Do you have what it takes to be a “one-percenter?”
According to researchers in Ohio, it may come down to genetics.
But before we get too far, a quick admission…
When we say “one-percenter,” we’re not talking about the wealthy elite.
We’re referring to folks who function well before the sun rises.
Our 1% data point comes from the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center. According to its research, just one out of every 100 individuals has what it calls an “advanced sleep phase.”
In other words, they embody the concept of early to bed, early to rise.
Perhaps you’re one of them. If so, you’re in good company.
Other famous one-percenters include Charles Darwin, Richard Branson and Ben Franklin.
Scientists have learned that we’re all born with a set “chronotype.” That’s your natural tendency to sleep during a particular stretch of any 24-hour cycle.
In other words, some folks are night owls… and others spring out of bed each morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
The vast majority of folks are somewhere in between.
But while genetics may predispose you to be a grump in the morning, there are ways to break out of the cycle.
It may be tough… but it’s not impossible.
Like any big change, it simply starts with having the right motivation. So here’s one (rather obvious) carrot to dangle in front of yourself…
Waking up early will allow you to accomplish more.
Early risers reach more goals… they solve more problems… and they achieve greater success, both in life and business. Biologist Christoph Randler determined as much when he conducted an in-depth study of university students.
Here’s what he had to say in an interview with Harvard Business Review:
When it comes to business success, morning people hold all the important cards… They’re proactive. A number of studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success and higher wages.
Suffice it to say… there’s a reason you don’t hear stories about Fortune 500 CEOs who miss board meetings because they overslept.
But let’s leave the boardroom for a minute…
Consider these words you’re reading now. They were formed in the wee hours of the morning. It was a deliberate choice. Because the author knew that if he didn’t put pen to paper early… he wouldn’t put pen to paper at all.
Soon the world would wake… the office would call… life, as it does, would creep in.
Writing is a passion of ours. Without it, we’d feel less fulfilled… less free. Not to mention our household would miss out on a viable – and sizable – income stream.
As personal and professional responsibilities stacked up, we had a choice to make…
Either we could give up writing “for a while” (the same way we could give up exercising or contributing to our IRA)… or we could wake up an hour earlier, splash some cold water on our face and do what we love.
Now, not only do we write more than ever… but exercising our brain first thing each morning has made us sharper and – dare we say it? – happier.
We’re not an isolated case study, either.
A study by the University of Toronto found that early risers are, in fact, a jolly bunch:
It is possible that shifts toward morningness can improve one’s levels of positive affect and subjective health, and do so in a similar manner across the life span. Waking up early may indeed make one happy as a lark.
That happiness is key. Too often, “manliness” is equated with being stoic or impassive. We proudly buck this notion.
A happy man is a good partner. He’s a strong teammate.
And if he occasionally nods off during the evening news… well, we say it’s a fair trade.