Why I try to wake up before dawn, and why you should too.
Why I Try to Wake up Before Dawn, and Why You Should Too
I’ll cut straight to the chase here: life’s loud!
It’s loud outside (well, depending on where you live, I guess, but there’s no question that even in a sleepy country town, it’s louder in the middle of the day). It’s loud inside—at home, people (and/or kids) are waking up and bustling around before the start of the day.
At the office, people are doing things and getting things done.
But those who’ve been up before sunrise, or those who have stayed up all night to see the sun come up—you party animals, you!—know that there’s a huge difference between the darkness of the middle of the night, and the darkness before the dawn.
You also know how that darkness gets swallowed up so quickly. How light just comes out of nowhere, as if the darkness never existed in the first place.
And in those moments, before the darkness is gone, the world seems to operate on a completely different vibration.
Doing v.s. Being
It’s cliche. I’ll own up to that. But it’s somehow remained the best kept secret, especially now when standards have become so. Incredibly. High.
Like, what did you do today?
I met with an angel investor and then did an epic live video on LinkedIn that went viral; then I went out for a vegan lunch with my billionaire mentor and got the secrets to… then I
As time goes on, expectations seem to grow, but the number of hours in the day seem to stay the same.
But there’s something about the calm and the stillness of that hour before dawn where the world doesn’t ask that from you. The world seems to, frankly, not give a darn. It’s in those moments where you can feel so blissfully small compared to this spinning, blue giant we call our home. Small, but at the same time, higher up and removed from the bustle of our lives.
The Texture of Time
It’s like time has a texture, a topography, too. There are moments in time where we're so far down in the trenches of life, both in the scale of a single day, or a week, and on the grander scale of throughout the year.
Maybe you’ve heard this mind-blowing statement that Arianna Huffington just made saying that it’s healthy to keep Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday (keeping Shabbat in the traditional sense means abstaining from working or creating in different forms).
She’s not an orthodox Jew—she’s not Jewish at all. But there’s something about tuning out from the mid-week energy and setting aside a day to plug into Being. There’s something about the spacial qualities of time that take up an inexplicable sacredness and a mundane, and the global consciousness is becoming more attuned to that.
I think it’s because we need that differentiation so much more, but that’s just my guess.
So what happens exactly, in those dips and rises in time?
Your ability to just Be, beyond Do, and your ability to see yourself as a Be-ing, not just a Do-er rises and falls, too.
The Best Kept Secret for Success
Look at anyone—Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, Casey Neistat or this list of 10 Highly Successful People who make it a point to wake up early—and they’ll tell you they operate on a different plane when they’re up before the crack of dawn (a term I actually don’t relate to at all—dawn doesn’t crack, it’s more of a blossom, but whatever).
The stoics, monks, and Jewish Sages all sought to live on the highest plane they could in any given moment. And the key to that was allowing the self a chance to Be.
Here are the qualities of Being that have lent to the success of some of the most fulfilled people that we can think of today:
You’re in a more proactive instead of reactive frame of mind.
You’re more mentally prepared for the stresses and struggles of life.
You’re more mindful of your body’s physical needs. Waking up early, you give your body the chance to wake up. By allowing yourself to hydrate better, eat more slowly and mindfully, you can start off the day with self-care and self-compassion without the pressure of having to jump into your car and get whatever you can along the way.