If the most successful people start their days at 4 a.m., then I question just how successful they actually are.
I keep reading articles about how rich people start their days super early in the morning, and it usually just makes me think that I’ve got a much better life than them.
For me, a successful day is one that includes a nap, time to read, or maybe the opportunity to lie in bed and watch television. It certainly doesn’t involve getting up at 4 a.m. to work on reports or spreadsheets. In fact, the only spreadsheets I want to see at 4 a.m. are bed spreads and fitted sheets (not top sheets).
Articles such as this Wall Street Journal piece make good points about how getting up at 4 a.m. is advantageous because there are minimal distractions, most people aren’t emailing you and there is less to see on social media so that you can focus on work. In addition, some people like the quiet of 4 a.m. and others like to jog at that terrible hour so that they can get their exercise out of the way early before they start their work.
While those are all strong arguments, they also raise important questions.
Why not ignore social media for a little while no matter when you are working? – It doesn’t have to be a distraction unless you let it.
Don’t highly successful people have to answer emails early in the morning anyway? – Surely some emails came in later in the day or in the evening, so they will have to spend time on those. Also, they could just ignore their email at a few times during the day so they could focus on their work.
Why not just shut your office door and ask not to be bothered? – Do highly successful people not have doors? Does that allow opportunity to enter freely?
What happens if everyone else follows suit and also begins starting their days at 4 a.m.? – Will the highly successful people then start at 2 a.m.?
Perhaps the key question here, though, is what does this mean for me? – Why do I care what time they get up in the morning? Have you seen how many articles are out there telling you about all of these important habits that we need to copy from highly successful people? I am sure they have some good advice, but so do plenty of people who aren’t highly successful. And how do they define highly successful anyway?
In terms of wealth, fame or power, I’m certainly not highly successful, but surely there’s a lot more to success than that. In fact, this seems like a good time to examine my success.
Money – Well, I’m certainly not rich, but I’m paying my bills and my family and I have a warm house and plenty of food, so I’d say we are pretty doing pretty well. I should also add that the cat would argue that we never have enough food and that I should get up at 4 a.m. to feed her.
Power – Well, I don’t really have much power over people, but the pets sometimes listen to me, the computer turns on when I ask it to, I have finally figured out the remote control and I have the power of persuasiveness to get people to help me. Thinking a little more about it now, the cat never really listens to me.
Fame – I’ll be honest, I think about this item way more than I should. I don’t have thousands of readers and most people don’t know me as a writer. At the same time, though, a few people do read the posts that I put out there, and that’s pretty amazing.
Success, like fame, is all relative. If you want to be writer, you don’t have to follow society’s definition of a “highly successful” writer in order to be a success. I believe that you should define what you determine to be a success.
It’s the same way with whatever you want to do in life. Society puts too much pressure on everyone to live up to its definition of highly successful, when really all that matters is your own definition.
For me, I honestly haven’t gotten all that far with writing, but I’m very happy with my success. I have a great life, family and friends that I could never work hard enough to deserve and a cat that tolerates me.
In addition, I enjoy my writing and love that a few people read it and hopefully enjoy it. Oh, and I’m extremely thankful that I rarely have to get up at 4 a.m. If you like getting up at 4 a.m., then you should do that and I think that’s super. But for me, feel pretty successful about sleeping in until 7 a.m. or so.