Gorge Sunrise
Columbia Gorge Sunset, Copyright Scott Barlow

Years ago I heard a chinese proverb “No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to find success for his family.” At first I interpreted this to mean that I could have whatever I wanted as long as I got up early and hustled. The problem with this interpretation was that I started to feel entitled; I’m the one getting up early and working extra hours, how dare you question my quality of work, I’m putting in the time and don’t you forget it! This led to no shortage of situations that had me somehow surprised that good things weren’t just leaping in the car window as I rolled it down to leave for work each morning. Apparently this desirable and prosperous consequence to early rising doesn’t just happen overnight.What I came to learn later on is that the intention behind the quote was much more powerful than the literal meaning of the words themselves: if you are disciplined enough to be able to commit such an act as getting up before the sun rises, that discipline will carry over into other areas of your lives.  

This is such an interesting concept because so few people are willing to behave in this way that it is almost certain that you will find success through this type of discipline. This of course is contingent upon this discipline being focused in the areas that you want to experience success. Oddly enough this is where I see the biggest lack of discipline for most people pursuing a new career. Everyone wants to do it, very few are willing to put in the time and focus to do what is necessary.

No one wants to have to spend 40-50 hours a week at their current job and then overtime hours on your own to pursue what they really want to do. This is what it takes though. If you want to move into something you are passionate about and truly enjoy doing it is not only difficult but it is worth it. If you get up at 5am each day it becomes easy to find the time to tailor your resume to a new job opportunity, work on developing a side business or interest, or simply be able to plan effectively because everyone else is in bed. I am currently using this principle of getting up early right now to write this blog. It’s unlikely I would be able to find time during the rest of the day to have any consecutive coherent thoughts to put in print. 

The big takeaway here is this; there isn’t anyone who’s found success, that is saying that getting up early wasn’t worth it. I believe that, as I have experienced in my own life, that as you experience true success (career) in one area it impacts other areas of your life (family). 

So go have a positive impact on your family and your career. All you have to do is get up…and then the next day get up…and then the next day…