Picture a modern celebrity – a so-called successful person. Try to imagine their empire. Millions of dollars. Offices in all major countries. Thousands of people obeying their commands. Helicopter hangar. Crowd online following their every step, larger than the audience of the pope. How did a single person achieve all of this? The answer, among many things, is morning routines.
Welcome to the morning routines of successful people.
A place where we uncover what the giga rich and the ultra-famous do in the morning – excluding what happens in the bathroom. An online piece that aims to instill a dose of envy and a sense of order in your unordered and chaotic life.
After discussing what highly successful people do in the morning. Their early habits. Why they do them – potentially answer how they do them.
We will talk about why you will probably never attain their level of commitment and inner strength.
What Do Highly Successful People Do In The Morning?
Once fully naturally awaken, without an alarm clock.1 Successful people will instantly ignore their phones.2 After mindful teeth brushing.3 They’ll have a full glass of water delivered from Tasmania – or another exotic place. Right after bathing their month with insanely expensive aqua liqueur, they’ll express their gratitude towards the universe for being alive and further elaborate appreciation inside a journal.4
How is this different compared to you and me?
First, you probably need a tag team of alarm clocks to wake up your chronically tired body. Then, after removing the Cheetos from your mouth from the late-night movie watching. You’ll drag your body to the bathroom where you will take a quick nap on the bathroom floor till your dog starts barking. You’re not really sure why you’re alive at this point. But once your brain starts producing thoughts, you’ll vocally express your ungratefulness towards the rude world that is always so unfair to you.
Finally, with clean teeth and half-decent hair. You’ll treat yourself with the leftovers from last’s night party while scrolling through several social media networks all at once – trying to find a direction for your pulsating body.
All of the above, is the guiding principle that makes reading about the morning habits of successful people so tempting. So persuasive. So, desirable.
You think something like, “Once I read an article about the routines of successful people, I’ll attain their level of commitment and a fraction of their wealth.”
But not only…
Why Are We So Obsessed With Reading About The Morning Routines of Rich People?
It’s tempting to believe that consuming information about the morning habits of successful people will help you imitate their accomplishments.
There are quite a lot of articles explaining what the mega-rich do. And while it’s surely interesting to get a sneak peek of what these rare birds do. It’s important to understand that reading about the routines of successful people won’t necessarily make you a successful person.
Hell, even doing what they do in the early hours is not a guarantee that you’ll increase your income.
It’s far more important to figure out why they do what they do. From there, craft your own personal morning procedure that allows you to make decent changes in your life.
All that being said, here are the 5 morning habits of successful people and why they do them:
The 5 Morning Routines of Successful People
1. Wake Up Early
People who are typically responsible for several companies need time. Naturally, they’ll do the only reasonable thing – get up early.
But waking up shockingly early is not done only to give you more hours in the day. The other reason high achievers tend to get up at such ungod hours is that early morning hours are free of distractions.
Rising at 4 a.m. – if you are Tim Cook who actually wakes up at 3:45 a.m. Or 5 a.m. – if you are Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL. Will give you plenty of time to plan, think critically about incoming daily tasks, journal, or simply advance with certain projects.
So, rich people don’t only get extra time. But they carve out this extra time to think. The more you isolate yourself from the tornado of information trying to sabotage your mental capacity. The more you’ll able to find better solutions to the pressing problems.
The problem with getting up early – if you want to do it. Is twofold:
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Feeling sluggish in the morning.
The first one you can technically solve by simply going to bed early. And a lot of successful people who rise early do exactly this. They go to bed around 10 p.m.5
The second one requires movement.
See, when you start the day ludicrously early. You don’t expect to have a nice day. Unless, you boost your energy level by exercising – another common routine of successful people.
Waking up early is one thing. Being fully awakened is quite another.
Smart rich people get that. That’s why, another common successful morning routine is exercising.
Not only physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits. But it also improves cognitive function and increases energy levels.
There are numerous studies that support this theory. One paper published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, states that moderate-intensity morning exercise improves attention, boosts decision-making, and reduces fatigue.
Knowing this, many prosperous individuals incorporate regular exercise into their daily routines.
Ultimately, the best workout session will depend on individual preferences, but the majority of successful people realize that moving your body is vital.
Starting their day off on the right foot sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Not everyone starts to consume content online or frantically begins responding to emails.
Quite a bit of rich folks sit down with their thoughts for a while.
Yes, people like Robin Sharma and Oprah Winfrey choose to journal as a way to reflect on their thoughts and experiences. They set goals for the day, ask themselves questions, track their progress, and express gratitude.
Steve Jobs famously asked himself the following question every morning:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? If the answer is no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”6
Not only this allows you to figure out what should be tagged as important today. But it also helps you determine what is vital in general. Where you should direct your life. What should be your next move.
Another benefit of self-reflecting is the opportunity to appreciate the present. In other words, to practice gratitude.
Rich folks acknowledge where they were in the past. Where they are now. And keep a vision for where they want to be in the future.
Expressing gratitude gives you the strength to get to where you want by not forgetting what you already have. It’s a positive psychology trick that is often associated with mitigating impatient and stress.
How do you do it?
There are a lot of folks who simply vocally express their appreciation for being alive.7 In addition, reflect on their relationships. The work they do. What they have that brings them joy.
It might sound simple and intolerably obnoxious. Like a spoiled teenager in love filling out an entry in his/hers journal.
But science does support this practice. According to papers on the topic. When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.8
4. Pare Down Decisions
People who are on top of large corporations have to take exceptional care of their minds – getting enough rest, staying mentally sharp, and ensuring that they are primarily focused on important tasks.
For the last one, a now common practice among the ultra-rich is their commitment to a certain uniform or a pre-defined meal plan.
Former President Obama famously said in an interview:
“I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” Barack Obama
It’s not only him. Steve Jobs did it.9 Mark Zuckerberg running Meta and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also do it.
Despite their obvious capability to own luxurious clothes and share pictures of themselves wearing them. They are not tempted to spend time and money shopping. They remain uninterested in the latest fashion trends.
Successful people see most new fads as distractions that can prevent them from figuring out the best solution to the problems they have at hand.
Smart folks realize that they have limited capacity. Since their schedule is extremely busy. They do all possible to pair down decisions. Not think about unimportant things in order to have enough energy for the importnat things.
In a way, they routinize themselves. Activities like what to wear or what to eat are already determined in order to preserve their mental energy. Make extra room for decisions like what should be the next move of the company. Or what type of product they should improve.
5. Clear Your Head
When there is an army of people waiting to talk to you – executive meetings, staff meeting, board of directors, and who know what else. Stress and chaos start to creep in.
Another morning routine widely adopted by the rich and famous is the practice of meditation.
Many famous people see meditation as a way to find inner peace and clarity amidst chaos.
It makes sense.
You can’t expect to solve complicated problems if your headspace is messy.
In order to act smart, you have to think smart. And meditation plays a huge role here.
Not only that, a lot of TV superstars – actors, singers, and musicians. Are all seemingly loving – can’t live without – meditation.
The list here is huge – Lady Gaga, Beyoncé Knowles, Selena Gomez, etc.10
For these to-die-for celebrities, it seems that it makes a lot of sense. I can only imagine what going outside your house looks like for Beyonce, for example. People screaming your name and chasing you around.
Your head needs to rest. Thus, meditation is a tool many successful people rely on.
Why You Will Probably Never Have A Routine of A Successful Person?
We can all easily see what are the morning habits of successful people. There are plenty of other articles that give you an even more in-depth analysis of the topic.
What’s interesting here is that reading about what the rich do in the morning won’t necessarily make you rich.
Which I think, personally, it’s the more intriguing topic of discussion.
Since we know what’s the recipe for a “successful” life. Shouldn’t we all easily reach it? After all, we can simply copy their lifestyle and make it our own. This, technically, should lead us to a better place. To a wealthier place – if that’s your ultimate goal, money.
Well, it doesn’t work like that.
Why I won’t reach a state of over-the-top fame if I simply do what the rich do? I can force myself to get up early. Exercise. Wear the same clothes. Won’t that, make me rich?
After seeing what are the routines of successful people. Let’s see why you probably never attain their level of richness:
- Trying to do a lot of things: Most rich people own a lot of companies and have their hands dipped in different ventures. But they all started by focusing on one particular business at first. Elon Musk, for example, started SpaceX and the rest of the now-famous companies thanks to the money he earned by selling PayPal. Before his mission to go to Mars. He was laser-focused on PayPal.11 So if you are trying to build several companies all at once. Guess what, you will probably fail.
- Pursuing solely fame: When you open Instagram, for example. You see people’s best versions. The folks who get high by receiving likes and comments on their profiles. The ones who will never share their messy homes behind the selfies or their debt caused by the clothes they bought for the pictures. They are exclusively after external validation. And while getting the approval of others is important to build an empire. I mean, you need others to like what you are doing to earn a buck. Most people are mainly concentrated on feeling good at this very moment. They prioritize short-term gains over long-term success. Thus, this focus on the little wins prevents you from creating something bigger. Something lasting. Something useful. This is another common reason you will never reach the state of successful folks. You fight for getting 100 likes today. Instead of receiving 1 million with ease after years of hard work.
- Trying to be perfect: In my pretty vast experience of failing in a world of good-looking people online. I have found that nothing is ever perfect. You can only make it appear like so. When Apple released the Macintosh – the computer that changed everything. It wasn’t fault-free. It was, a “dazzling but woefully slow and underpowered computer, and no amount of hoopla could mask that.”12 And that’s not only with the first Mac. Plenty of startup products are clumsy when they first appear. Instagram is another example. The app was constantly crashing initially.13 But no, you think that your idea should be flawless when you ship it. Therefore, you never ship anything. You only pretend to know about business or about human psychology, hiding behind a mask of filters and gadgets you can’t truly afford.
Some Closing Thoughts
The gift of reading about the morning routines of successful people isn’t so much getting insights about what kind of habits work for them. Rather, it serves as motivation to become the kind of person who has good habits.
As already mentioned, reading about habits and having habits are two different things. The latter works without the former, but the opposite isn’t true.
Besides, you don’t necessarily have to copy the habit stack of your favorite celebrity in its entirety. What’s great about the knowledge we can find online about successful folks is that we can slice away individual pieces from their lifestyle and create our own pie of keystone habits.
For instance, you can steal the morning routine of Tim Cook, but prefer the exercise session of David Goggins.
And one last thing before we go on with our days.
Habits without some sort of higher goal won’t help you climb higher. Yes, exercising and eating healthy are, of course, good – even kind of mandatory. But you also need a plan of action.
Getting up early and not knowing what to do with the extra time is a waste of time. So, besides having good habits. You also need to have a solid plan about where you ultimately want to go.
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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- Numerous successful people report waking up without an alarm clock. Jeff Bezos and Oprah Winfrey are two of them. Because, well, “alarm clocks are so alarming.”
- “When you wake up and dive straight into e-mails, texts, and Facebook, you are far more likely to lose focus, and your morning succumbs to the wants and needs of other people,” one rich person said in an interview.
- Apparently, this is a thing and Jay Shetty does it.
- As she puts it herself, Oprah Winfrey has “volumes and volumes of gratitude journals”.
- See the sleep habits of highly successful people in this infographic by Forbes.
- Kaplan, Elle. Steve Jobs Asked Himself This 1 Question Every Morning to Stay Successful. Inc Magazine.
- One such person is John Paul DeJoria. The co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and Patrón tequila.
- Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, BA. The Neuroscience of Gratitude and Effects on the Brain. Positive Psychology. On the web: https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/
- Smith, Jacquelyn. Steve Jobs Always Dressed Exactly the Same. Here’s Who Else Does. Forbes.com. On the web: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/10/05/steve-jobs-always-dressed-exactly-the-same-heres-who-else-does/
- Malivindi, Diandra. 15 Celebrities Who Swear By Meditation To Improve Their Mental Health. Marie Claire. On the web: https://www.marieclaire.com.au/celebrities-meditation-mental-health
- [not]You can read more about the journey of Elon Musk in his biography by Ashlee Vance: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.
- O’brien, Chris. How Steve Jobs’ Macintosh failed and still changed computing. Los Angeles Times. On the web: https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-how-the-first-macintosh-failed-and-still-changed-computing-20140123-story.html
- This is directly from the book No Filter by Sarah Frier. Covering the success of Instagram.