My mornings are set with basic and consistent routines; routines I usually look forward to when I awake. As time goes on, my commitments begin to grow and the demand for my time grows even more. This makes me very deliberate and disciplined with my morning routine. I awake at 0430 a.m., brew a black cup of coffee with cinnamon, and then I read the Wall Street Journal front to back. The silence at this hour is the most enjoyable. Then my wife and two Golden Retrievers awake shortly after and we embark on an hour-long hike. Upon returning home, I engage in the usual hygiene (i.e. shower, shave, and another cup of coffee) followed by a fast until lunch. Rinse and repeat. Yet, I am always looking to improve my levels of discipline.
The following are a few books I recently enjoyed for their ability to enhance my personal growth. These tomes come with simple and straightforward ideas, techniques, and disciplines that anyone can add to their morning routine(s), in the hopes to lead a healthier life with less anxiety and by adding more efficient productivity.
STILLNESS IS THE KEY, by Ryan Holiday
Biggest take-aways are to implement more walking, learning accountability from Navy Seal Jocko Willink, or saying “no” more. Adding journaling to reflect on the day and improve oneself is also an idea I would like to implement. Holiday provides a whole chapter on building a routine for the day. Like all of Holiday’s books, this is another to add to your library.
THE WAY OF THE ICEMAN, How the Wim Hof Method Creates Radiant, Long term Health—USING THE SCIENCE AND SECRETS OF BREATH CONTROL, COLD-TRAINING AND COMMITMENT by Wim Hof and Koen De Jong
The out of the ordinary, such as the Earthing (going bare foot more), focused breathing and cold exposure (starting with cold showers) are tools meant to influence our autonomic nervous system and reap tremendous health benefits. This book is an eye opener for those who enjoy the traditional comfort of hot showers. It will be a foreign concept for those not familiar with cold exposure. Before I start using a cryo-chamber at home I will begin by adding cold showers in the a.m. and ice baths sporadically.
THE WARRIOR’S BOOK OF VIRTUES, by Nick Benas, Matt Bloom, Buzz Bryan
Start with the first chapter on Discipline and make a plan. There are vignettes of the authors’ foibles and lessons learned throughout their military service and time in Iraq. There are lessons to reflect back on to help you tackle awareness, and structure your day. At the end of each chapter you will find a 9-Line Report identifying the enemy and establishing a plan of action. You will have prompts that allow you to check-in, identify your issues, prioritize, make a detailed plan, set goals and commit.
AUTOHYPNOSIS A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO SELF-HYPNOSIS, LEFT BRAIN -RIGHT BRAIN TECHNIQUES FOR RELEASING CREATIVE ENERGY by Ronald Shone first published 1982
A great elementary and instructional book on hypnosis with early and foundational thoughts on positive thinking. There are great training suggestions and relaxation tactics through self-hypnosis scattered about. This can be used as a great tool during those quiet morning hours.