I am pretty much obsessed with how other people run their lives. Since I was a kid I’ve asked others what time they wake up, how they organise their mornings, what little things do they stick to to get through their day. Because I think these kind of details give an insight into their success, and the vulnerability of their character. And vulnerability is often the portal to connection. I find.
Me, I start my day at 6.30 and exercise for 40 minutes, generally at the beach because the ocean wakes me up and sets the mood for my day (my Qi Gong teacher said 15 minutes in the ocean is enough to ground you for the day). I don’t phaff around the house. It’s clothes on and out, down the hill, on my bike. Then I meditate for 20 minutes, generally at the beach.
My ritual works to this point. Then it’s chaos for the rest of the day. But so long as this start-t0-the-day is in place, most things flow OK from there.
This rundown of famous thinkers’ daily rituals from onlinecollege is inspiring right now. I’m really scatty with my rituals and it’s making me scatty all over.
I like how neurotic some of the rituals are (having to eat an apple under the Arc de Triomphe every morning). And how stringent most are in adhering to them.
Interesting observation: many famous thinkers go to bed by 9.30 every night.
- Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway described his writing ritual as starting just as the sun began rising, then working straight through until whatever he had to say was said. He likens completing his morning of writing to making love to someone you love–being both empty and fulfilled at the same time. Upon completing that morning’s work, he would wait until the next morning to begin again, going over his ideas in his head and holding on to the anticipation of starting again the next day.
- Fred Rogers. (from the long-lasting PBS children’s show). Each day he would wake at 5:30 and begin his day with reading, writing, study, and prayer. He would take a swim most days of his life, take a late-afternoon nap, and go to bed at 9:30 each night. Perhaps the most idiosyncratic of his rituals was that he kept his weight at 143 pounds his entire adult life. He saw his weight one day and realized it aligned with the number of letters in “I love you” and vowed to maintain that weight, which he did.