Goalden Hour, as recommended by Brian Tracy
This year at the end of February we had a whole weekend which I can only honestly describe as an epiphany.
Essentially, we were on a journey of about 350 miles each way by car, leaving on a Saturday morning and returning home on the Monday morning. The journey was to perform the specific task of delivering a car and bringing home another. Not as a business deal, but as a favour.
We’d chosen a sans-enfant weekend simply to keep things as hassle-free as possible.
And that was important, because as we had no child to entertain, we used the tape player to listen to some Brian Tracy tapes instead of the usual Harry Potter (which we do love, but it’s best to keep it for journeys with the child!).
Now, this is not the first time we’ve listened to the programme. In fact, Martin has been listening to that same programme for at least 15 years!
But this time, something happened. Actually many things happened, but one of them was that we made the decision to apply some of his recommended techniques as soon as we could.
The thing about Tracy is that there’s no doubt he’s a successful guy. There’s no doubt he coaches other successful guys. There’s not a lot we’ve read or heard from Tracy that we disagree with – but our experience to date has shown that this – or other similar – self-development / improve your life/career programmes will only work when you’re ready to make the changes. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the outcome or not.
Only when you’re truly at a stage in your life that you believe that those changes will make such a difference to your life, that the pain of implementation can be weighed against the pleasure and discounted in favour of the desired outcome, will you be able to put those ideas and beliefs into action and make of them a sustainable habit, as opposed to a one or two time event.
We made many changes that weekend, and talked over some pretty important issues. Some of the actions we decided upon and have managed to activate immediately included reducing chewing gum distractions (no tv or radio or magazines or fiction or other outside distractions that don’t further our goals) ; to use the time in the car to listen to other educational material (similar self-development programmes or on specialist subjects) ; to be aware that everything counts (everything we consume, everything we read ; everything we do ; every thought we have).
What this blog started out with is the one additional thing that I think we can truly say has fundamentally changed our family – the Golden Hour!
Tracy recommends reading your chosen material for at least one hour every day. He points out that “all leaders are readers” and that by reading the subject of choice every day for an hour will make you an expert in as little as three years.
Tracy also talks of a Golden Hour. One other identifiable characteristic of other leaders/successful folks is that they are early to bed, early to rise kind of folks. This concept is not unique to Tracy, of course, and I have long been trying to implement it as part of my Ayurvedic teachings. There are other great teachers out there who advocate the same.
Reckoned to increase productivity by many practitioners, getting up early is also a great time to address the more spiritual aspect of successful life – allowing time for contemplation and meditation, and even physical exercise.
The first day back from our journey, and we wrote the following on the big white board in our home office:
1. Golden Hour 6.30 – 7.30 am
2. Early to bed!
3. Readers are leaders
4. Everything counts!!
5. No chewing gum distractions
Now, I know from experience that I’m more likely to pay attention to something if it’s in writing, and especially if it’s in front of me very day. There’s some great statistics that I think Tracy quotes on people achieving their goals – which I forget (I didn’t write them down!) – but is based on the principal that you’re more likely to realise your goals if you write them down. (As an aside, this was in fact how I studied at College – I just wrote everything down and then I sat my exams – it worked!! But I always think how things may have been different if I’d actually worked and studied properly!)
The marvellous thing was that it not only worked for me, it worked for Martin – even Ruaridh took it at face value. We all started rising much earlier than we ever had in our lives, and used the time for contemplation or reading, and sometimes Ruaridh draws, but we never switch on the computers or the radio (we banned tv long ago – well, during the day anyway – we might find ourselves catching the odd gem of a programme like the BBC 2 show the other night about the folks moving to Cornwall and going green and building a water wheel to generate electricity!).
It was very easy for us all – especially for Ruaridh who rises with a shiny face as standard anyway – but it did take a wee bit to get used to not feeling lost, or feeling like we should still be in bed! We did discover that getting up early in itself is not a success strategy – the time has to be used for something more deliberate and structured than just hanging out, or watching tv for longer or eating more breakfast!
We’re consuming books for business and wellbeing like they were going out of fashion, and generating an enormous amount of new ideas – and we’re even putting some of those ideas into practise! We’re much more relaxed in the mornings and throughout the day, and are already seeing benefits from increased productivity.
Golden Hour – It will definitely change your life )
See more about Brian Tracy at http://www.briantracy.com
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