4AM Club

I wake up every day before 04:00. That's seven days a week. Every time the subject comes up I get looks that range between fascination, respect but also plenty of "what the fuck dude?".

Over the years, I came across many posts about the "4AM club." Usually, those are about incredible business success (that's how you get it. Pay attention, folks!) tied to the daily routines of unrelatable people like Tim Cook or Michelle Obama.

If it only were that easy.

I don't see myself as successful in the conventional sense. Yet, I'm very happy with where I am in life, and it's not because I wake up early.

I guess the biggest indicator of this habit leading anywhere near financial success is probably discipline. If you can get up daily before everyone else, you're likely pretty disciplined.

But then again, you might've just disciplined yourself for 21 days and established a habit. Because for me, it's become automatic. It's not particularly difficult or challenging anymore. In fact, I'm excited when I hear my alarm and can jump out of bed.

That said, why I decided to start my days early has practical reasons. I have a bunch of side projects that I want to work on and can do so only outside my day job hours. Usually that would mean late afternoons, evenings or late nights. But, I have two little kids and I reserve afternoons and evenings for them.

Add to that, after working a full day and playing with the little monkeys all afternoon, I'm usually pretty spent in the evenings. Picking out a Netflix movie is already a major challenge at this point in the day. Well, it actually always is but you get what I'm saying.

That's why I've decided to go to sleep with them. Read stories together, sleep, recharge. Lights out at 8:30pm.

To some friends here in Spain, that sounds odd and draws more skepticism than my early rising. When we go to sleep it's most people's dinner time over here. But, to me that whole thing is yet another Nazi related mistake. It's also the reason why our family keeps all our social gatherings and whatnot during lunchtime.

Anyway, I then came to realize that my morning hours are even more precious than I thought. Take away the side projects and replace it with general me-time. It has been studied widely that when you lead a busy life, as one does with two toddlers around, it is pretty darn healthy to have time to do whatever the hell you like.

To me right now, it's creating things. My side hustles. Those bring me joy, excitement and self-fulfilment. That might change at some point and could use that time for running and reading, but it's still my time. And I think I'm much better off protecting that.

The exact time doesn't matter. Waking up at 3:30 am works for me, but it might not for others. However, being intentional about these things is a better approach to life than thinking waking up early will make you successful. That's not Tim Cook's secret sauce either. It does feel cool though being up before Jocko does. 🙂

How about you? Are you a morning person? Are you intentional about your time? Hit me up on the twitters, I would love to hear more about that!