# 28 on my 99 Life Tips–A List is: Become an early riser…it’s the only possible chance you have to start the day being proactive and not reactive. If you start the day reactive: Aalarm>Commute>Schedule>Boss>tnbox), none of the day will feel like it was yours.
First impressions are everything right? You get one start to each day. So rise early; be proactive, and own your day from jump. If you start the day with a reactive routine (the sequence described above), none of the day will feel like it was yours.
In the early morning, when it’s still dark out, I feel like the entire day is mine to do with as I will. I enjoy this feeling so much I’m rarely wakened by an alarm. Curiously, I routinely wake 5-10 minutes before the set time. I’ve done this for over 20 years, and in the absence of a severe hangover, a rarity in the extreme, the alarm is superfluous.
When you rise early, you wake to a different world than the one that has been cranking along at full speed for a couple of hours. There is a newness, a freshness, a feeling of prospective possibility for what the day could hold.
Rude Jolts Are Rude
If you’re jolted to consciousness by the screech of an alarm, you’re slammed rudely into a day already making demands of you.
“Wake up!” it’s screaming. “You’re gonna be late!”
God, I hate that feeling. If you’ve any hope of creating a life you want to be living, much less one in which you are also a creative creator, you must break this reactionary cycle.
Creativity cannot exist simultaneously, with the chest tightening reactive responses to life’s incessant demands. It requires space to breathe.
Someone may not dictate your day in exactly the way described in my first paragraph: alarm to commute to schedule to boss, etc. But, if it’s anything like that, the only way to feel like the day is yours is to start with that first hour when it can be yours. Else, you’re just a human pinball.
Many try to carve out “me-time” at the end of their day. The time after dinner, and before collapsing into bed, becomes the time to “recover” from the day. Sometimes the recovery encroaches on the next day, robbing from sleep, adding fatigue to shock when tomorrow’s alarm goes off.
I prefer to “precover” by preparing myself to meet the day on my own terms, on the front end, and not just once I complete all the day’s requirements. I take “me-time” first. Life is uncertain, after all.
I have a ritual. It involves coffee, gratitude, and quiet listening. I want to hear the sounds of an unfolding day in a state of recognition that it won’t come around again. I want to listen to what my heart tells me I should do with it. If I’m harried, rushed, and pressured by external demands, I want to sit still and contemplate what I can change.