“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
– Mike Murdock
This morning was rough. Getting up at 5am was getting easier. Even though I was getting up in the dark, there would be a bit of morning twilight to greet me as I left my apartment, and by the time I left the gym, the full brightness of the day had arrived for my drive to work. I didn’t need to turn on the headlights for the drive, even in the rainy weather.
The time change made it tougher. Suddenly I was up at what my body thought was 4am. Pitch dark. Pissing rain. No light after leaving the gym, headlights on, driving in the dark. Daylight didn’t break until I had made it most of the way there.
I could have easily given up, gone back to bed and slept a few extra hours, felt more refreshed and awake as I started the week. I didn’t want to pack a lunch at 5:30am, sweat at the gym at 6am, and drive to work at 7am. I wanted to sleep, wake up naturally, have a coffee and a good breakfast. At least that’s what I told myself I really wanted…
There is a strong desire in the moment to take an easy path. Our brain offers us deals that are easy, simple, beneficial in the moment. It’s a natural desire for instant gratification. But these quick decisions often go against the work we need to do to get what we want in the long run. Everyone has this type of battle every single day. Some days the need for instant gratification is much stronger, like it was for me this morning. But how can I resist it? How can we make sure we don’t fall of the proverbial wagon and stay on the right track?
You can always trust the routine. The same path you took 100 times before. The set of actions, motions, movements that you have done that you know you must execute in order to continue progressing toward your goal. At 5am my desire was to stay in bed. But the routine dictated that I had my lunch made by 5:30, had breakfast on the table by 5:40, left for the gym by 5:50, and worked out until 6:45. The routine that I have managed since the beginning of the year, that had kept me focused and moving toward my goal in a sustainable way. The routine isn’t always fun. It’s not supposed to be. It’s work, it’s necessary. It’s rent.
“Success is never owned. It is only rented, and the rent is due every day.”
– Rory Vaden
The reality is that no matter what you do, the road is never straight and easy. There are always changing circumstances, battles, curveballs, and situations that will try to derail you. But the routine will keep you honest. It will keep you focused. It will keep you from veering off the path. You know how to follow it, and you know that it will cost you far more to ignore it. Stick to it and you will see the slow, steady progress you make turn into an incredible leap when viewed from the outside.
Never give up.