I love listening to Timothy Ferriss (who doesn’t?). His podcast is one that i often frequent. His unique viewpoint that is a mixture of aggression, intellectual curiosity, and practical tactician insight is intriguing to listen to. His podcasts usually consist of him interviewing world-class performers and deconstructing their habits, thought processes, and viewpoints in the hope of distilling wisdom that can be disseminated to his followers.
This particular podcast was a bit different. This actually is like some of his earlier podcasts that were in the format of short to medium essays that addressed specific topics. In this podcast Tim (Can I call you that? Thanks.) talks about some morning rituals that help him to effectively get a mental head-start on the day.
I think we all instinctively can appreciate the value of rituals. Not rituals in the sense of slitting rabbit’s throats and painting 6 pointed stars on the ground although I’m sure there were reasons for those. (At least I hope not). But rituals in the sense of repetitive behaviors performed in situations where the outcome is uncertain in order to reduce anxiety, and induce a feeling of control.
However, if your not feeling very instinctual here’s some science: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-rituals-work/
Timothy outlines the benefits of his morning rituals which consist of 5 activities:
- Making the bed
- Making Tea
- Spinal decompression via gravity boots
- Keeping a Journal
Couple thoughts on each:
Making the bed: I do a horrible job of this. It feels like I actually make the bed more messy after I wake up. But I can speak to the sense of peace that a made up bed gives me when I stroll back into the room later on in the day. I’m going to make an effort to do this for a week.
Meditation: I’ve been struggling with integrating meditation into my daily practice for some years now. The method I usually use is focusing on my breath for around 10 minutes – especially when my mind is especially chaotic. Which is very American. Very prescriptive after the fact, instead of taking more of a preventative position. I think in order for the changes that I want to make in my life to really take shape..I’m going to have to wake up a bit earlier. I’d like to [ideally] run a mile in the morning and then get some meditation in + make my bed. Which would require around 20-30 minutes of time + the time it takes me to actually roll out of bed.
Making tea: Sounds relaxing..but I don’t see myself integrating this into my morning routine just yet. to be honest, I think Spinal decompression also falls into this camp. Although there seems to be some evidence that spinal decompression can be very helpful for nutrient diffusion in people who do put a lot of strain on their backs.
Journaling: I actually find this to be a most helpful practice..although it is not currently part of my morning routine. I do find when I have nebulous worries or frustrations that I’m not really able to put a finger on keeping a journal helps me to spill my thoughts onto a page. This blog also serves a similar purpose. A place to solidify thoughts, and maybe get rid of some unwieldy and recurrent anxieties. I think it can also be helpful for setting priorities for the day. I think that maybe moving this from an evening activity to a morning activity may help me to get a better handle on day.
Definitely enjoyed this show!