The #1 Scientific Reason Why Your Morning Routine Holds the Keys to A Successful Life.

Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington have mastered it.

“Every one of us has an internal guidance, a GPS, an intuition, a heart print, a heart song that speaks to us. Your only job is to be able to listen and discern when it’s speaking versus your head and your personality speaking, and if you follow that you will be led to the highest good for you, always.” — Oprah Winfrey, March 2018.

The mind is sharpest in the morning. There is a saying that in the old days, wise men spoke of “the veil” that was lifted in the morning to the “all-seeing eye”.

The number 1 reason why your morning routine holds the key to your success is because of one thing — OUR ANALYTICAL & INTUITIVE MIND IS SHARPEST IN THE MORNING.

Our cognitive abilities don’t remain static over the course of the day. They have peaks and valleys depending on the time of the day.

These daily fluctuations are more extreme than we realize. According to Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford, “The performance change between the daily high point and the daily low point can be equivalent to the effect on performance of drinking the legal limit of alcohol.”

In other words, when we are at our lowest point during the day — this is more or less the same as being legally drunk. If you undertake your most analytical, strategic tasks (that are directly correlated to success) — at the lowest point during the day, when your brain is in a “drunken stupor”, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Each Day Has a Cyclical Pattern — Peak, Trough and Recovery.

According to Daniel Pink, author of the forthcoming book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, each day has a cyclical pattern. Our mood and performance are profoundly affected by the “hidden pattern of the day”.

According to his research, 80% of us move through the day in three stages: a peak, a trough and a recovery. The 20% of people who are night owls tend to go in the reverse order: recovery, trough and peak. Pink detailed each stage of the day and suggested what kind of work is best suited for each stage:

Morning peak. This is when we should be doing our analytical tasks — work that requires heads-down focus and vigilance. During this peak time, your mental state can fight off distractions, allowing you to think clearly. This is the best time to analyze data, to write a report or go through systematic, hard-core strategy proposals.

Afternoon trough. Early to midafternoon — This period is the decline period. During this period, low-level tasks such as answering routine emails or taking a break.

Late-day recovery. Moods are on the rise during this period, but we’re still less vigilant than we were during the morning peak. This is the perfect time for what social psychologists call insight problems. For example, brainstorming: it doesn’t need a high degree of vigilance, but you do want a high degree of creativity.

Your Intuition is sharpest in the Early Morning.

Our intuition is also sharpest in the morning, when you’re fresh and not exhausted. Intuition along with the ability to undertake the best analytical and strategic work during the morning peak period equals success.

ANALYTICAL ABILITY + INTUITIVE THINKING = SUCCESS

The human mind is wired to see patterns. The brain processes information as it comes in, and it also stores insights from past experiences. Your intuition is the vehicle for storing and sorting these patterns. Intuition draws from that deep memory to inform future decisions.

Intuitive decisions then are also based on qualitative data mining over time. When we subconsciously recognize patterns, the body starts firing neurochemicals in both the brain and gut. These “somatic markers” are what give us that instant sense that something is right or wrong. Not only are these automatic processes faster than rational thought, but your intuition draws from decades of diverse qualitative experiences (sights, sounds, interactions, etc). It’s also faster than rational thought, which means intuition is a necessary skill for successful decision-making.

An analysis of interviews was conducted by a group of British researchers with 118 professional traders and 10 senior managers at four City of London investment banks. The most successful traders (whose annual income averaged £500,000) were neither the ones who relied entirely on analytics nor the ones who just went with their guts. They focused on a full range of emotions, which they used to judge the value of their intuition.

Another study showed that this type of thinking yields real business results: 81% of CEOs with high intuition scores doubled their business in five years. The U.S. Navy is investing close to 4 million dollars into helping sailors and Marines refine their sixth sense precisely because intuition can superseded intellect in high-stakes situations like the battlefield.

Check out the infographic on intuition below from Mindvalley.

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