The Early Bird Catches, Conquers and Consumes the Worm
By Meochia Nochi Thompson
What kind of mess is that? If that seems off or foreign to you, I understand because that’s exactly what I was thinking when my friend, Michelle L. Steffes, author of Your Journey to Greatness Through Routine, told me she gets up at 4a.m., every day. I have the pleasure of being her publisher and her book has changed me. However, it was the most absurd thing I ever heard until I paid attention to the Messenger. Who is she? What exactly is she doing up that early and is it working? The journalist in me was screaming to know. I guess I am a late downer because I usually don’t go to bed until about 2am but I always need more time!
Upon careful examination of her and other leaders I’ve met, as well as, a little experiment I conducted, I found that the only craziness going on was my thoughts of this being unusual. Michelle’s new book actually deals with the science of habits and replacing your old thought patterns with new ones that are more beneficial for your direction in life, career and success. When you finish reading my rant, you can learn more about her and her services at ipvconsulting.com.
First, let me answer the Who is doing this. Well, she is a CEO, Speaker, Executive Life Coach, Mother, Wife and Mentor. Hey, we have a lot in common! Which spells out Leader, Leader, Leader. So, the information is seriously worth looking into.
Now, the “What is she doing?” question. She starts her morning with exercise, meditation, affirmation and determination. I feel like Jesse Jackson with the “ations” right now. Please don’t get me started. So, let’s break it down:
Exercise gets the blood flowing and in all that tiredness you produce energy.
Meditation gets your creative juices flowing as you sort out what you will conquer for the day and how.
Affirmation builds you up and makes you feel good, positive and courageous.
Determination fuels your heart and mind so you can make each moment of the day worth the work you put in!
This whole exercising early in the morning thing was foreign to me. However, I found that starting small and rewarding yourself for the effort is worth it.
HERE WE GO
To get me to get up, brush my teeth and walk downstairs is a feat within itself. So, guess what. Reward! I did it! Now, I can call myself a Mighty Champion, drink a cup of orange juice for energy and water for hydration, and walk the treadmill for 10 minutes. Don’t push it, I am a beginner. This works because if I can do 10, surely this Conqueror can do 20, right?
Now, I have some time to think as I am exercising or after. I have to find a way to distract myself from boredom while staring at a wall, watching videos or listening to music as I walk. Don’t judge me. I get bored easily but I do find pleasure in thinking about me. So, I use this time to go over my goals for the day and for the future, assess my progress and scheme on how to conquer my giants.
I literally just “killed two birds with one stone”, exercising and thinking.
Now, I can reward myself with some positive thinking and encourage myself not to lay back down but keep pushing. So, this is the time to look in the mirror and tell myself the following:
I am Great
I am a Conquer
I am a Great Leader of Good Things
I am a Good Kind of Crazy
My Work Does Matter
I will Make More Money
I will Be Known As One of the Best In My Class
I am Loved and Loving and Loveable
I will Succeed at Everything I Touch
I will Walk Amongst Kings and Conquer My Giants
Now, after all of that, it is time to put words into action with some determination. First, I have to list all my goals for the day on paper with cute little checkboxes. I love checkboxes. I need checkboxes and I have them everywhere. Anyway, after I complete each goal or at the end of the day, I check off what I did and figure out what I need to do tomorrow. I also don’t beat myself up about what I don’t complete. You have to leave yourself room for grace. The world is hard enough on you, so don’t add to it by beating yourself up. The sun will come out tomorrow and each day after, so get up and try, again and be better than before!
I decided to send a message out to 10 people at 6am in the morning to see who would respond. Out of the group, four responded. Those four people are Leaders within their homes, communities and workplaces. That speaks volumes. It’s not to say that late downers aren’t leaders (because I am one) but keep in mind, this post is about early risers. I like the word of encouragement my neighbor, Ann Lambert, gave me about overcoming the guilt of resting:
“Your mind can move but you need to rest. So, it’s okay to lay there.”
In Leo Babauta, article, Ten Benefits of Rising Early and How to Do It, he lists several benefits of early risers and all of them have me convinced. If nothing else, here are my top three things you should keep in mind if you are still struggling with getting up a little earlier.
Power: Leaders rise early
Position: You get a head start, which gives you more control over your day.
Praise: You get to lay there, pray and think about how great you are or are going to be.
The moral of the message is to catch you some sleep, so you can get up early and conquer your dreams, and have time to cook you some breakfast without rushing to gulp it down and get started with your day. Remember, early risers are awesome but so are late downers. Pick which one works for you and be good at it.