When it comes to being a man of superior quality and integrity, there are few more powerful habits to develop than positive, daily rituals.
Benjamin Franklin, one of history’s well known great thinkers, Founding Father and all around bamf, awoke every morning at the hour of 4:30 AM, and adhered to a strict daily regime that allowed him to seize the day with maximum result. Because of this, he made great accomplishments in his day and lived more fulfilling and exciting life.
Many of history’s great men, like him, lived day to day lives with important disciplines, practices, and rituals to guide them. They attributed their strength, wisdom, ability and success to this practice, and the great men of our own time are no exception. The Dali Lama, CEO of Apple computers Steve Jobs, and many of our presidents, innovaters and captains of industry use these daily habits to empower them to greater heights… and so should you.
The following is my pick of the 5 best daily rituals, habits, and practices for becoming a superior man. Enjoy.
“Journaling, when practiced, helps foster the fuels of success.”
To master yourself, you must know thyself. There is no better way to do that than keeping a journal. Your thoughts, feelings, goals, ideas, experiences, hopes and dreams: all should be recorded for you to reflect on as you continue to grow and pursue your greater self. This calls your wandering mind to attention, actively engaging with your own thoughts, just as you would when in deep conversation with another person.
This is a practice that has many profound benefits, helping develop stronger emotional intelligence and improve communication skills. Journaling boosts memory and comprehension, strengthens self-discipline and increases self-awareness. When it comes to your goals, writing down your dreams and ambitions is like creating a blueprint for success. When it comes to your relationship with yourself, it’s a revealing dialogue between your mind and your heart that can help you heal, grow, and gain greater insight into who you are as a person.
If you don’t already engage in the practice of journaling, I suggest you do. One simple way to do this is writing in a ‘stream of consciousness’ style – pen hitting paper and not stopping until the page is full. Try this out and you’ll be amazed at what it can do for you.
“Meditation, more than any other factor, has been the reason for what success I’ve had.”
There is no doubt, given the mountains of scientific data, that meditation is a powerful tool for mental acuity, focus and cognitive enhancement. Studies have shown the multiple benefits of meditation include improved attention, memory, processing speed, creativity, and stress management. If your mind is the greatest resource you have, wouldn’t it be important to make sure you’re utilizing it to the fullest?
Historical thinkers, high powered CEOs, world leaders, renowned spiritual gurus and successful entrepreneurs swear by meditation as a daily ritual for success, self-improvement, and better living. Among them are Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Depok Chopra, Russell Simmons, and Ray Dalio (Billionaire, Founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest Hedge Fund).
If you have even the slightest inkling of improving yourself and being the best man you can be, you should be engaging in daily meditation. There’s no reason anymore not to, as science has proven meditation to be one of the most beneficial practices a person can do, for all areas of life. It doesn’t have to be an overly mystical and difficult task either. It’s as simple as taking 20 minutes out of your day to sit down, close your eyes, breath, let your thoughts flow and allow your mind to refresh.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Whether it be reading the morning newspapers, a good book before bed, taking classes to actively learn new skills, or having a specific interest you’re devoted to, you should have something to study. Doing so not only gives you strength of knowledge in one area, but also improves your ability to learn other skills more easily. The mind is like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
Being self-taught in an area of study is important for the would-be renaissance man. For one, it gives you something to be passionate and knowledgeable about. Did you know that if you were to read for two hours a day, in your chosen field of study, you would become a world expert in only seven years? That doesn’t seem like too much to ask from your daily schedule to become a man who knows what he is talking about, now does it? Perhaps one day you might even author a book on the subject.
In regards to being self-educated, there is far more value involved than that of a formal education. Learning for yourself allows you to step outside of academic stigma associated with your field of study and utilize the full scope of your capabilities. But is learning something on your own without a teacher really a good idea? Maybe we should ask Abraham Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton, Ray Bradbury, Frank Zappa, Stanley Kubrick, Benjamin Franklin, or Albert Einstein – all were self-taught men who made remarkable accomplishments in their lifetime.
Besides, a superior man thinks for himself. So, think about that.
“With self-discipline, most anything is possible.”
Having a discipline that you actively work towards mastering does wonders for your character. Exercise, yoga, martial arts, wood-working, meditation, calligraphy, writing, sports, painting, building model airplanes – it could literally be anything.
Striving for greater self-discipline isn’t enough, which is the whole point of having a daily discipline. The act in itself helps you develop the skills for an overall stronger sense of self-discipline. The lack thereof can be the deciding factor in whether you do achieve what you’re after.
Whatever you choose, take some time every day to work on your discipline. Even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, what you will gain from engaging in a daily discipline will benefit you greatly. Especially if it’s a marketable or practical skill that you can apply to your financial or personal life.
“If today was the last day of my life would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”
Above all the advice in this article, taking time to reflect on yourself, your goals, choices, beliefs, relationships, behaviors, and direction in life is the most important daily ritual. Period. I live by the philosophy that every day we are different than the day before. With every moment that passes, we’re that much older and wiser. So, when it comes to achieving goals, growing as a person, and navigating the path to self-mastery, taking time out of every day for self-reflection is imperative.
Overlooking the importance of self-reflection is where so many of us go wrong: We have a goal and a plan but never take the time to reflect on what we are actually doing. For the superior man, simply having a goal isn’t enough; you must have self-awareness.
Whatever your aspirations may be, you cannot reach your destination without knowing your current location on the map you use to get there. Without monitoring your current behavior, you can fall short of attaining what you set out to do, forgetting why you wanted it so badly and who you were when you made the decision in the first place.
If you want to become a superior man, you must lead yourself. But without intimately knowing and understanding yourself, how can you know which is the best course of action to take? You must be mindful of your situation, intentions and reasoning behind your goals and direction in life, otherwise you’re just shooting in the dark.
Thank you for reading this article and I sincerely hope this information helps you in your life as much as it did in mine.
-The Single Man