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23 morning rituals of the world's most influential people

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What do Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and many other successful celebrities all have in common? Morning rituals! They all begin their day by and spend the first part of the day focused on activities rooted in self-care. Check out Project Life Mastery's full list below to see how some of the world's most influential people prepare themselves to seize the day!


1. Motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins calls his empowering morning ritual his “Hour of Power”, but sometimes will do “30 Minutes to Thrive” or at least “15 Minutes for Fulfillment”.  Tony claims that a major element of his sustained energy and focus comes from his intense and unusual morning ritual.

2. Barack Obama starts his morning ritual 2 hours before any scheduled event or meeting for the day.  He starts with a 45-minute workout with weights or doing cardio at his personal gym.  Obama says, ‘The rest of my time will be more productive if you give me my workout time”.  He also avoids coffee and instead drinks water, orange juice or green tea.  And a cardinal rule is avoiding the news or the negativity from his critics.

3. Steve Jobs spent his mornings re-evaluating his work and desires. In his speech to a graduating class at Stanford, Jobs said, “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

 “I get up at 4:30am every morning to walk my three dogs and workout.” -Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks 

4. Co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington’s morning ritual begins every morning with 30 minutes of meditation.  She’s so convinced of the benefits that she offers weekly classes to her employees.

5. Oprah Winfrey’s morning ritual consists of clearing her mind with at least 20 minutes of meditation.  Oprah says about after her morning ritual: “I walked away feeling fuller than when I’d come in. Full of hope, a sense of contentment, and deep joy. Knowing for sure that even in the daily craziness that bombards us from every direction, there is — still — the constancy of stillness. Only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.”

6. Ellen DeGeneres morning ritual begins with a workout, followed by 20 minutes of meditation.  She has said that the quiet and personal time is what gives her the energy to carry on with her busy entertainment schedule.

7. Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones credits his morning ritual of working out 6 days per week with helping to reduce stress and amping up his trademark stamina.

8. Lady Gaga’s morning ritual begins with yoga, as well as 5 minutes each day of self-directed love and gratitude through compassionate thoughts.  She does this every morning upon waking, and carries the feeling with her throughout the day to help her stand tall in challenging times.

“Smile in the mirror.  Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.” - Yoko Ono, artist

9. Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg starts the day by dressing the same way each morning, as he says it’s “one less decision to make”, so that he can be as productive as possible.

10. Bill Gates starts off his morning ritual taking care of his body by spending an hour on the treadmill, while feeding his mind by watching courses from the Teaching Company while doing so.

11. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, says about his morning ritual: “I get up at 4:30am every morning to walk my three dogs and workout.”

12. Benjamin Franklin had a morning ritual of waking up at 4:00am, which would involve proactively thinking about what he would accomplish for that day.  He would ask himself the question, “What good shall I do this day?”

13. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson says about waking up in the morning: “I leave the curtains undrawn and the sun comes up at 5:45am and straight in my eyes. I love bouncing up early.”  His morning ritual consists of a swim around his island or goes kite surfing if it’s windy, then plays tennis before sitting down for a healthy breakfast.

14. Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, says his morning ritual starts at 5:30am to meditate, followed by a 6-mile jog.

“I try to start and end everyday by taking a moment to be grateful." -Olivia Wilde, actress

15. Actor Will Arnett says: “Every single morning, I write a gratuity list. I write down ten things I’m grateful for every day—and it always starts with my kids,” says the actor, who made his name in shows like 30 Rock and The Lego Movie.

16. Actress Olivia Wilde says: “I try to start and end everyday by taking a moment to be grateful.

17. Actor Chris Pratt says: “Usually before eating a meal, I will list things which I’m grateful for with my wife.”

18. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s morning ritual begins at 5am and starts with reading, followed by a 45-60-minute workout, then has a healthy breakfast.

19. Author Deepak Chopra says on his morning ritual: “I, of course, meditate for two hours every morning. It’s part of my schedule; I wake up at 4 a.m. every day and I love it.”

“Every single morning, I write a gratuity list. I write down ten things I’m grateful for every day." -Will Arnett, actor

20. Author Stephen King says about his morning ritual: I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning,” he explained. “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”

21. Artist Yoko Ono says: “Smile in the mirror.  Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.”

22. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius says: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

23. Mark Twain says: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”