The time you wake up has a lot to do with who you become. The difference between waking up at 6 am and 4 am may seem insignificant to the average zombie, but the difference is massive. Think about the time you wake up and then by the end of this article ask yourself whether you want to wake up earlier than you currently are.
I am happy to confess that the idea of waking up at 4 am was not my own. How it came about was that I was bouncing on my trampoline at home trying to boost my energy levels before sitting down to write an inspiring article for all of you wonderful people.
Whenever I am doing something like exercise, I like to combine the activity with either education, or inspiration, or both. To achieve this, I put on a motivational YouTube video to watch at the same time. The video I watched featured the famous motivational speaker Eric Thomas.
I can’t remember exactly what he said, but the message was that if you are not waking up at three or four o’clock each morning, then your purpose and your vision for your life is off track. I thought about this idea quite a lot and realised that when I am most inspired, I naturally wake up early.
The primary goal of what I am going to tell you today is for you to not only wake up early but for you to wake up and work on your passion straight away. It’s for you to allow more time for your passion.
“The truth is that the uninspired sleep in and find it hard to wake up because they are just cruising through life without any direction or passion. These same zombies are the ones that spend their whole day complaining, and telling people why they feel tired even though they just slept for twelve hours”
The two reasons the average zombie finds it hard to wake up is because of poor diet, and zero motivation as to why they should wake up. It’s easy to just sleep your life away! It’s easy to say I will follow my dream tomorrow! The time is now. Wake up and get working on your dream!
Below are the five benefits of waking up at 4 am:
1. You get to start the day with what you are passionate about
Waking up at 4 am allows you to get right to your passion. This becomes possible because you most likely won’t have any commitments like work at 4 am in the morning. This gives you a good two or three hours each morning to smash at the activities that relate to your passion.
When you then start work or travelling to work at say 7 am, you have spent the first part of your morning being inspired, and this will carry through to the rest of your day. You will find yourself more positive during the day and strangely more inspired. How you start the day determines how you finish the day.
What happened to me, and why I began waking up at 4 am, is that I analysed my evenings when I got home from work. I realised that I usually had lower levels of energy and didn’t have what it took to go and do my passion (inspiring you lot).
So, because I was coming home and not being productive, I used Eric Thomas’s advice and worked out that this evening time was wasted. I realised it would be better to go to bed early, so I could wake up earlier and pursue my passion then. Since forming this habit, the game has changed for me, my friends. The game can change for you as well – I promise.
2. Use the time you wake up as a measurement of your passion
The time you wake up is not only crucial to your success; it’s also a measurement of your current levels of passion. Simply put, if you can’t wake up early in the morning, then you are not passionate enough.
Sleep is important, and you need eight hours of it, but living each day with passion is just as important. Your levels of passion will slide up and down like the stock market over time, but every once in a while check in with what time you are waking up.
“Speak to someone who is living their dream, and they will tell you that they wish they didn’t have to sleep” – Tim Denning
3. Get a head start on everyone else
While all the zombies are fast asleep, while all your competitors in business are still underneath the sheets, you have the opportunity to outwork them. The way you become successful in any pursuit in life it to outwork everyone else.
Given the amount of time I have spent writing and studying personal development, I would have to be a total freaking moron if I didn’t understand this niche and know how to share it with you all by now. I am no smarter than anyone else; I just choose to work twice as hard.
You have that same opportunity and by waking up at 4 am you can leave your competition in a burning cloud of smoke.
4. No one is awake, and it’s quiet
Many pursuits in life require deep thinking, focus, and often silence. The advantage of waking up at 4 am is that you can achieve all three of these things. The rest of the zombies in the world are sound asleep, and so you have the chance to maximise the silence.
I have found that there is something strangely calming and inspiring by being awake at 4 am. I have started to feel like I am doing something that will truly change the world because I want my dream so bad. I feel like one of those athletes in a Nike advertisement that is awake at the crack of dawn to train. The difference is I am not training in a field of sport; I am training in the art of personal development.
5. You will have more time to do what you love
On top of your normal work day, waking up at 4 am will give you extra time when your mind is the most relaxed and active to pursue your dream. You should at least find that you have an extra three hours per day that are now much more productive and focused. Three hours a day times seven days a week means you will have an additional twenty-one hours a week to play with.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time because you do. You now have the one strategy that every successful person in the world has used at one time or another; the art of waking up early. Enjoy your extra time each and thank me later.
I look forward to seeing what art you can create in the world with your passion and extra time.
What time do you wake up each day and why? I’d love to hear so let me know in the comment section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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