Early Morning Activity

By • on August 18, 2011

George Washington once said, “Rise early, that by habit it may become familiar, agreeable, healthy, and profitable. It may, for a while, be irksome to do this, but that will wear off; and the practice will produce a rich harvest forever thereafter; whether in public or private walks of life.”

The Rhino must know of George Washington, as he rises early every morning of his life. Great leaders have been known to rise earlier than people in their cabinets, troops or teams. The first land phase of the monumental D-Day invasion by the allied forces began at 6:30 am, meaning that the soldiers and their commanding officers were awake well before that.

There are many historic events that occurred in the morning hours including the first manned flight, piloted by Orville Wright which took off at 10:35 am on December 17, 1903. Both Paul Revere’s ride, the formal surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 and the first Marine Divisions landed on the beach at Iwo Jima in the morning hours… (OORAH)!

Sunrise holds much significance. As a new dawn breaks, I ponder my day and think about the mighty Rhino. I know that somewhere halfway across the world that he is up and seizing the early morning light by gathering food for his herd and planning his day’s strategy for keeping himself and his herd safe from harm.

Great leaders understand the significance of rising early and taking the day by storm. However, that cannot be done effectively unless you prepare yourself the evening before.

Below is a list of tasks that I perform every night after dinner. This keeps me from becoming sedentary and lazy and it gives me something to look forward to.

  • At night I write down a list of all the things that I need to accomplish the next day. That has a two-fold purpose. First of all, it allows me to be prepared when I wake up. But more importantly, making a list keeps me from lying in bed at night and stressing over all I have to do the next day. Once I write down my agenda, I try not to think about it again until the next morning.
  • After making my list for the next day I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier than when I have to be awakened. I then either watch a movie or read something enjoyable until I fall asleep. I try to get in bed at least 1 hour before my “official” bedtime. If your household is busy in the evenings and mornings you will learn to relish these nightly 60 minutes and morning15 minutes.
  • I make sure that I have clean clothes for the next day, all the way down to my flip flops (Living in Orlando has its advantages). This alleviates the possibility of not being able to locate something the next morning. A hectic morning can lead to a nonproductive day.
  • I make sure that my house including my kitchen, which is my favorite place, is clean and orgainized. To save time, I have even invested in a Keurig coffee machine so that my heaviest thought in the morning is which flavored pod of coffee I’m going to have. Waking up to an orgainized environment is refreshing and comforting. This helps lead to a non-stressful day.

These tasks may seem mundane. But I promise if you will integrate these simple tasks into your evening, it will make all the difference in the world the next morning and you will soon find yourself wanting to get up early. Keep in mind that the mighty Rhino may have to wake up charging, so he prepares himself for that the night before.

I will complete this installment by sharing one of my favorite passages from the esteemed poet and writer Maya Angelou. This is a part of the famous speech that Ms. Angelou delivered on January 19, 1993 at the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

On the Pulse of Morning

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply

Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

There are many, many great leaders who share or whom have shared my sentiment on rising early and seizing the day, in addition to the vast majority of the animal kingdom. So many successful creatures cannot be wrong!

Keep Charging Hard!


By Executive Leadership Development Programs on September 26th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Never thought about waking up early this way. But yeah, I see the point here. Must try waking up earlier from now on.