The following is a sample chapter taken from my book The Bushido Code: Life Mastery Manual.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit – Aristotle
We are all creatures born with infinite potential. Though many of us have had our power reduced—or worse—stripped from us through the repetition of poor behaviors. In this blog post/sample chapter, I will show you how to replace your old behaviors with the routines and rituals of high achievers.
But first—think back to how you began your day today.
- Did you wake up with a plan or an agenda for the day ahead?
- Did you stretch your tight, contracted body after your slumber?
- Did you meditate to settle & focus your mind?
- Did you savor the privilege of eating a healthy and nutritious meal this morning?
Many people who I’ve asked these questions didn’t even manage a good breakfast. Those who did had to rush through it so as not to be late for work or school. They tell me they didn’t have time, but the truth is—they never made the time.
Much like an elite athlete must warm up before a game, elite performers must warm up before their day. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Tony Robbins and Ellen Degeneres are just some of the names who utilize powerful morning rituals to maximize their energy & focus before they start their days.
In this blog post/sample chapter you’ll learn a powerful & proven routine of rituals which you can adapt to maximize your own energy and focus like that of an elite achiever.
As the great philosopher Socrates said, the secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. So my friend, I urge you to take action of the advice you’re about to read. The adaptation of this routine will without a doubt, improve the quality of your life.
Your days are your life in miniature. As you live your days, so you craft your life. – Robin Sharma
Building Blocks for a Great Life
- The key to living a great life is filling your life with great days
- The key to great days is having a well-organized plan/routine
- The key to a well-organized plan/routine is waking up early
- The key to waking up early is going to bed early
- The key to going to bed early is an effective & consistent nightly ritual
Whereas most programs begin with what to do in the morning, the Bushido Code encourages you to focus all your energy on developing your nightly ritual first. A well designed (and strictly enforced) nightly ritual, will naturally bring ease & pleasure to your morning ritual.
The PM Ritual
Stop eating after 8pm
In preparation for sleep, we stop eating at least 2 hours before bed. We do this because our body’s digestive system requires large amounts of energy to operate. When we eat before bed, the digestive system delays the nightly repair your body performs as you sleep. This results in poor sleep. A poor sleep effects every element of your day, including a lack of focus and poor cognative function & reduced energy the next day.
Digital Sunset 8:30pm
We’ve covered this in earlier sections of the Bushido Code, but it’s so important that I need to repeat it. When it comes to our time of rest and contemplation, our technology is often a black hole that robs us of attention and valuable energy. For this reason, we enforce a strict digital sunset in the evening—turning off all screens & technology, eliminating distraction so we are fully present in our nightly ritual.
The final hours of your evening should be dedicated to transitioning from an awake state to sleep-state. You don’t race your car into the garage and then do a sharp and abrupt stop, do you? Then why do so many of us do this when we sleep? For best results, we must ease into a resting state. We do this by creating the right environment and setting the intention for a deep and restful sleep. Below we continue the process I use for an optimal night’s rest.
Golden milk is the fabled, “Milk and Honey”, enhanced with spices from the ancient Indian study of Ayurvedic medicine. Comforting, relaxing and soothing, this warm bedtime drink will aid in your transition to a deep, restful sleep. Coupled with an impressive list of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory agents, liver detoxifying properties, antioxidants, and memory support, amongst others; Golden Milk is an ideal bedtime beverage that you’ll want to incorporate into your nightly routine.
To prepare your Golden Milk, bring the following ingredients to a boil:
- 1 cup Milk or Milk Alternative (I use Almond Milk)
- 2 pinches Turmeric (increase to taste)
- 1 pinch Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- 2 pinches of Cardamom (optional but recommended)
- 1 pinch Cinnamon (optional but recommended)
Review, Reflect and Recalibrate
Journaling is by far one of the most underutilized practices which can supercharge personal growth & development. The journaling process forces us to analyze our days, record significant lessons and ask ourselves important questions. It’s difficult to make leaps and bounds in your life without knowing what is working and what could be improved upon. For that reason, I’ve included “Plan & Conquer: The Bushido Journal” as a FREE bonus with the Bushido Code which will help you create a focused plan for your days, weeks and months so you are constantly achieving new goals and uncovering the best version of yourself. Use the next 10-15min to write in your journal each night as you relax and drink your Golden Milk.
Use the included Plan & Conquer Journal to ask yourself the follow questions in the spaces provided:
What went well today?
A space for your wins of the day, big and small. For Example:
- Finished editing the “Digital Distraction” blog post
- Hired new personal trainer
- Designed eBook Cover
- New Lemongrass chicken recipe turned out great!
What did you learn today?
A space to write down what could be improved upon. For Example:
- I work best when I separate my creative work in the morning, and my analytical work in the evening.
- Getting a double shot of espresso “to-go” and drinking it quickly, as opposed to sitting down and drinking it over a longer period of time makes my mind jittery and reduces my focus.
- Plan my driving routes better and avoid the rush hour—was in the car far too long today. If long drive are unavoidable, listen to podcasts to make the most out of my time.
3 to Thrive
A concept I learned from Tony Robbins. The idea is to write down your top 3 objectives for the next day, so you are in an optimal state to thrive. Do not overwhelm yourself. These are actionable tasks that you are committing to completing within the next 24 hours. For Example:
- Submit finished e-Book transcript to editor
- Find and hire a talented illustrator for Instagram project
- Setup a landing page for the eBook with email opt-in
Read, Write, Listen & Relax
This next block of time is dedicated to personal enjoyment. Here you may continue writing in your journal for pleasure; write about the things that inspired you, an idea you want to execute in the future, or write for the sake of creative expression—poetry, lyrics, or letters to loved ones. Alternatively, I encourage you to use this time to read an interesting book, or listen to an audiobook or relaxation audios. I especially enjoy relaxation audios after a day of strenuous physical exercise.
The Neti Pot
The Neti Pot is simply a small pot designed to rinse your sinuses with a warm salt water solution. This exercise is a foundational practice of any Yogi. This is because the Yogi understands the importance of breath. Many of us have lost touch, forgetting that our breath is our connection to life. It is amazing how often the quality of our breath is neglected in the understanding and improvement of our overall health. For this reason, I suggest using the Neti Pot on a nightly basis, to improve your breath & overall well-being.
Some may find this exercise uncomfortable at first. This is normal, and the feeling will subside with frequent use. But once you try the Neti Pot and see the improvement in the quality of your breath, I assure you, you will want to practice this exercise nightly.
I recommend the SinuClenase Neti Pot which is affordable at $10, and also comes with salt packs and simple instructions for use. [Get the SinuCleanse Neti Pot]
When it’s time to retire for the day, it is important to do so in a room which is pitch black, quiet and cool. Use earplugs and a night mask, if necessary. An ideal bedroom should only have a bed in it. No blinking lights coming from computers or TVs. No tablets or phones. In fact, I recommend that you get an old analog alarm clock, so you’ll never need to bring your phone into your bedroom again.
Before closing your eyes for the night, affirm to yourself that you are about to enjoy a deep, restorative sleep. I often say the following out loud: My mind and body are ready for a deep, restful sleep. I give myself permission to melt into my bed as exhale, letting go of all thoughts and worries. I fall asleep with ease and wake feeling renewed and refreshed. Tomorrow will be a great day full of growth, potential and promise.
And with this, our nightly (PM) ritual comes to an end. Sweet dreams.
A well-spent day brings happy sleep – Leonardo Da Vinci
Next, we dissect a potent and powerful morning (AM) ritual. As the world-renowned artist, scientest and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci explains, when we spend our day well, a deep restful sleep comes easy.
In the following section, I share a morning ritual which will ensure your day is full of productivity, focus, and growth, so you are able to enjoy not only a deep, restful sleep but more importantly—a satisfying and fulfilling life.
THE AM RITUAL
In my own experience, and from the teachings of the many great of the greatest minds before me, it is important to begin your days early. The early hours between 5am-8am are often known as the “Golden Hours” for writers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries alike. Many of the greatest minds praise these early hours for their ability to harness creative energy and laser-like focus. In order to take full benefit of these hours, we rise at 5am. I’ve seen this single change be the tipping point for many clients, who after incorporating this habit have seen a massive increase in their personal and business success.
Though waking up at 5am sounds (and can be) difficult, if we put the time and effort into creating and enforcing our PM ritual, we will experience a much easier transition to becoming an early riser. For this reason, it is essential we practice our PM rituals with diligence and consistency.
Rise at 5 am
Before you sleep, decide that you will wake up at 5 am and jump out of bed without hesitation when your alarm rings. For those new to waking up this early, understand the first 20 seconds will be the most difficult. You might feel like crawling back to bed, or negotiating with yourself for 5 more minutes, but don’t surrender to those thoughts—know that after the first 20 seconds, the discomfort will dissipate.
Think back to any military movie and the environment in a military barracks. When it’s time to wake up, the soldiers snap to full wakefulness. They don’t lie in bed half-asleep, almost catatonic, wishing they had another minute or two to doze off. No—the alarm rings, the lights come on and they spring up immediately, with zero delay. Confront your mornings with the same mentality. Do not resist life by hitting the snooze button. Your rest is over, the day has begun.
Splash of Cold Water
Once you leave your bed, walk straight into the bathroom. Here, a few splashes of cold water on your face will help remove the morning fog.
500ml Water & Vitamins
Staying well hydrated can be something that is easy to neglect. But a well-hydrated body brings energy, and a well-hydrated brain brings clarity. Use this opportunity to make a habit of drinking 500ml of water every morning, along with any vitamins or supplements you take.
Tip: Squeeze half a lemon into your water to give it alkalinizing properties, and a great refreshing taste.
Ask Yourself—What am I Grateful for Today?
It is amazing, all the goodness we take for granted. The act of gratitude forces us to be aware of all the gifts and opportunities we’re blessed with. This fundamental shift in perspective creates happier, more positive people. As a general rule, these people live healthier and more abundant lives.
Tip: I use a whiteboard marker on my bathroom mirror to write 1 thing I’m grateful for every morning. I read over these statements as I get ready for my day. It’s an incredible boost to be reminded for all I have in my life. Try it!
As mentioned earlier in the Bushido Code Manual, a cold shower can give you a surge of energy, heighten your alertness, and elevate your mood, especially in the wee hours of the morning. For more detail on cold showers, please refer to section 2 of the Bushido Code, entitled: Instant Courage.
This segment of your morning routine is designed to prime your mind & body for the day ahead. Again, much like an elite athlete warms up before a game, we as elite performers, must put the effort to warm up our mind and body before our actual day begins. The 20/20/20 routine consists of the following components:
20 Minutes of Mindfulness—Set the Mind
- We begin by reviewing our goals. Take a look at your goal pyramid (found in section 7 entitled: Goals & Ambition) to remind you of your greatest purpose and why you woke up today. Envision yourself accomplishing your goal and embrace the feelings and emotions associated with that victory. Next, find a quiet place to spend 12 to 15 minutes with yourself in meditation. For a review of meditation see section 5, The Art of Meditation.
20 Minutes of Movement—Prime the Body
- Movement is the most fundamental of human behaviors. In our modern world, we’ve dubbed this practice as exercise, and often it’s seen as something to do when we have the time to spare. This is false thinking. Exercise should never be optional. Our body craves movement, and it is when we move and use our body that our mood and spirit are uplifted, and our mind is lubricated.I suggest finding a movement routine which works best for you. I offer the following ideas, with a strong emphasis on yoga to loosen the body, especially the neck, shoulders and hips after a night’s rest.
- Stretching / Yoga (highly recommended)
- Skipping rope
- Shadow boxing
NOTE: Correct breathing while performing your morning exercise is extremely important to invigorate the body. Hence the emphasis on yoga, which is a practice built around breathwork.
20 Minutes of Inspiration—Invigorate the Spirit
- The next 20 minutes are reserved for recharging your creative energy. We do this through the power of inspiration. It only takes a single idea found in a book to completely change the way you perceive your life and the world around you. It is your duty to find the source of that idea. Consider the following:
- Reading – Books
- Listening – Audiobooks / Podcasts / Lectures
- Watching – TED Talks
Bushido Bowl Breakfast
In our busy, modern lives, nutrition is often an afterthought— yet the evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive: The foods we eat fuel not only our bodies but also impact the quality of our thoughts. More evidence suggests that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For this reason, it’s essential that we eat a nutritionally balanced breakfast to start our day.
Try this recipe which I’ve dubbed the Bushido Bowl. This breakfast is easy to prepare and nutritiously dense, providing a great energy boost with enhanced cognitive performance. I challenge you to find a healthier, easier and tastier breakfast recipe.
To assemble, simply mix the following ingredients into a large jar and store it in your refrigerator.
[recipe only available in the full version of the Bushido Code: Life Mastery System – Get your copy here]
- 1 cup Hemp Hearts
- 1 cup Chia Seeds
- 3/4 cup Buckwheat
- 1 handful of Goji Berries
- 1 small handful of Raisins
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
When it’s time to eat, spoon 2 to 6 heaping tablespoons into a small bowl of hot or warm milk (or milk substitute, I use almond milk) and top with sliced banana, blueberries or strawberries to taste. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow for the mixture to expand before eating.
Conquer The Day
After your power breakfast, you are now in an optimal state to tackle the day ahead. Having followed the routines above, your body will be well rested, your mind will be charged and your spirit invigorated. With a clear mind and renewed energy, now is the time to begin your biggest task of the day (as decided the night before—see your Bushido Journal for this). Now is the time to do the work that is required to get the results you want.
Dear friend, I hope you enjoyed this Sample chapter of the Bushido Code: Life Mastery System. The Bushido Code is a Manual based on ancient wisdom from the Samurai and has been used by thousands of people all over the world to improve all aspects of their lives, including personal, relationship and business successes. My readers have cured anxiety, overcome financial pitfalls, built successful businesses and climbed out of depression using the simple strategies within the Code. If you are looking to take your life to the next level and become the very best version of yourself, I highly recommend the Bushido Code.