For the last couple of years, articles on the morning routines of CEOs and world-class performers have been an obsession for writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Tim Ferris wrote an entire book (Tools of Titans, see my recommended list here) that explored the concept.
I too, became caught up in the spirit of productivity and tried creating a series of rituals to kick start my day, rather than simply responding to emails and messages. While I still incorporate some exercise and wake up earlier than I’d like to, I now wake up with a simple practice: I think of three things or people that I’m grateful for.
Waking up with gratitude helps me prioritize the day in a way that a to do list has never been able to do. It provides more focus than a “smart” breakfast of brain-centric nutrients.
Lately, I’ve been adding another step to wake my mind up: none of the items of gratitude can’t be repeated. That helps me avoid falling into a routine (grateful for family, friends, etc.) and think about how I can appreciate other details in my life that are often overlooked. It’s a form of meditation that begins with appreciation. It’s that simple.