Daily Dose of Coach: Alarm Clocks, Discipline, and Success

The authors of, Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win , wrote this on the most decisive moment of your day:

"Discipline starts every day when the first alarm clock goes off in the morning. I say ‘first alarm clock because I have three. That way, there is no excuse for not getting out of bed, especially with all that rests on that decisive moment.

The moment the alarm goes off is the first test; it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win – you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail.

Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.”

These actions may seem insignificant. But only great things are done by lots of small, seemingly inconsequential things done first and right.

Personal success always leads back to self-discipline. In all of the athletes I’ve ever worked with, it’s the ones who showed up every day to work, on-time, ready to go who were the best. It was the ones who got the field or court before everyone else who had a success routine. This could be either in preparation for practice or a game, or working on developing a skill.

The author also observed the same in his fellow SEALs: “Waking up early was the first example I noticed in the SEAL teams in which discipline was really the difference between good and being exceptional. I saw it with some of the older experienced SEALs, those who were at work before everyone else were the ones who were considered the best operators….It all tied into discipline.”

You set the tone for the rest of your day first thing in the morning. Don't miss that opportunity.