Cliche alert. They say that the early bird catches the worm. Well, yesterday, that proved to be true. My window in Japan faces South and East and because Japan doesn’t do daylight savings I’m often up without an alarm clock around 5 a.m. Yesterday, I woke up even earlier and decided to head out even earlier for my walking/jogging, podcast listening, and moderate sun exposure. When I walked to the local 自動販売機 (vending machine), I found a crumpled up 1000 円 bill. That’s $10 ‘Murican. As Benjamin “All About the Benjamins” Franklin said early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Who needs worms?
There are distinct advantages to waking up early in Numazu. The main one is that after 6 a.m. the sun starts to burn the precious. But lately, I keep getting hit with other reminders of the power of rising early. Sukiyama Takeshi, a brain researcher includes a whole chapter on the cognitive advantages of getting sunlight and walking outside in the early morning in his book The Brain’s Timetable (脳の時間が割). The latest issue of Tarzan, a Japanese lifestyle magazine, is devoted to suggested early morning activities and highlights folks in different fields and their early morning routines.
So “the universe” is guiding and bribing me to leverage my early morning. You don”t have to join me. Some people prefer the night. But here are some reasons I prefer the morning:
- Get it done before other concerns, distractions, and fatigue set in.
I used to do a Japanese immersion service called Silverspoon. You didn’t necessarily have to start early in the morning, but a lot of the “heavy lifting” came early in the day. You just “git er” done in the early part of the day and start with a win.
- Experience the after burn. Start a chain reaction. I don’t lift weights often but when I do they are full of air. I’ve heard that one of the benefits of lifting in the morning is that you get to feel the after burn all day. Whether you are playing guitar, writing, or
learning a language one of the nice benefits of morning time is that that little bit of time can start a chain reaction of ideas, inspiration or linguistic connection.
- Wake and bake. Set the trend for the day. One of the most “instructive” moments of my college education was a “Cartoon Kegger.” That’s when you wake up early in the morning for cartoons and start drinking massive amounts of beer. The theory went that if you wake up early when your brain cells are perky, you get to be a different kind of drunk and watch cartoons. A great use of tuition money, huh? Now I use the power of morning to bake in a different kind of goodness and set a positive trend for the day.
I became more of a morning samurai.. After my children were born, I found I had less time and energy. You don’t have to wait to be a parent to claim the mornings. Give it a shot. Wake up 15 minutes early and see what you can make happen. Catch the worm!