Navy SEAL Jocko Willink gets up every day at 4 a.m. – after going to bed just four hours earlier. That’s surprising, but what’s even more shocking is the fact that he credits how early he rises to his success in nearly every part of his life.
In fact, he isn’t alone. The military often prides early to rise, early to bed, but what is it about this kind of schedule that makes it so special? And furthermore, why does the idea of getting up so early seem so agonizing to most of us?
We pulled the highlights out of Willink’s article from Business Insider, and he has a lot of helpful advice to share. From how winning even the smallest battles preps you for success to how it breeds the discipline you need to stay on track, this is the Navy SEAL secret to everyday success.
The most essential part of Navy SEAL training is waking up before 5 a.m. every day. It sounds trivial and too simple to work, but it makes all the difference in the world. You’ll develop an unbreakable will and achieving your goals will become second nature with some dedication to crawling out of bed.
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Waking up Early is Practical
Waking up at the crack of dawn is practical and productive. There are far more motivating reasons to crawl out of bed so early, but the practicality should be convincing enough on its own. The early bird honestly does get the worm.
Think about it. Who else is awake at 4 a.m. to draw your attention? Consider the amount of time you’re distracted by other people and your wireless devices throughout an average day. Everything is always vying for your attention.
The world is still asleep at 4 a.m. and that’s key. It’s the perfect time for you to make something happen. Make progress on a project or write that blog post you never seem to have time for. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with one or two hours of uninterrupted focus time every day – no distractions invited.
Discipline Equals Freedom
Discipline is the real reason to wake up before 5 a.m. every single day. Your alarm is the first test of your day. You can fail the test and stay in your comfortable bed, or you can win the fight and get up. Your choice sets the tone for the rest of the day, so start it off with a victory.
Getting out of bed seems like a small battle to fight, but the implications trickle down into every other decision you make that day. You’re more likely to give into temptation. Maybe you bought something you really don’t need. Perhaps you ate a few donuts that your friendly co-worker brought that morning. You know donuts aren’t healthy, but you failed to resist that urge just like you were unable to get out of bed early that morning.
Starting off every day with that first bit of discipline makes it easier to resist distractions and temptations. Over a few weeks and months, that discipline turns into an iron will. You’ll cease leaving tasks to the last minute or struggling to find the motivation to exercise every day. Developing a strong sense of discipline grants you true freedom.
Every Day Matters
Every day is the beginning of a fulfilling and productive life when you wake up at 4 a.m. Each day is an opportunity to get one step closer to your dreams. You should make today as productive as possible, but don’t fixate on your failures when they happen. Achieving the end goal is what ultimately matters, so keep waking up early and keep pushing forward no matter how many setbacks you encounter.
Relentless discipline is how the Navy SEALs stay ahead of the pack. Their secret is waking up at 4 a.m. every day to develop that discipline. There’s nothing but yourself stopping you from accomplishing what a Navy SEAL does, so win every day by waking up early.