The single most important success practice in my life is the “Morning Ritual” of Tai Chi, affirmation, gratitude and goal-focus. I make sure to cover the “Secret Formula” elements: GOALS X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE = RESULTS. If I do that, and NOTHING ELSE directed that day, I’ve still won.
In those ten-twenty minutes (and if I didn’t know Tai Chi, I’d use Tibetans and Joint mobility. Not the same, but a decent match that covers one heck of a lot of territory) I cover:
- Basic health. The health of your joints and back and connective tissue are the health of your body, in general.
- Basic skill. Working on unconscious competence in integration of breath and movement.
- Proper stress response. Stress never hurts you if you keep the physiological reactions under control. In other words, if you breathe and move as if you are relaxed, your brain believes it. You are in the eye of the storm.
- Goal focus. Clarity on my long-term intentions.
- Goal focus. Clarity on what I need to do TODAY to take another step toward long-term goals.
- Modeling success–I do this while envisioning a powerful role model who has the ability to navigate the territory ahead. One of the most amazing things you can do, “stepping out” of your ego or perceptual limitations by asking: “What would X do?”
- “Secret Formula” work. NOTHING is more powerful in my experience. The people who think that “if you focus on what you want enough the universe will provide it” are missing a critical question: how do you know what “enough” is? I’ll tell you: when you are a fanatic about taking action every day. Can’t wait to get up out of bed and get to work. Go to bed at night with happy ideas buzzing in your head. In other words, if you aren’t motivated enough to get your butt off the couch, what the @#$$ makes you think the “universe” is going to give a damn?
- The order is different, though. I go from gratitude to goal to daily actions to faith. By knowing what my long-term goals are, what I have to do TODAY to make them happen, focusing on happiness NOW, finding belief that I CAN and SHOULD accomplish these things I create a context for every action, every motion, every breath. Everything has meaning, all the time. Everything is a way of asking “who am I” or “what is true?”
- I define the minimum action that will take me one step toward my goal. I can do more, but cannot do less. One sentence written. One page read. Three Tibetans. Scanning my goals on 3 x 5 cards. Meditating for sixty seconds five times a day. Make it so small that there is no rational reason not to do it. The “Morning Ritual” is one of those “minimums.” If I don’t do it, then I KNOW my “small self” is seeking to limit me. It stops becoming “how” or “when” and becomes “who am I? Am I a liar? Do I keep my promises to myself?” When you anchor things THERE, you have a very clear path: tell the truth, keep your promises. Choose your promises with care.
What is your morning ritual? Because if you tell me what you do, every day, I’ll tell you where you’ll end up in ten years. If you don’t like the direction you’re going in, if you constantly generate enough drama to knock you off your path, you need to look at this. Why aren’t you owning your life? What is the real pay-off?
Just some thoughts to start your week, or end your year…