Waking up early: The Mentality that allows you to outwork yourself

Waking up early has been touted for a long time now as a tool to have enormous benefits in business and fitness to achieve higher success over people who are late risers.

In the second month of 2021, I had decided to put the idea to the test: I changed my wake up regime to 5 am on average.

In 2022 as of writing this on 27th of November, I had pushed that down to 3 am on average for now counting 5th month in a row.

What were the effects of waking up early on mentality over course of year and 3/4, and is/was it worth it?

Waking up early is not ment for everyone

There is a reason why waking up early is harder than waking up late. Same as saying that success is not ment for everyone since it’s hard, waking up early also isn’t a tool that you should feel bad about not doing.

It takes a radical effort to change your mentality not just in the first month, but over the course of a year or two of introducing this new habit.

Secondly it has always been said that waking up early gets easier over time; but you should see it more as a roller coaster: you might have months where you stick to it, some days not. In the end – it will become a lifestyle, if you choose to do so.

Let’s walk first through the mentality shift, and after that tools that you can leverage on the journey.

Shift in mentality, habits and quality of life

No matter where you start off – if you were a broke college student, a teen, a worker in factory or office job, waking up early will affect everyone with around 95% accuracy in the same way.

If you had bad habits, bad genetics, or a pretty average life or life as a sports star – it will affect you in the same way.

There was a study and now a huge number of articles explaining that many business executives (basically you must be a high achiever on average to get to that position) tend to be early risers, with no exact demographic background. This is in line with the above points – no matter your background, the effects will be the same.

Waking up early will not make you an executive: it will change your mindset over the course of 2-5 years where you will start to be more proactive to be one. In my experience, in the first 5-6 months I started to take more and more responsibility around the immediate surroundings: such as your own room, or the entire flat multiple people lived, taking more interest in making sure everything works.

After doing that – you will start to introduce multiple better habits. Such as regular cleaning, improving your nutrition, or fitness exercises. This is solely because of you being more proactive, and you will start to get a sense of wellbeing once you achieve things before everyone else could in the same day.

This is important to highlight: if you wake up early with no set work to do, it will be very hard to continue waking up early. It is one of the tools outlined below which showcase the importance of meaning of the habit.

Does it have positive effects in the end? Yes, but it is much more of a roller coaster. You might see the positive effects on the grand scale it’s written about on the internet after 5-10 years.

Is it one of the 5 best tools to use in our entire lives? Yes.

Tools for changing your wake up regime

As mentioned: waking up early with no end-goal will make it harder for you to continue to do so. This is again because of the hormone dopamine – if you don’t have something that you are looking forward to be doing in the morning, then it will be much harder for you to get out of the bed.

Think about you normally waking up at 7 to 8 am – when you have to walk to work, or school, you will wake up. This is why waking up early can be so hard in our minds: we have no set goals to actually make a reasoning why we should do so, crashing the dopamine.

Thing is, dopamine can be controlled with anything. Even though I had myself not tried it, there are so many dopaminergic activities that will spike your desire to wake up early: The worst ones that actually do work are video games, social media, porn restricted only in the times of your early rising, for example at 5am.

The best-case scenario is that you have work that you find meaningful to your progress that you can do so in the morning. You can think of work even as studying, and it will help you to spike your hormones in a way that will make it much easier for you to wake up at 5am or earlier.

Second tool: Belief system

Your beliefs will change how your body and your mind respond to everything that happens around you. Ever heard of the cases where people thought something bad was about to happen, and it did?

That they will screw up, and they did?

Yes, that effect does exist and it’s a direct correlation of our own belief systems leading us to the actual thing we believe in happening.

I heard of the phrase that you can’t fool your mind if you know something is not true. However, can’t you?

The entire belief system of the brain (which plays the main part role here) is extremely malleable, and on the contrary of everything else even in short time frames.

If you start to think that waking up early is meaningful to you, you will start to change the chemistry in your own brain day by day in a way where you will eventually start to introduce habits that will provide the meaning for waking up early – be it exercise or work.

Outworking everyone and even yourself

I am extremely satisfied with the phrase of the entire experiment “outwork everyone and even yourself”, because waking up early does exactly that.

I did mention that proactivity is a huge part of being an early riser. However, the part about outworking yourself relates to the fact that instead of focusing on about 15 things per minute, you are able to enhance your focus to delete 14 things from the to-do list and work on the one job that will increase the quality of your life the most.

We are all plagued with things we could be doing: school, work, family, errands. Why not make it easier to be both proactive and excellent worker in your day-to-day life?

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