“Dream big but wake up early to actualize them.”
-Prince Hopkins Amachree
I know many people don’t like to wake up early. I have never had a problem with that. I was required to wake up at 4 when I was a kid, that stayed with me. Although now it’s a bit unhealthy where I wake up at 2 or 3 or sometimes even before that, that’s what stress does to you.
Anyway, waking up early has only benefits related to it and as the saying goes,
“The early bird gets the worm.”
People who wake up early will tell you to do the same, and people who do not will tell you how they wish to wake up early. One of the things that motivate me is that I get to do my work without any distractions.
When I was in college, this is what I did to finish my assignments with no one to disturb me in the mornings.Now that I am an entrepreneur running multiple businesses, I find it to be the same.
Most people don’t wake up early. There’s no traffic noise, there’s no family disturbance, your phone doesn’t go off much and even social media is not that active. When you are up early, even if you want to talk to someone you are not going to have many options because others are asleep.
“I love that this morning’s sunrise is not defined by last night’s sunset.”
There’s something delightful about the morning time. The air hasn’t had the chance to be tainted with pollution, and the sound is filled with happy chirping than loud horns blaring. Everything is covered with a blanket of serenity.
This is the perfect time to get your biggest task done, or as I call them, your big rocks or MITs (most important tasks). Starting early lets you wrap up early, meaning you get more time for yourself and your family. You are not working every second of daylight. You get to learn something, go out and explore, and in general focus on things you never got time for because you were working. Also, it gives you time to enjoy nature! On most days, I get much more accomplished by 9am than most people can accomplish in the whole day.
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”
Waking up early is also advisable because you have reduced stress levels in the morning, you are more energetic and that boosts your speed, which in turn helps you complete any task in lesser time than it would take otherwise.
Most of my work entails writing, over the years I have realized that I write faster in the morning, which is why I start my workday early. Being a morning person, I have always been a ball of energy at the start of the day, so I just channel it into my work. This helps me slow down in the afternoon yet complete my tasks. I don’t have to always be running to get my work done.
“The world belongs to those who get up early – up to the minute while others do not wake up either.”
When you get a big chunk of your work done in the morning, you feel happy, and you feel satisfied. This feeling carries on for the day, surrounding you with a positive air. Our mood for the day is set by how the time after our morning goes. If you start the day productive then there’s little room for negativity to seep in. Even if a problem does manifest, you don’t waste all your day because of it, and your work takes a much smaller hit.
“Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It’s the best part of the day.”
-George Allen, Sr.
Like I mentioned before, in the morning you have low-stress levels. Working in that frame of mind is not only beneficial to your work but has a positive impact on your mental fitness as well. Picture yourself working with a calm mind versus working with a mind filled with other tasks to do, other things to handle. You don’t need a study to tell you what is preferable, the mental picture of the situation is enough.
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
When you make waking up early a routine, you start going to bed early. This lets your internal clock adapt to the routine, resulting in better sleep quality. Having no sleep pattern messes up the body, but now that your body gets to get the rest it needs, you will see a lot of aches and pains go away.
“Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
Early morning is a great time to workout, especially if you like to workout outdoors. No rush, lesser pollution, fewer people, fresher air, pleasant environment. Sounds good, doesn’t it? A lot of people who have made it in life will tell you how and why they schedule their workouts in the morning.
Some people make it one of their main agendas of the morning. A healthy body is essential to achieve anything in the world. If you aren’t fit, how can you expect your body to work round the clock? Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.
“One key to success is to have breakfast when other people have lunch.”
Breakfast is said to be one of the most important meals of the day. I, for one, can’t live without breakfast. I can skip lunch and dinner but breakfast, no ways! I actually have two breakfasts. Since I was a kid, I would wake up at ungodly hours and ask for food, so my mom started keeping a covered dish with food and a glass of water in the room. I would wake up at 3-4, eat and lie back down.
That is still there, I wake up and need proper food not just snacks, so an extra portion is cooked the night before so that I would have something to eat in the morning. After eating, I get on with my work and then the second breakfast is when normal people eat, that is, around 8:30-9:00. I am not telling you to be weird like me, but listen to your body and don’t skip breakfast. Waking up early gives you the opportunity to eat in peace without having to rush and skip the food.
My Tried and Tested Tips to Wake Up Early
It wouldn’t be fair if I told you about all the benefits of waking up early and didn’t tell you how to do it. Here are some things that have worked for my friends and people I’ve coached.
“The time just before dawn contains the most energy of all hours of the day. This has helped me become an early riser and an early doer…. When I wake to see that it’s light out already, I feel the world has started without me.”
- Don’t make drastic changes- If you wake up at 10 every day, then it is not a good idea to start waking up at 4, that will mess up your body and do more harm than good. A good way to get into the routine is to start taking smaller steps. Start waking up at 9 for the week, then go for 8, then to 7, until you reach your desired time. If one hour is still a big difference, start by half-hour or fifteen-minute increments.
- Sleep early- If you want to wake up early, you have to start sleeping early as well. The goal here is to have a well-rested body. You need to complete your sleep cycle, otherwise waking up early is of no use.
- Don’t snooze- Snoozing your alarm can be tempting at the beginning, which is why you need to keep your alarm away from your bed. You will have to get up to shut down the alarm. Once out of bed, you might as well wake up.
- Interesting task- Try to make waking up early worth your while. Put something interesting as the first thing to do on your list, and that will give you another reason to wake up.
Waking up early isn’t only about bragging about how put-together your life is, it is actually about working on getting your life that way. If you still need the motivation to wake up early, then try doing this for 10-15 days, so that you can experience the benefits for yourself.
5 Non-Negotiable Things Millionaires Do Every Day
Until now, only a fortunate few have been able to earn the amount of money that self-made millionaires are earning today. About ten years ago, resources were limited and there was no internet connectivity in most parts of the world. So, people born with a silver spoon kept their secrets to themselves and remained rich.
But in 2019, you have all the resources and information that is required to become a millionaire; all you need to do is take consistent actions and learn from your mistakes. There are certain habits and behaviors that the rich and famous millionaires possess. This post takes you behind closed doors and teaches you how to integrate those traits in your own life.
Following are the 5 non-negotiable things millionaires do every day to stay at the top.
1. Wake up early and plan
People who wake up past 8am find it difficult to get going and don’t take care of their most important tasks in the morning. They get caught up in the daily chores and waste the precious morning hours. Moreover, our body is designed to make us feel fresh and energetic in the early morning time so that we can go after the most important task right away. But if we let that time pass, or fill it with low-value tasks, it becomes impossible to finish them later in the day when our willpower is relatively low.
Planning gives us direction and purpose throughout the day. It keeps fatigue and laziness away. Most people procrastinate because they don’t have a clear map or a timeline of how their ideal day or week should be like. So, wake up early, around 5 AM, and create a to-do list of all the things that need to be done on a subsequent day. The to-do list should also include recreational activities and day-to-day chores like doing the taxes, checking the finances, going to the gym, etc.
“Take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of the day will pretty much take care of itself.”
– Robin Sharma
In his book, The 5 AM Club, Robin Sharma has stressed a lot on sleeping and eating patterns. He says that our eating habits dictate the way we feel and decide the level of our productivity. He recommends not having any food for at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed because the food needs time to digest and if left undigested, it can cause problems after waking up early in the morning.
Millionaires like Tai Lopez and Tim Ferris spent a decent amount of time–from their super busy schedule– learning and practicing various forms of martial arts. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu keeps Tai Lopez focused and active. If martial arts seem too intensive for you, other forms of exercises like yoga, pilates, weight training are good enough to keep you fit and healthy.
It is true that if you don’t look good, you don’t feel good. In tough times, we tend to look for reassurance in whatever form available. So, if a toned or muscular look can motivate you to do well in life, you should definitely consider signing up for a gym membership or a yoga class.
Modern-day millionaires are way more aware and educated about every area of life. Be it finance, spirituality, health, relationships, etc they want to win in every area of life and leave no stone unturned. As a person who is hustling and trying to be one of them, you should pay attention to these important areas as well.
3. Share knowledge
“If you want to master something, teach it. A great way to learn is to teach.”
– Richard Feynman
Sharing and spreading knowledge has never been this easy. In today’s technologically advanced world, you can record and upload a video in only a few minutes and reach millions of people across the world. Most millionaires like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jack Ma, etc have already shared so much valuable information about success and personal development.
Successful people share knowledge worth millions of dollars in the form of books and coaching programs. As a beginner or intermediate level entrepreneur, you could share the lessons you have learned to help the people who are seeking this kind of information.
Ordinarily, newbie entrepreneurs don’t connect that well with the famous multi-millionaires but they will definitely understand someone who has been through a similar experience recently. By impacting someone’s life you could empower your own since teaching creates a sense of gratitude in one’s life.
4. Network with like-minded people
Networking is not just a mindless hunt for high-ticket prospects, it can be much more than that. For instance, you can make lifelong friendships and healthy relationships in business networking events. These relationships have helped millionaires stay emotionally well balanced in tough times.
Being locked up in an office the whole day and doing nothing but work can make you a dull and boring person. It also affects productivity as you are suppressing the basic human need for emotional connection.
By working in a social and friendly environment, you can live a healthier and balanced life. Nowadays, most entrepreneurs work from their laptops sitting in cafes or on the shores of exotic beaches. This kind of lifestyle is really healthy and energizing when it’s done in the right way and there are loads of opportunities to network as well.
5. Manage their money well
“Never say you cannot afford something. That is a poor man’s attitude. Ask how to afford it.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
It can take a lot of discipline to keep track of the finances. Who wants to wake up every single day and stare at their dwindling bank balance? Especially, when you know that your expenses are getting out of control and you don’t have the funds to back it up. Most millionaires face the same problem but their mental agility and financial know-how helps them keep their asset column healthy.
It is never a great idea to spend your hard earned money on things that are not going to serve you in the long term. Most millionaires do buy houses and expensive cars but they don’t break their savings to do so. They have money coming in from various investments that take care of their need to live a luxurious life.
Someone who is new to the entrepreneurial world and doesn’t have much knowledge of money is more likely to be broke or go through a major financial crisis. Being educated and informed about personal finances is key to keeping the asset column healthy.
So, by waking up early, working out, reading and sharing knowledge, and managing your finances well you can give yourself a privileged glimpse into a millionaires life. Of course, money won’t come pouring in just by implementing these five steps, you will have to face the adversities and challenges that you are likely to face on the road to success. But by impersonating and walking on the footsteps of the successful people, you can set up a good platform for yourself.
Blinkist Review – An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet of Book Summaries
You’re well aware that reading is an essential aspect of personal growth and development. And if you’re a bookworm like me, you also know that it isn’t always easy to find good reads. If you keep on adding reading as your goal fairly regularly and fail to do it because you can’t find time to read, then you know the disappointment you feel every time.
The path gets even trickier if you’re a fan of non-fiction. Reading something that has zero value in terms of broadening your horizons is a big expense, not so much money-wise but time-wise.
What if there was a way to get the general idea of what a book is all about? Or some software that simplified and spat out the key points from a non-fiction book?
Frankly speaking, all of that seemed like a far-fetched dream until I stumbled upon Blinkist.
Blinkist is a “here’s what you’ll get” book summary app for mobile and desktop where people can listen to or read roughly 15-minute summaries of over 2,000 non-fiction titles across a range of categories.
Text summaries present around 10 screens and you need to click to proceed to the next. The audio version, on the other hand, plays through automatically. Each summary or “blink” is also placed into a category so users breeze through it with ease.
Since I really like the app, I decided to write an in-depth review. Read on to learn how it feels to be a Blinkist user.
Quick Access to Categories and Synopsis
Blinkist takes you to the first blink as soon as you click on a title in your library. You can add books by browsing the app’s categories or by searching for a specific title. The “Discover” button at the top of the homepage presents you with 27 categories, plus “see recently added titles” and “see popular titles” sections for the latest blinks.
The following graphic highlights the names of available categories:
The categories are as follows:
- Entrepreneurship & Small Business
- Corporate Culture
- Money & Investments
- Sex & Relationships
- Nature & Environment
- Career & Success
- Health, Fitness and Nutrition
- Management & Leadership
- Technology & the Future
- Society & Culture
- Marketing & Sales
- Personal Growth & Self-Improvement
- Communication & Skills
- Motivation & Inspiration
- Productivity & Time Management
- Mindfulness & Happiness
- Religion & Spirituality
- Biography & Memoir
Pressing on a category takes you to its individual page with a header visual.
As you scroll down, you come across trending, just added, and featured audio blinks in that category (in the exact same order). A “see all blinks in this category” option is also available.
Your next option is to click on the magnifying glass at the top left corner. Doing so allows you to search for a specific non-fiction title.
As you write the name of the author or book, results get populated in a dropdown window.
Whether you select a book from the search bar or the category view discussed earlier, you’ll arrive on its synopsis page.
The page provides you with all the information you need. A quick summary of the book’s content, an option to add the synopsis to your library, a way to buy the book, as well as advise on who the book is well-suited for along with some background on the author. As a premium user, I also got the option to send the summary to Kindle.
As you can see, Blinkist offers a quick way to know what a book is all about and whether it’ll be worth your attention and time.
Clicking on a title inside your library takes you to the first blink, which is titled “what’s in it for me.” Here, you get to learn about the benefits you’ll realize by reading the blink at hand.
But what stands out for me is the audio player for the web. It’s located in a bar at the bottom of the page.
When you click on the play button, Blinkist presents you with an audio version of the summary. You then hear the next audio automatically, and so forth. This feature used to be available only in the Blinkist mobile app, but it’s now available for web users too, which is fantastic.
As you move through the audios, eventually you will reach the end of the summary. Blinkist will then revisit what you have learned and offer you some actionable advice to follow. Often, there is an advice to read further, and an option to provide feedback, if you have any.
Social Sharing and Friend Invitations
Remember the Discover button at the homepage? Alongside it are a few more options. “Highlights” redirects you to a collection of all the marks and notes you’ve taken. You can filter them by titles or by date; for either option, they’ll pop up in a beautiful format.
Also, you can click on the three dots at the bottom right corner to share your highlight to Twitter, Facebook, or through email. The same process can also be used to delete highlights. I find this handy, as it lets me go through summaries again, but at a quicker pace, and allows me to revisit what I’ve learned when I read them for the first time.
Lastly, the right side of the menu has a “You” option, clicking which opens a sub-menu that gives you access to settings, help & support, gift cards, and more. The standout feature here is “Invite Friends.” It gives Blinkist users a chance to create their referral link, which they can use to invite peers to try out the app.
The best part? You get a commission every time someone signs up to Blinkist’s monthly or annual plan using your referral link. Feel free to copy it and send it to your contacts through iMessage, Viber, WhatsApp, email, or any other methods, or share it directly on LinkedIn or Quora.
It also has a wishlist option, you can type in the book you want. If the book is available then you will be directed directly to the book, if it isn’t then you can either add it if isn’t there or the wishlist and if it is already on the list then you can upvote it. More the upvotes, more the chances of it being the next book to be added to Blinkist.
Apart from sending the Blinks to your Kindle, you can also add it to a notebook in Evernote. I personally love that option because then I will have the main takeaways that I got from the Blinks with me on my phone all the time.
My Final Verdict
With over 2,000+ books in its database, and increasing at an astonishing pace, the decision to save time and enjoy Blinkist is yours. No matter whether you want to read about personal development, entrepreneurship, science, or nomadism, I’m confident that you’ll find a valuable title to read.
Blinklist costs $14.99 a month or $89.99 a year (billed at $7.49 monthly). You get a free 7-day trial if you opt for the annual option. Learn more here.
10 Things to Do Before You Go to Bed
If you’re like most people, you probably go straight to bed after dinner or binge watch your favorite television show till you pass out. But, there are consequences to every action you take and it’s time to think about how to use the evening time more constructively.
Here are the 10 things to do before you go to bed to enjoy a deeper, more restful sleep.
1. Take a hot shower
Who doesn’t like the feeling of warm soothing water on their skin? Especially, after a long rough day, a hot shower can help release accumulated stress in your body and mind.
But according to recent studies, taking a hot shower before you go to bed has much more benefits than just making you feel good. A study done on two teams of young football players concluded that a hot shower before going to bed can improve the sleep onset latency period.
Sleep onset latency is the time it takes for you to go from being awake to falling completely asleep. In this study, one of the teams were made to take a hot shower before bed and others just followed their regular routine. They concluded that the players who took the hot shower fell asleep faster and had a good REM sleep.
2. Read fiction
Genres like self-help or management can feel a bit heavy to read before you go to bed. Simply stated, they can make you think deeply about your present and future life. And, this is the last thing you need before going to sleep.
Here’s a better solution: Read books that make you feel present in the moment. The whole point of reading before you go to bed is to ease tension and beat stress in 10-15 minutes. So take your mind off your day to day life by diving into a fairy tale or a romantic story and wake up refreshed in the morning.
3. Have a cup of caffeine-free green tea
Green tea consists of an anti-stress relieving amino acid called theanine. It is the main component in green tea that makes us feel good and bring feelings of well being after drinking a hot cup of it.
According to a study done in a university in Japan, caffeine-free green tea can not only make us feel good but can also help us enjoy a deeper, more restful sleep.
4. Light exercise
Due to stereotypes, a lot of people avoid exercising at night time. They think it will hinder their sleep by making them more active and lively. But nothing could be further from the truth as recent research says the complete opposite of it.
According to the Center of Studies in Psychobiology and Exercise, Brazil, light exercising before improves sleep patterns in good sleepers who are non-athletes. It didn’t seem to hinder the subject’s sleep or comply with any stereotypes people had prior to this study.
5. Plan for the next day
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!”
– Brian Tracy
Knowing what you have to do the next day makes you more focused and keeps you more relaxed. You don’t have to write a detailed plan for the next day before you go to bed, but making a bullet list of urgent tasks can help you to stay ahead to everyone else.
It’s better to wake up with a short purpose in mind than to spend precious morning time thinking and recollecting where you left off yesterday.
6. Spend quality time with loved ones
Most people spend their entire day working and engaging in other recreational activities. We rarely get time to check on our family members and talk to them about how their day went.
A recent survey conducted by visitanaheim suggests that American families spend just 37 minutes of quality time together per day during the week.
So don’t forget to allocate at least a couple of hours to your family members who need your attention and care more than anyone else.
7. Listen to ASMR
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos are one of the most viewed categories on YouTube. Audiences get a tingling sensation in the crown of the head by audio-visual triggers such as whispering, tapping, and hand movements displayed on the screen by their favorite ASMR artist aka ASMRist.
Most people fall asleep very quickly while listening to these relaxing sounds. There are various categories of ASMR, the sleep and relaxation category is best suited to watch before you go to bed.
8. Make sure the room is dark and cozy
The environment is a major factor when it comes to a good night’s sleep. It influences our feelings and reactions and can have a great effect on our sleeping patterns.
Most people tend to automatically feel sleepy in a dark and cozy ambiance. So, make sure the windows are properly sealed and there is no light seeping through windows or coming over the top of curtains.
For people working night shifts, a sleeping eye mask can be a lifesaver. Coupled with a comfortable pair of earplugs it can help you create an ideal environment for sleeping even during daytime.
Meditation is an ancient method developed by numerous spiritual teachers from the Eastern world. At present, it is widespread and popular in western countries as a way to relieve stress and tension.
A 15-minute mindfulness session just before you go to bed can help clear your mind and prepare you for a deep uninterrupted sleep. Different types of meditation techniques like mindfulness, transcendental, focusing on a particular object etc can help you in different ways.
Mindfulness meditation is known to promote a healthy sleep cycle. So, find a calm and comfortable place in your room and practice meditation daily before you go to bed. I meditate twice daily, once right after waking up in the morning and once before going to bed. I used the Headspace app for all my meditations.
10. Listen to affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements made in present tense either in written or consumed in audio format. \ Simply stated, an affirmation isthe repetition of a desired scenario several times in our minds to become more aligned and aware of it in order to manifest it in real life.
Writing them down on a piece of paper may seem like a lot of work but it is more effective than just listening to them. However, listening to the audio format just before you go to bed can be relaxing and rejuvenating. I read my affirmations right after I do my morning meditation.
Most successful people spend at least one-hour reading books. They sleep better after reading because now they have a better understanding of the events that took place on the same day. Reading in the evening also keeps their mind rational and organized the next day.
However, due to numerous reasons, some of us can’t manage to slip in this one hour in our existing schedule. This precious time before you go to bed can be used for such self-improvement yet relaxing practices.
1. “A shower before bedtime may improve the sleep onset latency … – NCBI.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28691581.
2. “Sleep onset latency – Wikipedia.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_onset_latency.
3. “Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep Quality Caused by … – NCBI – NIH.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537891/.
4. “Physical exercise performed before bedtime improves the … – NCBI – NIH.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22092095.
5. “American Families Spend Just 37 Minutes Of Quality Time Together ….” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.studyfinds.org/american-families-spend-37-minutes-quality-time/.
6. “Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) – NCBI – NIH.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6010208/.
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