Twenty years from now, you would be disappointed with the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off your bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Early 2014, I made it a goal for me to be an early riser. At this point of time, I am pretty familiar with Charles Duhigg’s habits modification theory. I got my cue and my rewards in check. My cue is the time when my alarm would ring, 10 meter from my bed so I’d be forced to walk. My rewards are plenty, which I can’t really reveal it here as some of it, well I’m ashamed to tell! But I can say it involves eating ice-creams and juices in the morning.
But I kept failing. I failed miserably.
One look at my journal where I kept the time I get up in the morning revealed that I never managed to stay awake past 530 am. These gone on and on inclusive of Ramadhan month, where we need to fast during the day and we need to wake up prior to sunrise to eat. I kind of labeled myself to be not an early riser at this point and throw off the towel when I beginning to find out despite slowly, the holy grail of waking up early.
Well what happened during the Ramadhan month is I can’t barely contain my eyes past 530am. So, I would lose to the struggle to keep waking up and be the early riser that I want, sleeping back and only to wake up close to 830am – rushing to go to office. I’d be dreading the day until it repeats all over again.
However by this time, I had been pretty close. At least I had managed the habit to wake up early (technically) although I would sleep half an hour later. At this time, it hits me! Boom. Perhaps, I need a why so strong that I can swim upstream. I need a reason for staying awake that’s so close to me that I longed to be waking up in the morning.
Then I go down the rabbit hole of asking myself a lot.
Why is it I need to wake up early? Is it just for pride on achieving yet another goal? I’m pretty competitive so it might as well be true. Upon closer look however that’s not the case. I’d love to be alone and solitude most of the time and pride has no real bearing outside casual banter with friends. However, at this point I am already deep in questions. I kept asking why, why, why?
Why did I do that?
What’s my motives and desires?
I realized that when you asked why on every endeavor you want to be doing, it often led it the source. And the source is as you can guess. Is the dream.
Well, I wouldn’t be ahead of myself and telling you that I have found my dreams. It’s an ever going process. It’ like turning on your Windows 95 PC and watching it slowly unravels. It started with vague images and borderless words until over time it slowly become clear.
And I can say with confidence now that I am already an early riser. Being able to wake up within 0450-0659 85% of the time for the past 5 months. Of course I’m still working for getting myself towards waking up every morning by 450am, but sometimes life happens so I’m at peace with it.
The reason I can achieve waking up early and become the exclusive member of Robin Sharma’s glamorous 5AM club boiled down to becoming clear of your dreams.
What dreams and passions get anything to do with waking up early?
Apparently by becoming clear on my dreams, I felt the reason in my skin. I can connect the dots now, in every days I wake up I can’t wait to be hitting the road running and studying the topics that interest me. I discovered now that by utilizing the time wisely, I’d be closer even though it’s perhaps 1 more inch, but I’m progressing slowly to be the man I can be. To be the man I envision myself to be. I realized now that it’s what makes me happy. I just want to feel that I am productive. I like to feel driven to the cause that I can relate to. My alarm sounded at 450am in the morning and I am lit up with gratitude, eyes so big, with smile so wide, crazily happy that I got to wake up and do the Most Important Things that I am up to. And it’s all started with asking;
What is my dream?
What is your dream?
It will be long arduous process of knowing yourself and I didn’t know if it’s the right dream or not. But I don’t care. For the longest time, I have experience life without direction. I lived it in the major parts of my youth. I never questioned that and just plodded along to get by. I thought that was what I should be doing. I never asked what I want to be doing instead? Those are hard questions. I understand. It’s so easy to stay where we are comfortable and be safe. Maybe next time I’ll try to do that thing that I want. Maybe next year, I’d figure myself. Luckily, I am in the state of anxiety, and I knew something need to change. As a result, I started to have goals but not dreams. Despite reaching my personal and career goals I finally arrived to the right time of asking myself, what is my dream?
And it’s not only useful for waking up early.
BECOMING LASER FOCUS TO THINGS THAT MATTERS
I found out, when you’re clear of your dream, it will be so easy to say no to the thing that don’t matter. Heck, you know what matters. You’d be intentional every time. You’d be present. You clear up the space for things that matters most, you clear up space for health, relationship, connection and contribution.
Facebook and TV loses its appeals. Unless of course if your dream is to being an internet marketer or TV producer =)
HAVING BOUNDLESS ENERGY RESERVOIR
And because you’re man on a mission, your cylinders and synapses are firing at different levels. You see the world just perfect for all it’s imperfections. And boy, there are opportunities everywhere! You’d mind less the thing you can’t control and strive to change the things that’s within your control. You’d be curious and start having boundless energy every time! You exudes the vibration that others just wish to have. Having the dreams, regardless of whether it’s true or not gives you that inner drive to achieve it. And this is the perfect reward. Because it came from within.
Paulo Coelho said it best when he wrote, “Dreams provide nourishment to the soul as the meal to the body”
You know the speech that changed the world by Martin Luther King, it started with “I have a dream..”. And it changed literally everything.
So, Ladies & Gentlemen,
I urged you to start dreaming. Your dreams can be of anything.
My friends wish to travel every country in the world. To experience world and embrace the people so he started small by visiting South East Asian countries.
Another friends dream is to see good Process Engineers from Malaysia at all the consultant companies rather than needing to depend on expatriates, so he started by first being the good Process Engineer himself.
And what about my dream? Well my dream is to create. To strive and dedicate my time every time, everyday to be intentional on creating. It can be anything, writing, composing, connecting, inventing, innovating, blueprinting, designing, speaking and brainstorming, all while achieving financial freedom. Of course you need to feed your kids.
Is it right? Is it wrong?
It doesn’t matter. As you go along you might add other dreams that can move you. You’re toastmasters. You’re driven and smart. You come to this important meeting while others are at home watching TV. I just want you to step back and ask yourself, tonight.
What is my dream? What is your dream?
To those who cares and want to give themselves the best gift they ever need.