“Hey, I just got out of an extended period of physical rehabilitation and plan on making some changes in my fitness and health from here on out. You seem to be in amazing shape and I imagine you know a thing or two because of your former profession. So I’m curious as to what your average morning routine was as an intelligence operative as well as currently as a nomad.” -Anthony L. Missouri, USA
After retiring, for the past few years as a nomad, my morning routine hasn’t been particularly that different than the average person, I assume.
Sure I’m in a different city or country every week or month but the mornings are relatively “normal”.
A discipline I still practice to this day that shaped me from my old job is waking up early and not needing much sleep. I go to sleep late and wake up early, on average before 6am, right before the sun rises. In most cases I need just 4 hours of actual sleep.
Like everyone else in the world, the first thing I do the moment I wake is open my phone and check emails, news, weather and messages – 5 to 10 minutes.
Right out of bed, I do a few seconds of stretching then as many pushups or sit-ups in a single set as possible, alternating each exercise every other morning.
Then I use the bathroom.
The sun is usually still down at this point.
I prepare a glass of water, turn on my iPad and immediately get to work; whether on this very website or on any active consultancy contracts.
On most days I work for 2 to 3 hours then breakfast.
Morning routine complete.
As for when I was still an operative, things were obviously much more different. It was unpredictable, erratic and it somehow had structure:
– Research and study
– Gym for no more than 30 minutes
– Explorative run around the city
– Edged / firearms training
– Pain tolerance training
– Reinvention study
– Meetings and calls
It wasn’t about waking up early according to the actual time of day, but being able to wake up after the passage of time as day or night was irrelevant.
So “mornings” weren’t necessarily in the morning for me back then, it was dictated by work. Now mornings are mornings again, except for early ass flights.
I really like getting my day started before the day starts (pre-sunrise), it’s motivating and clarifying, it’s my coffee – since I don’t actually drink coffee.
In any case, if you can, start your mornings earlier.
You’ll get more time in your day, get more shit done, increase productivity and you’ll “live” more.
[The photo featured photo was taken in a capsule hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.]