The First Habit – One Habit to Rule Them All
The First Habit is a daily investment in yourself.
One of my favorite ironies in life is that some of the greatest wisdom is hiding in plain sight. A great example is a quote from Benjamin Franklin. I’m sure you’ve heard it:
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
So simple that it just rolls off the tongue, but most never really stop to consider it. Yet, in this short verse contains one of the most powerful secrets to success I have encountered!
Wait a minute, you say, you’re trying to tell me that getting to bed early and arising early is a powerful key to success? Yes. Why? Take a few minutes to think about it. Seriously, pause here and consider the potential power of waking up early.
How could waking up early make you healthy?
How could waking up early make you wealthy?
How could waking up early make you wise?
If you’re like most people, you get stuck on the early part. What do you think when you think of early?
Early = tired
Early = dark
Early = too early
Yes, it can mean those things, but it doesn’t have to. My dad taught me that the secret to selling was in the buying. Well the same is true in sleep. The secret to getting up is in the going to bed (early to bed comes before early to rise). No one likes the feeling of getting up tired. If you go to bed late, then getting up early gives you less sleep. Less sleep means you are tired. There’s no rocket science here. So let’s be clear, I want you to have the right amount of sleep. Good sleep is non-negotiable. It’s how you manage that sleep that is key. If you go to bed one hour earlier, then getting up one hour earlier is not difficult. As with most things in life, you can’t have your cake (stay up late) and eat it too (feel good getting up early).
But even more important is that ‘early’ does not have to mean a particular time of the day. Early is relative. Relative to what? Relative to other commitments. If you arrive early to a meeting, it means you are there before it starts. Early means you have time to spare. Early means you are in control. Early means you are prepared. Arising early means that you get up with plenty of time before other commitments.
Now let’s return to how rising early has the potential to change your life for the better. For our purposes, let’s consider that getting up “early” means you get up with extra time that you don’t “need.” This does not count your usual routine of breakfast and getting ready. If you have “extra” time before other commitments, it has several major advantages.
Arising early is like paying yourself first
We all know that saving money out of each paycheck is how to build wealth. Well, each day is like a payment in your life, and arising early is like taking a percentage off the top of that payment and “banking it” before it gets spent on other things.
Arising early takes advantage of biological cycles
We have natural circadian rhythms and metabolic cycles that affect the way we think and feel. The early morning for many people is a time when the body is in a peak state to maximize mental and physical performance. After sleep, the mind is clear and the body is primed for effective exercise. After sleep our mental energy (will power) is at a peak, which means you won’t struggle as much to make decisions and act.
Arising early gives you an edge
When you are up early, you are in the minority. Many if not most people live their lives in a reactive state, barely making it to the next commitment on time. The person who is up early has the time to double check and to be prepared. The early bird gets the worm.
Arising early changes where you focus
Think about what you use the last hour of the day doing. If you are like most, it is doing fairly unproductive things like surfing the internet, watching TV, or otherwise wasting time. On the other hand, what types of activities are you most likely to in the early morning? Exactly! It’s when you are more likely to exercise, plan, study, create. Would you trade 90 minutes of fiddling away your time for 90 minutes of supercharged results? Seems like a ‘no brainer’ right?
Investing in yourself for 90 minutes a day is what I call “The First Habit.”
Before all of the demands of the day come rolling in, spend 90 min building up YOU—your fitness, your financial plan, your knowledge. This is the first habit you should focus on. Why? Think about it. Health is your foundation—it makes everything else possible. Money brings freedom—the freedom to live the life you choose. Knowledge is power—the power to do and become. The First Habit is the foundation. It’s the keystone. It’s the power button. It’s the super power. Or if you enjoy J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, its like the One Ring:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
You’ll recall that there were many different rings that covered special powers to their owners, but there was one special ring that could dominate the rest—the One Ring.
The First Habit is the one habit that can rule all the rest. It sits at the front as the master of all habits. Because, when you invest in yourself first, the rest takes care of itself. This may sound selfish. It’s not. It’s like the airline safety video–put on your own oxygen first.
This site is about exploring why this is true and just as importantly how to execute on it.
This is what you can expect from me. I will show you how to use the first 90 minutes of the day to do the following:
- Get in the best physical shape of your life
- Get your finances in order and set yourself on the path to financial freedom
- Set up learning habits that will expand your horizons and connect you with the wisdom of the ages
This is a marathon, not a sprint. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
If you’re ready to take that step, do these two things:
- Catch up to the present by reading each post in order–there is a progression. I start with Why then progress to What and How. Along the way you will learn about the hidden power of the early morning, how to use your natural circadian rhythm to wake up, how your brain creates habits, what to do when motivation fails, and steps you can take to create simple daily practices that will create health, wealth, and wisdom.
- Subscribe to my email list so you won’t miss future posts.
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