Saturday 30th October, 2010 - Up by 2 am, worked in the studio till about 7am when I took a break for breakfast and a nap before getting into the regular Saturday routine.
Sunday 31st October 2010 - Up by 5am, worked in the studio till about 9am then I took a break to get ready for Church with the family and the rest of the regular Sunday schedule.
Monday 1st November 2010 – Up by 1am, worked till 4am, took a short nap before starting the week.
And on and on, a peep into my diary in recent times. Even today, I worked from 3am till day break. Stretching, to meet deadline, to perfect my skill, to be better at what I do.
Thinking back though, for the first few weeks after leaving paid employment, I felt one of the things I needed to enjoy was a little more rest, like a nap in the afternoon or longer hours at night. But then I pondered on the routine of some popular/successful people.
6:00 Weight workout (90 minutes)
7:30 Breakfast ; 8:00 Practice tee (2 hours); 10:00 Putting green
10:30 Play 9 holes; 12:00 Lunch; 1:00 Practice tee (2 hours)
3:00 Short game work; 4:00 Play 9 holes; 5:00 Putting green
Even though he has played since he was two years old and has a very unique gift for the sport of golf, Tiger focuses on a detailed (and deliberate) practice routine each and every day. Deliberate practice makes Tiger a great golfer. (CrossHairs Trader)
Martha Stewart rises before the sun, well-rested and ultra-perky at 3:30 am. But, the fact is that no one has ever seen Martha Stewart sleep ... (Martha Stewart Everyway)
He reads several papers, eats breakfast with his family and helps pack his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, off to school before making the 30-second commute downstairs — a definite perk for a man trying to balance work and family life. He eats dinner with his family, then often returns to work; aides have seen him in the Oval Office as late as 10 p.m., reading briefing papers for the next day. (New York Times, January 2009)
When he first started writing, Grisham says, he had "these little rituals that were silly and brutal but very important."
"The alarm clock would go off at 5, and I'd jump in the shower. My office was 5 minutes away. And I had to be at my desk, at my office, with the first cup of coffee, a legal pad and write the first word at 5:30, five days a week."
His goal: to write a page every day. Sometimes that would take 10 minutes, sometimes an hour; ofttimes he would write for two hours before he had to turn to his job as a lawyer, which he never especially enjoyed. In the Mississippi Legislature, there were "enormous amounts of wasted time" that would give him the opportunity to write.
"So I was very disciplined about it," he says… (San Francisco Chronicle, Februay 2008)
What we see usually is the result of their stretches. I have learnt that what got them there and keeps them there is a lifestyle of consistency in giving more than what is common.
It didn’t take time for it to dawn on me that, if I also wanted to be different, then I couldn’t continue to do what the regular person did. I needed to stretch. Truth is, I need to put in extra to get into the extra-ordinary. I would only get out of life what others who sleep and wake at the common time get.
How spot on the words of this quote – The Heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in a sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night - It regularly filled my mind when I was tempted to become laissez faire with my routine.
So now I stretch. For others it may take another format, but definitely to master that skill or ability, you need to give it more- maybe time, maybe attention. You may need to study more, make more cold calls for that sale or even practice more.
Looking t the end goal usually helps to stay on track with stretching. Even the Bible says…for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross (referring to Jesus Christ).
Remember you can’t get what others are not getting if you give just what they are giving. Keep that target in mind, then ssstttrrreeetttccchhh.