Getting up early

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
But I don't think there is any moral dimension to waking up in the morning. I would not like to live my life with the mindset that every moment and decision is a test that I have to pass by forcing myself to make the less pleasant choice.
Good point, Steve. Your time is temporary here; if you choose to maximize your productivity to make some sort of impact on the world, you will need to do this. You will also, at some point, suffer the symptoms of living your high stress existence. It's a choice. But we are so much more accepting of it when we're younger.

I completely understand Jocko's points, especially as applied while he was active-duty. I spent too much of my 47 years trying to punch square pegs into round holes and very little to show for it. The Army carried on without me and the physiological years I gave to it, far exceeding the actual years. I now choose to live my life in way that allows me to slide round pegs into round holes. Breathing and somatic practice is far more important to me than hammering away at trying to make sinister or run a fast 10k or the like. Though I do still hammer from time to time.

I arrange my life so I get to bed early and naturally wake up between 4 & 5am. I haven't used an alarm in over a decade, and I love it. Most of my existence, now, is "flow" rather than "hammer", and the people I attract into my very small circle are amiable to this idea.

I am getting set to launch a weekend workshop that will teach others how to flow to reduce stress, and just relax. You can't keep pounding away and expect to be healthy, at least not in the long-term. Again, I agree with Jocko in the proper context, and in the proper time of your life.
 

mikhael

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Wow, a lot of very interesting answers here. Thank you all for taking part of this thread. Now I know you a little bit better :)
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I come from 38 years of trying to get sleep when I could. Quality is important, but so is quantity. When you are young you can get by shortening both, but you will pay for it as you age.
 

Stoney

Double-Digit Post Count
I get up at 0500 every morning so I have time to workout and so I have plenty of time to get things squared away for work.

If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win — you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail.
I couldn't agree more with Jocko on this.

Here is another quote from Jocko that really opened my eyes and changed how I approach things:

"Don't rely on motivation. Motivation is fickle. You can be hungry and loose motivation. Instead, rely on discipline".
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Here is another quote from Jocko that really opened my eyes and changed how I approach things:

"Don't rely on motivation. Motivation is fickle. You can be hungry and loose motivation. Instead, rely on discipline".
The version of this idea that I keep in mind (not sure of the source) is "Motivation is cheap; dedication is priceless."

I interpret motivation as your reasons for wanting to do something (which can be intellectual, emotional, biological, etc.), and dedication as the habit of actually doing it. I like this better than motivation/discipline since I interpret discipline as also being an internal force -- the WILL to act, rather than the habit of action. Dedication to me focuses on the action itself.

I also see discipline as connoting forcing myself to do things that I might not want to do, whereas I think of dedication as being committed to doing things I really do want to do. It just has a more positive focus to me. Others might see the two terms are being more interchangeable or having different connotations than I do, or the whole discussion as being a pointless semantic game, but that's how I look at it.

Of course a lot of the things we need/want to do have mixed motivations behind them. There are various and competing reasons and rewards, and types of reasons and rewards, for both doing them and avoiding them. So as much as I can ignore the internal conflicts and just focus on action, the happier and more productive I tend to be.

Then there's Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no 'try.'"
 
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MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
I've been a Jocko follower for quite a while but the whole up before the enemy thing is getting kind of old.

Do you still get points if you're up later than the enemy? You're still awake while they are not. No different than the opposite.

Also Jocko, you constantly harp on discipline all while admitting that you need more sleep and want to get more. Which is it? Do you have the discipline to sleep until 530 instead of 430 or not?
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Do you still get points if you're up later than the enemy? You're still awake while they are not. No different than the opposite.
Yes, if you don't use the time you get by waking up earlier to attack them while they are still asleep or the other way around if you don't attack them while they are already asleep, what does it matter?

I may have missed something in this thread, but what about going to sleep early enough that you wake up rested without an alarm clock?
IMO the best you can do and after a while of using an alarm clock you get in a rhythm and don't need it anymore. I still use it as a safety net though.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
@MattM I believe in a few podcasts Jocko mentions that his whole life he has been a guy who doesn't need a ton of sleep. Also multiple times mentioned that he would not recommend his practice to others. The whole "0445" club thing was more about getting people to realize that they can own their day by starting off on the right foot. It doesn't matter when you get up, but are you wasting time? If you do the right things to prime yourself for your day, you've already won. Tony Robbins discusses a lot about this as well, as does Tim Ferriss. I agree, the whole "up before the enemy" is a little bit sensational, but take it with a grain of salt. 95% of his message solid IMO. Use what you like, discard what is unnecessary, etc.

Also, I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again - the best thing I ever did was start using a smart alarm clock, one that measures your REM cycle and wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase to reduce grogginess. Just set a half hour window (I end the window at the latest possible time I would want to wake up). I don't even care if its 100% placebo, it works wonders.
 

BCman

Triple-Digit Post Count
I get up at 2:30 am and start work at 4:00 am. Early last year I would do my S&S Swings every morning and felt fantastic about achieving something that most never do before work, especially that early.
I read this thread last week and tried to do my swings early, and gave up quickly! :(
I'll have to start getting up at 2:15 to properly warm up my joints before the swings.
I agree that a good start to the day sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Al
 

Chrisdavisjr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
This thread seems to have confirmed my growing suspicions that I'm a fairly lazy individual. On work days I get up at 7am to have breakfast, coffee and practise French before leaving the house at 7:50 to get to work for 10am (my commute sucks). I get home at around 8pm (provided I finish work on time) and have to train, prepare and eat dinner and bathe before getting to bed for 11pm if I'm up the following day.

On days off, I turn off my alarm and sleep until I wake. Typically this will be between 8:30-10am.

The worst aspect of this current 'routine' is the 4 hours spent travelling on the train on work days. I try to read as much as is possible while on the move (I did the bulk of my studying for my personal training certification this way) but there's little else productive I can do as I travel. Sometimes I'll sleep a little extra on the train if I need to.

I've learned in recent months that quality of sleep is as important as quantity so I've been trying to keep an eye on my caffeine intake and trying not to get stressed out at bed time (easier said than done) as my mind loves to wander to all kinds of places when I just want it to shut down.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
This thread seems to have confirmed my growing suspicions that I'm a fairly lazy individual.

practise French before leaving the house at 7:50 to get to work for 10am (my commute sucks). I get home at around 8pm (provided I finish work on time) and have to train, prepare and eat dinner and bathe before getting to bed for 11pm if I'm up the following day.


I try to read as much as is possible while on the move (I did the bulk of my studying for my personal training certification this way)
You have in effect 12 hour day, make time to eat right, exercise, study a 2nd language and used your time to earn a certification. You are the complete opposite of lazy my friend, that is productive as heck. Think of how many people would sit and watch tv shows or movies on the commute, tell themselves its been a long day and won't train, etc then look at all the work you've accomplished. It's actually pretty inspiring! Keep up the great work
 

Chrisdavisjr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
You have in effect 12 hour day, make time to eat right, exercise, study a 2nd language and used your time to earn a certification. You are the complete opposite of lazy my friend, that is productive as heck. Think of how many people would sit and watch tv shows or movies on the commute, tell themselves its been a long day and won't train, etc then look at all the work you've accomplished. It's actually pretty inspiring! Keep up the great work
Thanks, man; I really appreciate that.
 

conor78

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
Up at 6 most mornings. Funnily enough I can run in the morning with minimal willpower as I can set the clock for 30/45 mins etc. I don't like using KB in the morning as the time pressure puts me off, prefer using KB in the evening.
 
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