This past January I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica for the second time with Matt Wilson and the Under30Experiences crew spending 6 awesome days in the Costa Rican rainforest at Rancho Margot learning about sustainability, self-sufficiency, intentional community development, organic agriculture, and holistic lifestyle practices. Rancho Margot is a world class eco-lodge located in the middle of the jungle where you learn to appreciate the natural flow of life, ecosystems, and how the law of the farm can be applied to every aspect of your life.
The first time I heard about the Law of the Farm was when I read Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In his book, Dr. Covey explains how success in life comes from regular disciplined daily effort. A farmer cannot expect to reap an abundance of crops by being lazy for three months and then “cramming” to catch up. In a world where we are used to instant rewards and gratification, being at Rancho Margot reminded me that there are no shortcuts in life. Life is based on principles and natural processes.
Steve Jobs once said:
Now that I’ve connected the dots, I realize that going to Rancho Margot made me appreciate how important it is to take time for yourself, especially in the mornings. This morning ritual is how you prepare your mind and body to plant the seeds of success and reap the rewards.
During my stay at Rancho Margot I was able to get involved in a regular morning yoga practice. For someone who had never practiced yoga before, I totally fell in love with it! If you haven’t tried it, you must. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Just imagine practicing yoga in a place with fresh, rainforest air, an abundance of local flora and fauna, the sounds of rushing river, the singing of tropical birds, and the vivid colors of nature surrounding you in all directions.
How can you not feel reenergized after this?
During our morning yoga classes I realized how important it is to prepare your mind and body for the rest of the day. This experience introduced me to the patterns and habits of people who have an awesome morning and take control of their day, because that’s exactly how I felt after putting these practices into action.
In every yoga class we would practice being present, grateful, and setting our intentions for the day out to the world. I cannot explain exactly how that felt, but it made me feel positive and in peace. By expressing gratitude and being present I was able to appreciate the moment for what it is and block off any toxic negative emotions.
Ever since then I’ve been keeping a journal with me where in addition to writing my thoughts, I also write about the things and people I’m grateful for in my life. This small change has had profound impact on how I start my days. Starting the day from a place of love, expressing gratitude for being alive and all the blessings I have, smiling, and just setting good intentions for the rest of the day can have a huge impact on how you feel for the rest of the day.
Open up your body to a wonderful day
During my stay at the Ranch, I tried a combination of walking, jogging, and yoga first thing in the morning and my body felt more receptive towards the demands of the day. Exercising in the morning puts me in a state of success because I feel happier, accomplished, and more productive. Some people prefer to get their workout during the evening and that’s fine, but from my own personal experience I have realized that getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity in the morning boosts my levels of happiness and productivity.
Yoga helped me combine gratefulness and physical activity, but I don’t always have access to a yoga instructor. So every morning after I express my gratitude to the world in my journal, I get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity.
You can easily take 30 minutes in the morning and do the following:
20 box jumps
50 high-knee jumps
50 mountain climbers
30 sit ups
Walk/run a mile
This simple routine will help you jumpstart your day on a good note!
Fuel your body for the road ahead
The best part of the mornings at the ranch was taking a 30-45 minutes organic breakfast after practicing yoga, walking, or jogging. In the mornings I’m usually in a hurry and a lot of times I don’t give breakfast the priority it deserves. Skipping breakfast is probably one of the worst mistakes you can make because you are not giving your body the necessary nutrients it needs to perform at its best. At the Ranch, I was able to appreciate the food, where it came from, and how what we put in our bodies is critical for our maximum performance throughout the day.
Do one thing that will make you feel fulfilled throughout the day
What is the one thing that you can accomplish for the day that would make your day awesome?
Writing that article? Closing that business deal? Having coffee with a good friend? Validating that business idea? Asking your favorite girl on a date?
Whatever it is, go ahead and do it, for you.
In a world where there are always distractions and expectations to be met, it is important to take care of ourselves so that we can perform at our best.
What about you? What is your morning ritual and what are some of the things you do that put you in a state of success early morning? Share with the Under30 community in the comments below!Subscribe to the Podcast