Vail Daily column: The early bird catches the worm |

Vail Daily column: The early bird catches the worm

Michael Norton
Climbing to Success

The early bird catches the worm … and some pretty incredible sunrises here in Colorado, too, wouldn’t you agree? I mean is it just me or have the sunrises been even more spectacular lately?

Many years ago, I was listening to a motivational programs by Zig Ziglar. And during one of the segments he talked about the discipline of waking up early as a key element of success. As a matter of fact, I recently read an article on the topic of success that underscored that very concept. The consistent behavior among some of the world’s most successful people is to wake up early.

And it’s not just about waking up early — it’s really about what we do with that extra time that we give ourselves. As I remember Ziglar’s program and as I associate his message with some of the ideas shared in the above mentioned article, here are some of the ways that successful people use their special early morning time:

• Reading (mind): Committing dedicated time to reading is something that will expand our knowledge base. It could be the Bible, a devotional book, an industry magazine, a business book, biography or even the newspaper. Staying current on local issues, national news and global information helps keep us well informed and in a better position to engage in meaningful conversations with others. Ziglar used to start each day reading the Bible and the newspaper and would say, “This way I know what both sides are up to.”

• Physical fitness (body): Too often we have the best of intentions to exercise each day, only to run out of minutes and hours or have other priorities trump our desire to workout. And as our lives escalate, the excuse to dismiss or blow off or physical fitness becomes easier and easier. Now many people are extremely disciplined and get their workout in at a regularly schedule time later in the day, and for those committed individuals they can use the extra morning time for reading or meditation and prayer time.

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• Meditation or prayer time (spirit): Spending a portion of the early morning reflecting on our families, our work and other important relationships, or just sitting in silence, quieting our minds and allowing our emotions and energy to come together in a moment of meditation or prayer. Waking early with the intent of spending some peaceful time in our favorite spot in our home or with Mother Nature also helps us tap into our creativity as we generate thoughts and ideas for our day.

I can tell you first hand that the benefits of waking early far outweigh the perceived need to sleep in for a couple extra hours. The feeling of readiness and accomplishment feeds the positivity engine and our productivity and effectiveness in everything increases. So if you have not seen many sunrises lately, I would encourage you to set your alarm clocks, turn on the coffee pot or heat up the tea kettle and allow yourself to settle in and enjoy the mind, body, spirit and you time that is long overdue.

How about you — have you been up early enough to watch in amazement as the sun in the east kisses our snow-capped mountain peaks in the west? Do you set aside you time and have you tried giving yourself that time before anyone else wakes up in your home? I would love to hear all about your routine at, and when we start enjoying the benefits of being an early riser, not only will we catch the worm, but it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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