This Is How I Accidentally Lost My Laziness And Became A Morning Person

Abhineeta Raghunath Abhineeta Raghunath in Let's Face It on 27 February, 2018

04:36, Friday morning

The question isn't "Why should I wake up so early?"
The question is "How would I live my life that early?"
And the answer is, "Like your childhood, with all the freedom of an adult."

Good morning! My name is Abhineeta and I am the former World Champion of Laziness.

You know how I just said, "Like your childhood, with all the freedom of an adult"? I came up with that about five minutes ago. I'll tell you why it's special- I haven't written like that in years, and goosebumps run down my arm when I realize that I'm still capable of mashing random words in my head and coming up with a quotable-quote like that. It's like falling in love for the second time after getting your heart broken badly.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my creativity, caved into stress, made excuses, got behind on my achievements. Somewhere along the way, I became a regular person. There is nothing wrong with being a regular person, but you know what life's like- you wake up every morning, drag yourself to office, and finish yesterday's tasks while you're panicking about all your new incoming emails- stress, implode, wait for the clock to strike 6, run home, be too tired to do anything, stay up watching TV to 'relax', go to sleep, repeat.

Then something changed on April 1st last year. I accidentally woke up at 4 am and didn't feel like going to sleep. That kind of forced a reset on my body clock. Life has not been the same ever since.

At first, I used my morning time to scribble, brew strong filter coffee, reply to emails that would otherwise bug me in the middle of the day, and generally wonder if time is really as short as it seems when you snooze your alarm.

A month later, the scribbling turned to a volume of writing- the kind of writing I hadn't done for at least eight years now. I had clocked 10,000 words about the same thing. I was on to something! I started going to the office at 7 am on most mornings, and sitting alone in a huge office like that with zero background noise, I could finish most of my time-bound tasks by 9 am! My team comes in only at 9.30!

From then until lunchtime, I had the LUXURY to do something- I had the luxury to go talk to people who were just getting their day started and weren't really doing their most important work yet, I had the luxury to understand how people in different functions worked, what their priorities were and how we all ran the company together. It was like I was seeing the world with a fresh set of eyes. As a chronic story-teller, I would find enough to think about each day, wake up the next morning, write something new, carry that curiosity to work, figure out what came next, and ask more questions to people. Bye, bye boredom. Hello, achievements!

I used to think that my life has improved because of all the extra time I have. It's the same extra time you can procure if you stayed up late as well, but it's not going to be the same life. 4 am is a magical space. It's your own personal time when nobody in your life is going to reign their importance over you. You wake up and you're forced to live for yourself, and that's the worst thing about it. But the best thing is, you wake up and your brain is still programmed to be dreaming, so you're thoughts are trippy and your mind is not inhibited. Your hands are raging to make the things that you are too afraid to do when you're fully awake and being 'practical'. Nobody is looking and you can experiment with whatever you like. If you fail, so what? If you become better at something, imagine how it will reflect the next day again at 4 am when you're doing the same thing again! This is my personal fuck-off time when I can embrace the greatness that I'm too afraid to consider at any other time of day.

I worked in a large organization with hundreds of salespeople. Every month, I sat in the boardroom as senior leaders review their performance. Every month, new targets are set and new incentives are distributed. A few months ago, we used to give out pretty certificates, and then we gave out iPhones and motorbikes. Someone in the office remarked that for us, "winning is a habit". You know why that's true?

People ask me "How do you write so well?" I don't know, bro! I've been writing since I was 10 years old! I have been writing every single day for the most of my life. For me, it's not a talent anymore, it's a habit. I should have practised math the same way I worked on my writing. Then I wouldn't be struggling to calculate 15% of 1950. If you give me the answer faster than I can think, am I going to ask you "How do you divide so well?" NO. Because excellence, however small, is a habit. And it now floats like a halo over my head. 

So at 4 am in the morning, when nobody is looking and making me feel conscious, I gather some excellence, and that becomes a habit for the next day. The new awesome becomes the new normal. And when something is normal, how difficult is it for me to take a small step towards the next awesome? When I procure the next awesome, you'll say "You won!" and I'll say "But winning is a habit". It is.

After almost a year of waking up at 4 am, I'm certain that I will change the world when it sleeps. Because my world at 4 am is finally better than the reality of my most beautiful dreams.
Author's Note:

Of course, personal excellence isn't achieved overnight. There's usually someone nagging the hell out of you to be that person. I was fortunate to have found mine in my former boss. He has more of an imagination about my potential than I do myself. Every woman deserves a mentor like you, Jas. 

Editor's Note:

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