Are you a morning person? Probably not. Americans are a sleep-deprived lot with chronic fatigue and a general loathing of the alarm clock. But what if your mornings turned 180 degrees and became the very tool that you use to improve your engineering career and your life?
Everyone has radar that picks up tips that promise to change everything. Facebook and its constant stream of inspirational memes is evidence enough of that. But Hal Elrod’s book, “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM),” might just hold a few important techniques that you can use in earnest, and you can start tomorrow.
Waking Early Improves Almost Everything
The idea certainly isn’t new. Think about all of the adages that you grew up with. The early bird catches the worm, for example. Successful people typically have routines. Among them is waking early and using that time purposefully.
Business Insider lists several successful early risers, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook; Starbucks CEP, Howard Schultz; General Motors CEO, Mary Barra; and First Lady, Michelle Obama. Early risers are often better planners and problem solvers, have time for exercise, sleep better, and are more optimistic.
“The Miracle Morning” Could Make You Happy to Greet Tomorrow
Elrod’s book focuses on waking early and using that time to work on yourself for a happier and more successful life. It’s not about engineering, but that’s your career. So it is about engineering as that applies to you. If you were a rocket scientist, then that’s what it would be about.
Quiet time in the morning lets you form your plans, motivate yourself, and start your day with a deliberate course in mind. Imagine how different that can be from hitting the snooze button, eventually climbing out of bed, and then making your way on the daily commute with a frazzled mind. It helps you act instead of react.
A Great Morning Begins the Night Before
Elrod’s plan really begins the night before. When you’re ready for sleep, he recommends that you spend a few minutes thinking about why waking early will be great. No, that’s not a joke, even if you and the alarm clock are bitter enemies. He believes that the last thing you think about before sleep helps form your attitude when you wake.
The challenging part will probably be keeping that focus as you fall asleep. We’re conditioned to worry and stress over the events of the day, and what lies ahead the next day. It takes practice, but many things worth accomplishing do.
Miracle Mornings are L.I.F.E.S.A.V.E.R.S.
The Miracle Morning plan is based on the acronym, Life SAVERS:
- S – Silence
- A – Affirmations
- V – Visualization
- E – Exercise
- R – Reading
- S – Scribe
Here’s how that breaks down. When you first wake up, spend time in silence. Breathe deep, clear your head, meditate if that’s something you like to do, and try to gain control over how the rest of your day will play out. Next come your affirmations. During this time, you’ll remind yourself about all of the things that you want to accomplish, and why they’re important.
Visualization comes next, where you picture yourself achieving those goals and living that life. Scribing or journaling lets you document what’s important, what you’re grateful for, and what you want to accomplish that day. Reading and exercise round out the list. Spend some time, even just a few minutes, reading a self-improvement book and then get your blood flowing through exercise.
This Method Can Help Boost Your Career
Anthony Fasano, career coach for Engineering.com, says The Miracle Morning changed his life. In his interview with Elrod, which is available via podcast, he focuses on the importance of mornings for shaping nearly everything.
Morning routines help you make the most of your time in a deliberate way. They give you a chance to set career and life goals, and the time to put conscious effort into shaping them. Perhaps most important, they can even affect your work and personal relationships in a positive way.
The Miracle Morning might not be a genuine miracle, but it can help you create your life instead of living stressed and scattered. If that was all that it accomplished, you’d still be ahead of the game.
By implementing the Life S.A.V.E.R.S routine, you’ll wake on time, get your head together, and go out into your day with a purpose. Who knows? It could even make you a morning person.
PDH Academy is committed to helping engineering professionals keep moving forward. While you’re working toward life goals, we help you get the professional development hours necessary for licensing and association memberships. Check out our courses when your next credit hours are due.