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October - 2015 - issue > Entrepreneur Corner
Daily Rituals 4KTA
Naveen Bisht
Thursday, October 22, 2015
What are some of the secrets of successful entrepreneurs as they begin their day? How do they keep going every day with that tireless passion and a fresh determination to continue growing their startups, developing their next hot product or service, motivating their team including employees, partners, investors and most significantly keeping their customers happy. Many insightful articles on this topic can be found on internet. What I am going to focus on is some of things I've been consistently doing over the years to keep my energy level high to get things done whatever I am involved in. One of the biggest advantages, many entrepreneurs share over others is by following the ancient wisdom from Benjamin Franklin, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. "They rise early and make the day catch up with them rather than the other way round.Here are four key take away (4KTA) points that could help you to think things differently and create your own rituals to succeed in the world of entrepreneurial uncertainty and adventure.

1. Green Ritual: We all know that breakfast is an important meal to get your metabolism going. You can begin with some healthy mix of your choice whether eggs, cereals, yogurt or whatever that provides you nutrients for your body. While all of these options are healthy and delicious, you may want to replace your normal breakfast with a glass of green smoothie. My choice is to pick one banana, one orange or one apple, a handful of spinach, kale or collard, water, and a spoon of whey protein. Add some flax seed if you like and a mix of healthy spices like Indian curry powder, Italian Spices (Oregano, Basil, Thyme etc.)to give you a unique taste. Try it out. For all you know, you may end up getting addicted to it. It's inexpensive, healthy, easy and really energizing. As it gets going in your blender, use that time for getting ready.

2. Exercise Ritual: Unlike green ritual above that I incorporated in my routine since last year, I've been following exercise ritual on almost daily basis for over 14 years. It has become a daily habit of mine to get up and go to gym. You can choose whatever works for you whether it's running, jogging, yoga or boot camp style video exercises. You can also download a 7 Minute Workout app on your phone which can work all major muscles group with 12 total exercises. Just do it at your home. Do something. Start allowing a small amount of time first and then increasing per your schedule. Do a combination of cardio, strength (some weights) and stretch exercises. Yoga could be another option for stretch portion. There are endless fitness routines that you can download from internet. The key is to stick to one you prefer. Do it for 3-4 weeks,and then change the routine. Alternate between different exercises so your body does not get comfortable with the same set of exercises. You have to keep shocking your body with different exercises to continue to reap benefits. It also keeps you motivated from getting bored.

3. Planning Ritual: Pick three things that you'd like to accomplish in the next 12 hours. There will be times when your day may not turn out to be an epic win, but strategizing in this way will help move the ball forward. Use your calendar on your smart phone to create To-Do list into an effective time-bound list. Notice as you knock out items from your To-Do list, how you begin to feel happier; infused with positive energy and a sense of accomplishment. Block off the amount of time on your calendar for each task and add additional 25-30 more time to it. Multi-day tasks with dependencies should be broken down into smaller chunks. Use first chunk to plan and subsequent chunks to accomplish your task. This simple strategy can enable you to hold yourself accountable and keep you focused on prioritized tasks. Any diversion from your task can end up costing you time, energy and causing frustration.

4.Meditation Ritual: Now you can be flexible for doing this daily ritual in terms of when, where or what time of the day. There is no hard and fast rule in my opinion. Choose your time or be spontaneous morning, afternoon or evening. Call it whatever you want - your prayer time, your quiet time, or you time. Sit in your car outside or go to your conference room or just do it in your office or home. Find your own rhythm. Over last couple of decades, I've learnt and experimented with a number of techniques such as Pranayama, Yoga Kriya and different kinds of yoga breathing techniques. I still continue to find something new, intriguing and amazing to learn and experiment in this area. Explore and see for yourself what kind of results you get. In past few years, I have found myself more and more pulled towards Vipassana meditation, a form of Buddhist style meditation. I endeavor to do it every day. Any of these modalities can help you get rid of worries, stresses, get energized, feel positive energy and get you going for rest of the day. Use few minutes at the end of this ritual to reflect, express your gratitude to all the people and things in your life that have helped you in one way or another. No matter how well or badly things are going in your life; you have a lot to be grateful for. Feeling and expressing gratitude is one of the best things you can do to make yourself happy. The idea is to make a habit of doing some form of reflective meditation as I call it,in your own ways you want to define.

In summary, the four key take away points for entrepreneurs is to explore and incorporate these four daily rituals including Green Ritual, Exercise Ritual, Planning Ritual and Meditation Ritualin your life. Just do it for four weeks. Notice the results for yourself on how you benefit. If you feel good about it, make this part of your daily habit.
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