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Jul 26, 201811:13 AM#SocialBiz

with Spencer X. Smith

I woke up before dawn for a year. Here’s what I learned and how it will benefit you

(page 1 of 2)

I’ve always been a morning person. As a kid growing up, I was the first one awake in my house. I’m not sure why, but my parents strongly encouraged me — at a very early age — to get a morning paper route.

As I write this now, I’ve been awake for a little over two hours, and it’s not yet 6 a.m. I’ve already lifted weights at the gym and am writing this from my treadmill desk. After maintaining this routine for a year, I happened upon one very surprising realization that I know would benefit you.

Before the big reveal, a question: Have you ever talked yourself out of something you know will be really good for you?

Maybe you said, “I won’t make these extra calls or send these extra emails today before I leave the office. I’ll get to it later this week instead.”

Maybe you have a weight loss goal and you said to yourself, “I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow, so I’ll skip the salad and have a burger today instead.”

Maybe it was, “I can miss my daughter’s T-ball game today and make up for it this weekend.”

Regardless of the situation, you were projecting a vision of the future that was incongruent with the present. Said another way, Future You is the new-and-improved version of Present You.

Before I started waking up before sunrise every day, I’d still get up early, just as dawn was breaking. What’s the first thing I would do before going to the gym to work out? Look out the window. Some of the things that would cross my mind would include things like:

“It’s raining cats and dogs.”

“Looks like a morning of shoveling snow.”

And, of course, since we live in Wisconsin, “Wow, I hope it’s not as cold as it looks!”

I would look out the window and make a poor decision, based on an environment over which I had no control whatsoever. I would skip the workout and say, “I’ll be sure to work out twice as hard tomorrow.” Future Me would be a better version of Present Me.

(Continued)

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Jul 27, 2018 12:20 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Fantastic, and I love these two questions: 'Am I looking out the window and allowing the environment determine my future actions?' and 'Have you ever talked yourself out of something you know will be really good for you?'

Really gets you thinking about how you can make small decisions better by saying one thing different to your 'Present Self' to form 'Future Self.' This made me think of a quote I heard this last weekend of the power on cause and effect, and how we think we just live in the effect of causes. In reality, we cause the effect, and I think these two questions, if asked frequently enough to make habit, will be able to help me create better 'causes' which will yield better 'effects'

Thank you Spencer.

Aug 7, 2018 08:46 am
 Posted by  Spencer X Smith

Thanks so much for reading and for your kind comments. I really appreciate it!

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About This Blog

Spencer Smith is the founder of spencerXsmith.com and co-founder of AmpliPhi, a Madison, WI-based digital marketing agency. He’s an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and adjunct faculty at Rutgers University, where he teaches classes on Social Media Strategy.

He’s been called a "Digital Marketing Expert" by Forbes and was the winner of the 2016 In Business magazine Executive Choice Award for Social Media Consulting Company. Spencer speaks at an average of 60 conferences and events per year and only teaches what he has first proven to work himself with his own business.

He has been featured and quoted in Money magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc. magazine, Costco Connection, and dozens of other publications. He also writes columns for IBMadison.com, The Huffington Post, The American Bar Association, and Law Journal Newsletters.

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