You show me a successful person and I'll show you one with structured daily habits.
The more successful, the more self-imposed, challenging, relevant, and active his or her habits.
Even bad-boy athletes, apparently self-indulgent rock stars, and counter-cultural artists have habits. Rather, the long-term successful ones do.
The most successful people in history and the world today are noted for their habits--success by their own standards, which could be money but could also be artistic output, peace of mind, or whatever they valued. Just as your habits can create success for you by your standards.
What makes a habit valuable and effective
If your idea of daily habits are reading the news and brushing your teeth, you're holding yourself back from your potential.
Trying to succeed in life without the structure of a habit is like building on sand. A habit gives you solid ground to build on. The more challenging and active the habit, the more solid the foundation.
A couple self-imposed daily challenging healthy activities and you're building on bedrock.
I coined the term sidcha for self-imposed daily challenging healthy activity to combine the properties of what differentiates bedrock from sand or packed dirt and created sidcha.com to elaborate on it.
Inspired by Joel Runyon's TEDx talk and writings on cold showers in his inspired and inspiring ImpossibleHQ blog, I coined sidcha during 30 days of cold showers, pondering what made certain habits so valuable.
The pattern helped me realize and act on what worked and cull what didn't. Anyone who knows me knows I have several sidchas:
- Waking up, making my bed, and crossing the room to turn off my alarm in 1 minute
- A burpee-based calisthenics routine when I wake up
- A http://joshuaspodek.com/js_blogseries/cold-showers-rockcold shower every fourth day (I expand "daily" to include precisely regular activities, and I wouldn't keep up a cold shower every day)
- Rowing or weight lifting every other day
- A burpee-based calisthenics routine before going to bed
- Picking up at least one piece of trash per day from the street
- Writing one blog post
If I only did those things, I'd consider that day a good day. More importantly, they free me from stress of wondering what I have to do to act on what I want to do.
Then I can focus and act on what I care about. That's freedom. That's a good life.
Today's unique demands
Most of our grandparents' worlds imposed structure on them with 9 to 5 jobs and public institutions that our world has caused to crumble.
Instead, today, we have social media that teams of psychologists spend their careers designing to distract. We've lost faith in public institutions so don't follow.
In other words, we have to create our own structure if we want to build our lives in bedrock. Stories of past successful people help. Learning today's successful people's habits helps navigate our challenges.
That's why I love MyMorningRoutine.com. The page shares intimate portraits of successful people and their habits in today's world. They come from CEOs, entrepreneurs, celebrities, athletes, artists, writers, scientists, military service members, and more.
Full disclosure: today's morning routine is mine. I hope you'll read it. I hope you read many of them, since each person reveals him or herself. You can only reveal yourself after finding yourself, which sidchas do.
Seeing the diversity of routines from diverse people with diverse lives and diverse values inspires and provokes reflection: the role of coffee, exercise, sleep, the night before, news, email, and so on. Do you structure and create your world or do you let it control and manipulate you? If you create it, how?
Neither the page nor the people featured do it for money. We know the value of the routines and we hope that by sharing, others will create that value for themselves. We lose nothing and society gains.
What are your daily habits and sidchas?
Do you have a daily habit? Have you developed it all the way to being a sidcha? If so, share it. Write it below.
Keep practicing it daily.