If I Were 22: I’d Wake Up at 5am Every Day, Even on Weekends

We found this piece on LinkedIn, by Bill Cushard. What would you do differently if you were 22 again? 

I am not kidding. Get out of bed. Why do you want to sleep in anyway? Think of all the things you are missing: Sitting outside on your deck in the cool dawn in a Patagonia fleece, with a strong cup of coffee, and a good book. Meeting your friends for that two hour trail run at 5:30am, and then breakfast at that spot downtown that you all like so much. You know, the place with the crepes? Or driving to that great farmer’s market two hours away with your best friend.

One of my regrets early in life was during my sophomore year in college. I routinely stayed up until two or three or four in the morning and slept until twelve or one or two in the afternoon (Except during ski season. Nothing kept me from skiing. Not even minor knee surgery.)

I was not much of a partier, but because of all that sleeping in, I don’t remember much of my sophomore year. Regrettably, I do not even remember the classes I took. My grades suffered, and I wasted an entire school year.

Thanks to some key friendships, I turned it around and averaged a 3.5 GPA during my last two years in college, and hardly ever slept in. During this turn around, I learned:

  1. How easily hard work pays off
  2. How much one can accomplish during a day

As is often the case, one of my biggest regrets turned out to be one of my most valuable experiences. However, looking back on that year, #IfIWere22 again, I would do things differently.

Here is a short list of ideas of things I would do (or that you could do) with those extra few hours every day:

  1. Read one book per week. Trust me. Reading like that will change your life. It is incredible how much you can read if you turn off the television and shut down your MacBook Air
  2. Take your father fly fishing for steelhead on the Yuba River in April during a rain storm at four in the morning
  3. Train for a 50 kilometer trail running race
  4. Meet your friends for breakfast before work more often
  5. Write a book: 500 words a day. That’s all I ask.
  6. Early on a Saturday morning every few weeks, go someplace new

These are just a few ideas. Make your own list. My point is this: #IfIWere22 again, I would do more. A helluva lot more.

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