Everyone loves a good performance. Every line crisp, every note perfect, every cue impeccable. The lighting, the set, the orchestra, and the cast all coming together with rehearsed precision. It’s exhilarating for the audience and deeply satisfying for those on stage.
Everyone who as tread the boards knows the price you have to pay backstage before you set foot on stage. What many of us fail to realize is that all the world is a stage, and we need to put in the same preparation in private if we want to have a good performance out in public.
Dr. Stephen R. Covey recommends spending an hour every morning sharpening your saw physically, spiritually, and mentally. By developing yourself in these personal areas of your life, you are preparing yourself for—and getting in a running start at—developing yourself in the interpersonal areas of your life, socially and emotionally.
There’s no other way you could spend an hour that would begin to compare with the Daily Private Victory in terms of value and results. It will affect every decision, every relationship. It will greatly improve the quality, the effectiveness, of every other hour of the day, including the depth and restfulness of your sleep. It will build the long-term physical, spiritual, and mental strength to enable you to handle difficult challenges in life.
Dr. Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
As his children were growing up, they ”often saw him doing what he called ‘winning the daily private victory’ early in the morning by meditating, reading his scriptures, and exercising.” What will your children remember about how you spend your mornings?
In The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod recommends building your morning ritual from these six habits:
- Silence (prayer, meditation, or just plain being still)
- Affirmations (train yourself to have positive self-talk)
- Visualization (see yourself winning before you’re ever put to the test)
- Exercise (get your body moving)
- Reading (stretch and sharpen your mind)
- Scribing (a.k.a. Writing or Journaling)
There are two ways you can spend your morning. You can get up with just enough time to scrape yourself together and rush into the office, or you can get up an hour earlier and spend some time developing yourself.
It’s not easy to get up earlier and start the day by developing yourself. That’s part of the point. You’re developing willpower. The better you are at making and keeping promises to yourself, the better you will be at making and keeping promises to others.
Your morning routine will be awkward at first. Don’t worry about it—and don’t give up! You’ll adjust your morning routine as you figure out what works and as your life circumstances change. Your morning routine will be different when you’re fresh out of college with no kids, when you’re in your thirties with young kids, and when you’re in your sixties with the house to yourself again.
If you already have a morning routine that’s rocking your world, that’s fantastic! Share it in the comments so others can learn from you. If you don’t, you can start tomorrow. It’s okay to start small, with one habit that takes just five minutes. That can be the start of your morning ritual; build from there as you get more comfortable with it.
All the world’s a stage. If you insist on winging it, you’ll flounder out there. Set yourself up for a standing ovation by establishing a morning routine. Start the day with private wins and that early success will keep building as you make your entrance. Break a leg.