Most entrepreneurs, businesspeople and hard workers in general know that waking up early in the morning is a crucial key to productivity and success. This is also assuming you didn’t just get to bed at 2 a.m. only to wake up wishing someone would put you out of your misery before the day begins.
In a throw-back to his blog on Virgin last year, Richard Branson reminds us why we should be waking up as early as possible — because we want to, not because we have to. We don’t wake up at 5 a.m. because we have a ton of work to do, or because we want to tell people how hard-working we are. We do it because that’s what living life really means.
“Over my 50 years in business I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life.”
His blog was in response to an article in The Times which stated, among other things, that, “Waking up at 4.30am is a way leaders can passive-aggressively imply that they are trying harder than most.”
Instead, Branson tells us that waking up early is more like a symptom of a disease called passion — passion for life, business, legacy — whatever makes your life fulfilling. An artist’s passion is in art, a doctor’s is in curing people — for an entrepreneur, passion is business. “Passion breeds energy, and is essential to running a business that involves long hours and hard decisions,” explains Branson.
For an entrepreneur like Branson, his passion is in being “accessible” and serving and helping others. It’s also safe to say that a successful billionaire with over five decades of life experience might know a little bit more than younger people who tend to “live” only on the weekends.
“Most importantly, life is not a dress rehearsal, so we should live each day to its full capacity. I think it goes without saying that the days that we stretched out are more memorable than those when we got a good night’s sleep.”
As badly as some of us want to stay in bed for as long as possible, it’s actually a waste of living time. If you knew you were about to die, you’d be awake to experience everything you could cram in the little time you have left. Waking up early isn’t just about working, it’s about enjoying life, however you choose to live it — though this also implies that your extra time everyday is also devoted to exercising, eating right, spending time with loved ones and getting to bed early.
“Being an early riser isn’t about trumpeting how hard you work. It’s about doing everything within your power to help your business achieve success; and if that means you have to get up at an hour not known to most, then you might as well enjoy the sunrise.”
The next time you decide to wake up early in the morning, look at it like it’s your last day alive and you want to accomplish as much as possible in one day. Imagine that you’ve lived your whole life like that — that is a life that’s truly lived.