I was officially classed as a zombie, insomniac, and depressed (medically) but I was not willing to accept it.
This is Part II of this article and in continuation of the last blog. If you get to this article first, then read this one before continuing.
The first part about fixing anything is accepting it. Until that point, I was in denial. Some people would notice it in me and some not. However, the first point of any change was for me to accept the problem and dig deep.
The process of accepting was as hard and as simple. The hardest part was accepting it, the rest to be honest I don’t remember and if I had to think of it, it was easy.
- Fixing the root cause
I had to dig deep inside to find what was bothering me, why the always laughing and smiling Ali, had turned into such a bitter person. Why was I not enjoying what I had (more than some and less than others). The answers were many; Comparision, Expectations, and Misaligned goals are a few that come to mind immediately.
All stemming from one. I really believed in my startup, the idea, the project, and so on. I knew it could be big business and I desperately was looking for funding to make it happen.
There I said it. That was the problem. Number 1, I was “desperately looking” and number two I was “looking for funding”.
I made decision number 1. FUCK IT to funding. I still had money in the bank and I had a business that could generate enough revenue to fund my project. Not on the scale I would have liked but enough to make it happen and work.
With that decision made, I decide to change all focus. I started concentrating on KPIs that generated revenue. I ditched all vanity metrics and started working on my first IT company. I hired technicians and staff to get me back on track and generate revenue.
I also changed my focus for my startup (urbytus.com). I didn’t give up on the funding altogether, but I started to concentrate on sales and every now and then someone would come along and express interest.
2. Changing from within
Next, I had to change the way I looked at things. The glass is always half empty or half full. My glass was half full but I kept looking at the empty side.
I changed this view. I had money, yes it could run out, but it hadn’t. I had a house, car, big office, beautiful family, and much more than most people. WHAT THE F… was I depressed about. Some project and projection!?
I changed this view. Not only was I going to look at things from the view of “the glass is half full” but I would make a point of emptying my glass every night. Yes using what was inside, because I knew that the following day it would fill up again.
Now my glass was always empty. I had nothing to worry about, nothing to lose and it would fill up the following day. This is possibly the hardest thing to achieve. It took some books, meditation, coaching, and more for me to accept that we live in a world of abundance.
Change this view and you change your life.
3. Changing my habits
Yes finally. You are thinking what has all this got to do with insomnia and 5:00 AM waking up? Well if it wasn’t for all I have told you it would have never come to this point.
Once I dug deep and changed my view, I also had to change some habits. I had been neglecting my body and soul.
The first thing was more exercise. I went back to running almost on a daily basis. A tough 40-minute to 1-hour run in the morning was energising and also got rid of all the stress. After a good run, I was better prepared for a good day’s work. I also started running with my club at the weekends. It was fun and I added one more rule “There will be no rules”. Interestingly enough that was the motto of our club and I decided to embrace it. I was there to enjoy myself, I would not let rules bother me. I ran, I listened to my music and as far as I did not bother anyone else there were no rules.
The second thing was increasing my reading time at night and cutting out TV time completely.
The thrid and last thing was listening to my body’s messengers. The hormones. This change was slightly more difficult at the beginning, however, I was always an early riser so I managed to make the shift.
Listening and watching out for this hormone meant that I said good night and went straight to bed or closed my eyes, the minute I felt tired (that is the minute melatonin has kicked in and tells your body you need to rest). Ask my friends. Regardless of if we have guests, or at a party, having dinner, or a conversation with friends, I had to fix this issue by obeying the message from my body.
YES. Those who know me, know that I suddenly get up, say “Good night”, or just sleep on the table, sofa, or wherever it is.
Over time, my sleeping pattern finally changed. My life changed.
Today, I wake up naturally without an alarm clock. My normal wake-up time is around 4:00 or 5:00 AM. The trick is to get out of bed as soon as you wake up. Don’t linger in there, or else you fall into the trap of turning around for another 10 minutes.
Once I am up, I do some light exercises, shower, and dedicate the next 1 or 2 hours to reading. This is followed by a walk and Voila.
The above changed my life. I still have bad days or weeks. I don’t use alarm clocks. If I see my routine gets messed up. I dig deep and try to resolve the issue that is misaligned with my true self. (This includes the last few weeks. I know I have to dig deep again and the good thing is I know I can).
So here it is. If you suffer from insomnia, ditch the sleeping pills. They are just more hormones that you are ignoring anyway. Find out why! Change your habits and listen to your body. Start reading more, reading is great for using your brain power, changing your mindset, shifting your thoughts from worries, and much more. Exercise also gets rid of stress, and excess energy and is a great way to keep your body in shape.
I wish you all. Happy sleeping, Happy 5:00 AM waking up. It is magical. I would not replace the morning with anything else.