Craig Ballantyne has been the Editor of Early to Rise since 2011. He’s also a Strength & Conditioning coach in Toronto, author of Turbulence Training, a contributing author to Men’s Health magazine, and a member of the Training Advisory Board for Maximum Fitness and Oxygen magazines.
“Success is simple”
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do”~Epictietus
1. The First Mistake You Make in the Morning is Reacting vs. Responding
In the mornings, it is so easy to sleep through your alarm, start your morning in a frenzy and get put into a mode of reaction vs. responding.
When you start your day this way, the day is already lost, you have already fallen into the trap of reacting to your environment instead of responding to circumstances that you had already planned and prepared for.
To beat this, wake up 15 minutes before you have to and focus on your goals.
Not one hours, not two hours, just 15 minutes. 15 minutes to allow yourself to focus your intentions for the day and get into peak state. Consider it a gift to yourself, and after a few weeks of this your results and productivity will sky rocket.
2. Do a Brain Dump at the End of the Day
As we go on through our days, our brains become cluttered with all sorts of stuff from work, family, personal struggles, past failures, and future worries. At the end of each day, do what is referred to as a brain dump, where you sit and write out everything that is on your mind so that you are no longer mulling over it while you should be present.
Doing this will allow you to clear your head and show up fully whenever you are with your family, relaxing at the end of the day, hanging out with friends, or anything else that you decide to do.
3. Create a Vision Statement
One of the most important things that you can do is to decide where you are going and who you want to be and condense this into a mission statement that will remind you of your goals and keep you on track when decision making becomes difficult.
By having a vision that you are moving towards, you will stay focused on where you are headed instead of the pain of sacrificing pleasure in the moment for gain in the future.
4. Its not what you can do but what you can avoid doing
A significant portion of success is not just knowing what to do, but knowing what to avoid doing.
If you can understand your stumbling blocks, the things that cause you to fail and fall, and the distractions that prevent you from achieving at the level that you want to be, then you have won half of the battle.
By finding ways to use accountability and leverage to eliminate these distractions entirely, you will boost your productivity, happiness, and success 10 fold over.
5. Create Personal Commandments
In adittion to your vision statement, one of the best ways to add structure and simplicity into your life is to create personal commandments, rules that you follow no matter what that can guide you and make decisions easy.
Some examples of personal commandments could be
- I will not watch porn
- I will limit alcohol consumption to 3x a week, and never more than 2 drinks a night
- I will stay faithful to my wife no matter the temptation
- I will always give 10% of my income to a noble charity
I can’t tell you what your commandments should be, but having a list of rules and guidelines that you follow is absolutely essential to becoming the man you want to be.
6. Structure Creates Freedom
Throughout much of the interview Craig discusses creating rules and guidelines for your life, and many of you may be turned off by the concept. But what you may not realize is that structure creates freedom.
By having rules in place you are free making difficult decisions based solely off of emotion, by having structure in your life, you will increase your success and free time and have more freedom to pursue the things you love and spend time with people that you love.
7. Follow the Law of Action Attraction
While many peopele may ascribe to the “Secret’s” law of attraction, Craig suggests the law of action attraction.
Basically focus on what you want, create the vision board, write the goals out, say your affirmations, and then take MASSIVE ACTION to achieve those goals.
Surround yourself with A+ players, create a mastermind, enlist the help of smarter people to aid you in achieving your goals, and take massive action.
Not only will you attract what you want into your life, but you will have taken the proper proportion of action required to ensure that you are ready for it.
8. Before You Start on the Journey Ask If It’s Worth It
Before you start down any journey, you must decide if it’s worth it. You have to have a strong enough reason for doing anything, or you will fail,. Plain and simple.
Whether the journey is a new instrument, sport, business, or relationship, ask if it is worth it before you begin and compare the opportunity to your vision statement and personal commandments
1.The Art of Living by Epictetus
2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
3. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harsh