Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why you should do this every morning

By Glenn Fisher

Been taking a leaf out of Michael Masterson's book recently..

It is an idea that you can easily add to your day and I think you willl find it very useful. 

It's something I've always done in one way or another, but adding a little formality to it has allowed me to streamline the process and increase its effectiveness. 

Now, I have to admit, I'm not the best morning person. But still, I get up relatively early. Usually around 6.30. 

For me, that's early. 

Coffee is the first port of call. And with it breakfast. 

Then, topping up the coffee, I try to not waste anytime getting the old  

You see, each morning I set half an hour aside to read. 

And starting tomorrow, I highly recommend you do the same. 

It might be fiction. It might be philosophy. It might be a book on copywriting. It might be a play, or poetry. It might be a biography. Or a simple book. 

Whatever it is, spend half an hour reading until you've picked up at least one useful idea or interesting thought. 

I don't want to sound preachy or pretentious here. But I firmly believe that adding half an hour to your morning routine to do this will help you enormously. 

As master copywriter John Forde says, You cannot sound interesting until you've filled your head with a lot of interesting things. 

But it 's not just for copywriting. 

Of course, if you do write an e-letter, or if you write reports, or if you write adverts or sales promotions... if you write anything that other people read, it's important to read more than you write. 

But it's the reason that's important. What lies behind John's statement is a fundamental truth of human nature. 

To get a message across “ any message, by any means “ you'll be more successful if you have an arsenal of interesting metaphors, analogies, stories, thoughts, and ideas." 

As people, it's a fact that we âre more receptive to ideas when they âre presented in story format. Details, points of reference, recounting of specific experiences help us to take information on board and remember it. 

So, by taking a moment each morning to add new ideas and stories to your arsenal, you'll significantly improve your ability to communicate. 

You might be agreeing with me, but thinking you have not got a spare half an hour in the morning. Got to get to work. Got to sort out the kids. Got to wait for the shower. 

Take another look at your morning routine... 

Be strict with yourself. Is there time being wasted that you could set aside. Could you start work a little later and finish a little later. I know its a drag, but could you get up half an hour earlier? 

I is hard, I know. 

But it's worth it. 

I recommend trying to add this time each day but even if you âre able to do it just a few times a week, it will help. 

Finally, if you 're sorted time-wise and are able to add that half an hour to your routine each morning, the problem might be: what material should you read to gather ideas and inspiration? 

Where to find a wealth of ideas and inspiration

As I say, it really can be anything “ you never know where you'll uncover a great idea that could enrich your life. 

But to lend a hand, below are 10 books that I have personally found to be full of useful takeaway ideas. From each of these I have taken at least one idea that has helped me in someway. 

It's a varied bunch. But, heck, that's exactly the point. 

Sophie’s World – Jostein Garnder
A fictionalised but very effective summary of main philosophical ideas. 

Ready, Fire, Aim – Michael Masterson 
The ‘go to’ book for any aspiring entrepreneur. Full of ideas for improving a business. And motivational too. 

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera 
It’s fiction and a little out there, but really does get you thinking. 

Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy 
For me, the best of Ogilvy’s texts covering all the ideas and advice he’s given. 

History of Western Philosophy – Bertrand Russell 
Daunting in one go, but dipping in to this comprehensive summary of every major western philosophy you will take away a lot. 

The Collected Short Stories – Franz Kafka 
Again fiction, but one of the most thought-provoking writers ever. Lots of ideas here. 

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely 
Marketing Psychology books like this are ten-a-penny these days but this is one of the best. 

The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain De Botton 
A short and simple approach to 6 classic philosophers and how their ideas can be applied to modern life. 

Hand to Mouth – Paul Auster 
One of my favourite writers’ account of his younger years and discovering what he wants from life. 

Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner 
Like Predictably Irrational, one of the best of it’s kind. Plenty of ideas to take away from this. 

OK. Its not an exhaustive list and by no means are these books that you have to read (though I think its worth doing so). 

The key to this is giving yourself time in the morning to think. To dip into a text and take something from it. 

It helps me and I hope it helps you. 

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