Morning RitualsWhat if I can't? What if I'm not ready for “this?”

These two questions paralyzed me for years. I desperately wanted to be like the amazing people who had empowering morning rituals – habits like meditation, exercise, visualization, affirmations – but …

What if I can't? What if I'm not ready for “this?”

I finally (finally!) just broke through my self-imposed limits of creating a set of morning rituals and the results are profound.

I haven't given up hours of sleep or sacrificed my relationships to do it. Instead, I've gained a ton like:

  • Beginning the day the way I always want to … with silence, darkness, and intention.
  • Turning meditation into a habit and receiving all the fantastic benefits that comes with it.
  • Learning how to consistently keep promises to myself (big ones and small ones).
  • Honoring the actions I've previously skipped when the world wanted too much from me, which lets me give so much more to the world.

I'm no wise man, but this Smart and Simple Matters episode is all about sharing my and others' insight about morning rituals.

Meaningful morning rituals make the difference between feeling like the day is almost instantly out of control and slowing it down to match your preferred rhythm. They are the cornerstone of knowing what's going on inside you before the outside world of email, Facebook, and the news comes knocking.

Morning rituals give us our daily strength, center us, and prepare us for whatever comes our way (expected or not). So before the kids, the Internet, and work show up to disrupt and reprioritize your day, get yourself ready.

Our thoughts, or their deliberate absence, drive everything we do and will be. Let's sculpt them like a fine artist.

[Tweet That]

Our brains and bodies have evolved to be pessimists. Let's show them why they don't have to be fearful anymore.

I'll share more words from my complete, unedited, and (formerly private) morning promises when you crank up this episode.

Your kids are looking to push buttons. Give them levers that generate kindness instead.

[Tweet That]

Here. We. Go.

You're about to Learn …

  • What my complete, unedited, and previously private daily promises are.
  • The misunderstood – but essential – difference between routine and rituals.
  • Why maintenance is for gardens and machines … not humans.
  • How pessimists can begin each day sunny side up (and become optimists).
  • What practicing dying has to do with my morning rituals.
  • Why unlearning is as important as learning.
  • What I'll be doing for National Hugging Day 2016.
  • Where I'm going after 200,000 downloads of this show.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode:


  • [02:25] An update on all things Joel
  • [09:07] Why morning rituals are so dang important
  • [15:58] The ins and outs of how I meditate
  • [20:36] My challenges with visualization
  • [22:06] My full, unedited morning promises
  • [34:50] What I'd like to add to my morning rituals
  • [36:19] How to start your own morning rituals
  • [43:12] Examples of other people's morning rituals
  • [46:18] The wrap up

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The transcript will not be available until I find a new transcriptionist (if you know someone good, let me know).

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