look at some of the ways that successful people go against the grain.
I recently read an article by Travis Bradberry which identifies seven things that wildly successful people do before 7:30 a.m. each day:
1. They Drink Lemon Water.
Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up spikes your energy levels physically and mentally. By improving nutrient absorption in your stomach, lemon water gives you a steady, natural energy buzz that normally lasts the length of the day. You’ll need to drink it first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) to ensure full absorption of nutrients. You should also wait 15-30 minutes after drinking it before eating. Note: This may be a good time to include some exercise. Lemons are full of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. If you weigh less than 150 pounds, drink the juice of half a lemon (a full lemon if you are over 150 pounds). Dentists will advise that you not drink the juice without water because lemon juice is hard on the teeth.
2. They Exercise.
Richard Branson, Tim Cook, and Disney’s Bob Iger all wake up well before 6:00 a.m. to exercise. A study conducted by the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, intellectually, and athletically. A second study conducted by the University of Bristol found that people who exercised daily had more energy and a more positive outlook, which are critical for getting things done. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses. There are a number of advantages to exercising first thing in the morning. Probably the most important one is that it ensures you’ll have the time for it, and it improves your self-control and energy levels over the course of the entire day.
3. They Disconnect.
You can probably guess what this is all about even before reading the following details. A well-known business executive starts his day with a motivational email to his employees. After taking care of this, the executive disconnects and dedicates his early morning time to exercise and family. When we roll out of bed and dive straight into emails, texts, and Facebook, we are far more likely to become distracted and quickly lose focus right off the bat. Doing this allows our precious early morning time to succumb to the wants and needs of other people. It is much healthier to take those first moments of each day to do something relaxing, which starts the day off with a calm, positive tone. The way we start each day tends to influence and determine the tone for the remainder of the day.
4. They Eat a Healthy Breakfast.
Just eating anything at all for breakfast puts you ahead of a lot of people. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese, they have more stable blood-sugar levels, and they tend to be less hungry over the course of the day. And these are just the findings for people who eat anything at all for breakfast. When you eat a healthy breakfast, the doors to a productive day swing wide open. A healthy breakfast gives you energy, improves your short-term memory, and helps you to concentrate more intensely and for longer periods.
5. They Practice Mindfulness.
“Mindfulness” has recently appeared as the new buzzword for meditation. Its popularity and growth as a tool being used by highly successful CEOs is largely due to the huge benefits it pays in increased productivity and overall well-being. Research shows that meditation fights off stress by reversing the fight-or-flight responses, improves ability to focus, boosts creativity, and increases emotional intelligence.
6. They Set Goals For the Day.
Benjamin Franklin was obsessive about planning his days. Each morning, this legendary forefather would wake up at 4:00 a.m. and meticulously piece together a schedule. There is a clear message to take from Dr. Franklin’s habit: Prudent and specific goal setting pays dividends. When you plan out your day as carefully as possible, your chances of successfully accomplishing your goals will increase exponentially. Some successful individuals like to set their daily goals immediately following their meditation period. The consensus seems to be that the added calm and clarity help individuals to set effective, specific goals.
7. Many Times They Say No.
“No” is a powerful word which will protect your precious mornings. Many times we have to diligently guard the time we have to begin each day. For myself, it has to be a very good reason for me to disrupt my early morning routine. I try to take my cue from successful people who guard their time very carefully. One time that should be treated like gold is the first hours of each new day.
While the above strategies are tried and true, each of us likely has additional strategies that work well for us. We can use the above strategies with our other routine personal activities that enrich our days and get us started on the most valuable gift any of us ever receive…. the gift of a new day!
“Every sunset reduces one day from life, but every sunrise gives one more day to hope. So hope for the best happy new day of life.”
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