The best early morning habit for success

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The best morning habit for success is going through your personal mission statement.

The way in which you do it is irrelevant. I repeat my personal mission statement in mind as soon as I open my eyes.

You can look at a vision board based on your mission statement (I do that as well). You can record your personal mission statement and listen to it on your mobile or via speakers in your bathroom while you shave or do a makeup.

You can read it from the piece of paper.

Doing is Not a Matter of Time

Some claim that finding and dedicating the time to do the things which will directly help you get the results is the most important thing.

It’s not. Especially the “finding time” part.

If you haven’t noticed yet, everybody has the same 24 hours every day. You will never “find” more of it. You will either do something productive with your time or not. Whatever your choice will be, time will pass anyway.

So, it comes down to doing. And doing comes down to motivation.

Two Faces of Motivation
Motivation has in English two meanings which have the same core, but split into two totally different directions.

The first definition is:

-A general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

-Synonyms are enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative.

This kind of inspiration “jolts” you into action. It awakens your emotions. It’s powerful. When you are inspired, you’ll often take massive action you wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

But there is a second definition and the second kind of motivation:

-The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

-Synonyms: motive, reason, incentive.

Reason-powered motivation is your internal compass, always pointing you north.

It’s the real reason for starting and continuing a discipline. Some days you will not feel much like going out and working toward it. The flames in your fire may be burning low from time to time, particularly after a big discouragement. But the fire never goes out.

Thus, you need a deep reason to do something consistently over time. You cannot base your deeds on a feeble kind of motivation, the one saying: “if I feel like it, I will do it.” You need something more reliable than that.

You Need a Personal Mission Statement

Stephen R. Covey, an author famous for his “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” had popularized this concept. In his words, a personal mission statement

“focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.”

I tell you from my experience: there is no better motivator than your personal mission statement.

First of all, it is not some message imposed on you from outside. It is your very intimate creation. Those are your words you repeat and describe who you want to become. They also include a belief that you can become such a person.

You may not be able to connect the dots at the beginning, it’s completely normal. No one is able to predict how events unfold in the next 30 or 50 years.

But you know one thing, deep in your guts: you will strive to become such a person for the next 30 or 50 years or however long it damn takes!

Deep Reason

When your “why” is big enough “how and what” will take care of themselves.

When creating my personal mission statement I discovered I want to be a writer. It was quite ridiculous dream. I was 33 years old and had been working in IT for 8 years. The last thing I wrote just for the fun of it was a short story in high school. The only piece I’ve ever “published” was my master’s thesis.

I had no idea what it takes to be a writer.

But every single day I’ve been repeating words of my personal mission statement: “I’m becoming a writer.”

I had no clue, no credentials, no skils and no experience. No publisher would’ve bet his money on me.

It was not an ideal situation for success, was it?

Becoming a Writer

My “writing career” was a bumpy ride. It took me about a month before I published my first blog post. I had spent it on “learning how to be a writer,” ha, ha, ha.

After a couple months I started writing more or less regularly. It took me about another month before I published my first fantasy short story in my native language on a literary forum.

The feedback was, putting it mildly, unenthusiastic (putting it realistically: devastating).

My dreams were verified… and teared down.

But every morning (and usually many times a day too) I was repeating “I’m becoming a writer.”

And Being a Writer

Almost 5 years later I have 15 books published and I’m every single morning I woke up to the fact that 20+ copies of them were sold yesterday. Yes, that makes well over 7,000 copies a year.

I write in English. I have a good grasp of its basics. I had been starting my education of English three times (primary school, high school and university) from the same lessons (present tense and “to be” declination).

My Quora answers got over 2.7 million views. Millions!!!

A Blurred Picture?

Can you connect the dots between the crushing criticism of my first story and the place I am at nowadays?

Neither could I, four years ago.

The only thing that guided me, was my personal mission statement.

Each step of my journey was a consequence of its guidance. When my Canadian friend mentioned that my blog post about creating a personal mission statement was fascinating and I should write a book about it, I took it on face value.

I learned self-publishing from the book of a successful self-publisher and published my first book in May 2013.

When the sales started trickling — about 1 copy a day for $0.99, so I earned about $0.25 on it — I was STOKED! People were willing to pay money for something I had written.

For the next half a year I had been happily writing four more books. During that time I earned 11 euro from book sales. I sold 145 copies of my books in five months and one week since publishing my first book.

On 23rd of September 2013 I finally resolved to write every single day. I haven’t missed a single day since then.

My Writer’s Story Unfolding

The book I wrote in October 2013 when I was nobody in the writing world became a bestseller in February 2014 and sold 700 copies.

And for the whole time, every single day I had been repeating a sentence from my personal mission statement: “I’m becoming a writer.”

In March 2013, after the success of my 5th book I finally changed it into “I’m a writer.”

The five books I wrote in 2012? They earned me approximately $1,200 in the last quarter.

There were many more bumps along the way: 6th book didn’t do well, I found a publisher, I lost a publisher, I published 2 bestsellers in a row, I published a flop that ruined my self-confidence, I recovered and published five more books only to helplessly observe how my sales shrunk to the levels from two years ago…

And every day I repeated, “I’m a writer.”

This is the Power of Personal Mission Statement

I hadn’t been finding time to write. I hadn’t been doing things which would directly help me get the results. I had no clue which things would get me the results! I had no clue about being a writer! It took me almost a year to conclude that writers write and I need to write every day.

However, each day I have been feeding my mind with the message that I’m becoming a writer, that I’m the one. In the result I figured out which things I need to do. I blocked my time to do them. I have been doing that for years, day after day.

I don’t know a more effective morning habit for success. Gratitude journaling makes you positive and increases everything you feel, think and do, but it doesn’t provide the intimate guidance on daily basis.

You can achieve anything if this is your personal mission.

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that can change the world, are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs

To repeat your personal mission statement every day, you need to create it first, of course.

If you want to write your own mission statement, this blog post of mine may help you:

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement?

This article first appeared on Medium