I am fortunate enough to wake without the horrendous sound of an alarm. Being a freelancer grants me certain luxuries that I could only have dreamed of, back when I was a 9-5er.
My mornings go something like this. I wake up around 8.00am, pull out the power chord from my fully charged MacBook and walk out to a little makeshift desk in my NYC apartment. I boil the kettle, make my coffee and granola bowl, and start my workday.
To an onlooker, my life looks pretty cruisy. Well, at least my mornings do.
My housemate tells me all the time how much she respects me. No matter what day it is, Monday or Sunday, this is my morning routine – rain, hail or hangover. I’ve come to learn that this is the most important thing I do with my day. That is, I show up, time and time again.
To be honest, I’m positive there are thousands, millions even, of better writers out there than me. Heck, many of them probably aren’t even writing for a living. But that’s the key here – consistent action needs to be taken to make anything you want in life a reality.
The power of a habit
There’s a lot that can be said about forming good habits. It’s the most underrated ingredient to any successful business. People will tell you about getting the University degree, continuously upskilling yourself, and putting in the overtime to achieve greatness. But really, the successful people are those who simply don’t give up.
It’s getting up even when you don’t want to and clocking those hours when everyone else is enjoying themselves. Someone once told me that the people who succeed in life often aren’t those who are most creative or intelligent, but rather those who simply didn’t give up.
This is powerful because it means we all can achieve whatever we set out to do if we never settle until we make it. It’s about not listening to people when they say it can’t be done. Follow that inner compass and don’t give up.
In his book the ‘Power of Habit’, author Charles Duhigg talks about the habit loop – a powerful psychological pattern. First, there’s a cue, which is a kind of trigger for an automatic behaviour to start unfolding. There’s a routine, which is the behaviour itself. Then, there’s a reward, which tells our brain whether we should store this habit for future use or not.
What gives this process it’s power is after some time, you begin craving the reward whenever you see a cue. The habit happens automatically.
Waking up every morning is my cue, which prompts me to pick up my MacBook and start working – the automatic behaviour. This routine has led to a reward, which is feeling accomplished, motivated, and inspired (and billable!)… all before even stopping for lunch.
If you can focus on instilling a positive working habit, you will find success. Don’t get distracted by all the things that people are telling you will bring you more time, money or happiness. Find your habit and do that every single day. That’s all you really need.