Written by Chris Parsons
What is it to be superhuman? Is it simply putting on a cape and fighting crime? Can someone be bombarded with radiation or bit by a bug to unlock unfathomable power? This is highly unlikely, but being a better you by honing strengths and minimizing weaknesses is viable. With you, the reader, I want to go on a journey at the end of which superhumans stand proud. Each week we will explore a different area of our lives and implement a plan for starting new habits that will ultimately bring us one step closer to being superhuman. In an ideal world, this will be a six month ordeal, but lets just see where we end up.
There are 100s of cliches that say how important it is to wake up early, and many successful individuals would attest to this. Jocko Willink, a retired Navy SEAL and accomplished author, starts his day at 4:30am because of a belief that he must work while his enemy sleeps. We all know that evil never rests, so this is probably a great place to start. While waking at 4:30am may not be for all of us, waking up a bit earlier to work on a few things before “real life” starts happening can’t be a bad thing. So, in order to find more time in the day, Let’s start our morning routine one hour before we would normally wake up. The eight hours that most people claim to need isn’t actually what a human requires to work at optimum efficiency. Studies show that sleep cycles happen in three hour increments. Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed to slept six hours every night, and if six hours is good enough for the Terminator, it’s good enough for me. On a side note, do not press the snooze button, it will leave you more tired than you were before.
What we do following waking up is of the utmost importance. When we get up and begin to stare into our phone before even truly starting our day a few things happen.
It messes with our dopamine levels
It distracts us from tasks that we should be working on
Seeing a bunch of notifications can cause stress
We are waking up early to become a superhuman, not a zombie
So, we will start our day with an accomplishment; making our bed! Retired Admiral, William H. McRaven, wrote a book on it, so if you want to understand the methodology behind it read it. It’s called Make Your Bed, Imagine that... He has also given speeches on it that you can find by using the google machine. After doing this, we are going to outline a few key items that we want to accomplish. Make sure that you can actually achieve these micro-goals in the time period that you have allotted yourself.We will be doing something similar with our nighttime routine as well. We want to be in constant pursuit of goals and we want to be constantly achieving goals so that we feel accomplished in our endeavors.
It is at this time that we are going to start getting into working out. We all want the superhero physique, and this part of our morning routine will help us to achieve it. It also raises energy levels and will help you sleep better later, so don’t skip out on this. Bodyweight exercises are perfectly adequate if you don’t have access to weights or a gym. Lookup a few workout routines, and pick one that works best for your situation. You won’t regret it when it has come come to cosplay.
Follow your workout with meditation. Meditation is a fantastic way to free yourself of things that weigh you down. There are guided meditations and apps that can help you with this. Don’t look at what you can gain from meditation, but what you can lose. Buddha said, “Let me tell you what I lost through meditation: sickness, anger, depression, insecurity, the burden of old age, the fear of death.”
Now it’s time for the most important meal of the day! Assuming you don’t have any diet restrictions, due to health conditions or anything like that, I’m going to recommend a High protein breakfast. This type of meal is supposed to make you less hungry between meals, reduce metabolic inflammation, reduce risk for heart disease and diabetes, and help with anxiety. I will normally eat six to eight scrambled eggs and be pretty content until lunchtime.
One of the things that is most difficult for people is time management. If we sit down and schedule an entire day we are probably not going to be able to adhere to the schedule that we’ve created and end up failing because of it. If we fly by the seat of our pants, the lack of structure is generally enough to keep us barely treading water. The fix is beautiful in it’s simplicity. Schedule time blocks for a few blocks of time for uninterrupted work. For example: 9:00am-11:00am I’m working on ________ task, then making said task your life mission. After you have finished doing whatever it is, give yourself some time before scheduling the next task. Having these little blips of massive productivity can be extremely rewarding, and working on certain things at specific times of the day will help to refine your ritual and reduce stress because you know when you’re getting things done.
Before you lay your head to rest, after a day of performing like a superhuman, we need to once more ditch the phone. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before going to sleep where you aren’t staring at that tiny mind control device. Take a few minutes to reflect on what you have accomplished and how you could make it more efficient. Then review what it is you want to get done tomorrow. It’s good to write out a to-do list, but not completely necessary. Now give yourself a minute to decompress; let the stress from the day fall away.