Why I woke up today.


Today, I got out of bed at 6:15AM.

It’s a Saturday. I could have slept in. Actually, when you’re the boss of your own job, you have the option to sleep in every morning. So why did I get up?

To write.

I got up because I wanted to write a few thousand words before the kids got up. I’ve learned something about dreams over the last 5 years.

A dream that doesn’t get you out of bed to hustle, isn’t the right dream.

Dreams wake us up. They keep us up. They shake us up.

Is everyday easy? Nope. I hate getting up some mornings. Do I sleep in some days? Absolutely. Rest is part of creativity.

But I know this, I’ve got a dream that wakes me up. It gets me out of bed.

And I hope you do too.

  • Kandace
    Posted at 07:45h, 01 February Reply

    I woke up from a dream! A dream so interesting I am going to write about it. Does that count?

  • David Mike
    Posted at 07:49h, 01 February Reply

    My 3 year old refuses to sleep in. I also get up at 3am 4x a week for a second job. This creates a situation where I have to get creative with other free moments to write. Some weeks are easier than others, some are harder. But, it’s worth it!

    • Nick
      Posted at 08:30h, 01 February Reply

      You’re a hustler, my friend. Amazing how many quality words you pump out with that schedule!

    • Nancy Loper
      Posted at 08:33h, 01 February Reply


    • Renee
      Posted at 08:46h, 01 February Reply

      I’ve been saying I’m going to get up earlier than 6 (the latest I can sleep to get to work) but keep hitting snooze. Your post actually has given me a bit of motivation to get out of bed earlier. Thanks!

      • David Mike
        Posted at 17:20h, 01 February Reply

        One of the things I have never done is use the snooze button. I think it would be trouble for me. Set another alarm away from your bed. You can do it!

  • Connie Hughey
    Posted at 07:53h, 01 February Reply

    I’m up!

  • Roger Cox
    Posted at 07:53h, 01 February Reply

    My head hurts. I get up early every morning. 5:45am today. In the past two years, it has been to workout, read, get ahead with communication related to my job. I love to get up early and get going. I am reading a book called Quiet. About introverts and extroverts. I can’t figure out what my passion truly is. I love people and communicating. Yet I also don’t like social events. I want to read by myself. I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough. But I am not sure what is next. 30 Days of Hustle is both energizing me and wearing me out. I always hustle. I want to be a super dad and husband. Yet I also want to give my time and energy to the people I work with in the admission office for our college prep boarding school, which changes lives. I coach basketball and want to help those guys achieve significance in their lives and to use basketball to teach them. I get up early just so I can keep being significant to all those groups. Whew!

    • Renee
      Posted at 08:49h, 01 February Reply

      I’ve been trying to figure out my passion too so I feel your pain. I’m 46 and although I hope to have at least 70 more years, but I don’t want to wait that long to figure things out. The book you are reading sounds interesting. I think I might try that as well. Like you I love people but there are a lot of social things that get me way out of my comfort zone.

    • Joseph
      Posted at 09:04h, 01 February Reply

      A coworker of mine read that book and loved it. She gave it to my wife to read who is also an introvert. I haven’t read it but so far my wife seems to love it. In a world where we focus so much on outgoing people (of which I happen to be), it seems to be offering her confirmation that it is ok to be an introvert. Enjoy your reading.

    • Holly
      Posted at 10:13h, 01 February Reply

      I read that book. It was pretty good. I kept saying, “That’s me!” as I was reading. It opened my eyes to a lot. I think it’s unfortunate that there’s so much importance placed on being an extrovert right now, almost like you have to be some kind of super extrovert. It’s more of a culture of personality rather than character, as she mentions in the book. It leaves about half the population at a disadvantage.
      I liked the story in that book of the professor who was an introvert and found ways around it. The image of him in the bathroom stall trying to relax was quite funny. Once you realize what you’re dealing with and you can find ways to work around it, you’re already equipped to do better. God made us extroverted AND introverted, so there’s a place for everyone, and He will lead you to it.

    • Josh
      Posted at 08:09h, 02 July Reply

      Roger, the book may talk about this. I haven’t read it, so I apologize if this is redundant information. You may be like me. I believe I was born a natural extrovert. I remember being so outgoing as a child, I didn’t know a stranger. But experiences in my life, where I was deeply hurt by people very close to me, caused me to become closed off. I love being around people, but I am absolutely terrified of rejection, and so social situations cause a lot of anxiety, and require a lot mental and emotional prep, (and even short breaks throughout) just to get through them. When aforementioned experiences occurred, as a child, I blamed myself and developed really bad self-confidence issues. This just adds to the social anxiety, and causes me to struggle with meeting new people, because, in spite of looking around me and knowing in my mind that people must actually like me, I still think everyone sees me the way I see myself. That’s something I’m working on. Learning to love myself again, so that I can put myself out there and love others. I believe that when I truly love myself, and can learn to see myself the way God and others see me, and truly be able to receive love from God and others, then I’ll truly have so much more to give. I won’t have to worry about how to divide my time and attention, because one situation won’t drain me so much that I can’t give in other areas, but there will be plenty of love to go around. The love of God is inexhaustible. Now if I can just get that from my head to my heart.

      • s.l.maddox
        Posted at 12:40h, 02 July Reply

        You are not alone, Josh.. Thank you for sharing.

  • Wes
    Posted at 07:54h, 01 February Reply

    I woke up early to hustle on my dream as well. Rolled over at 530, slept some more. And then at 630, I woke up, put on my favorite background noise and went to work. Hustle harder, or don’t hustle at all.

  • Justin Deiter@TruthandWord
    Posted at 08:00h, 01 February Reply

    Luckily, I tend to be a morning person. Even still it is a little easier to get up some days than it is others.

  • Stan
    Posted at 08:01h, 01 February Reply

    Been writing since 7 AM. Will post later today. Jon’s made hustle animals out of us!

  • Rosemary Masters
    Posted at 08:03h, 01 February Reply

    I love my mornings with the quiet, I can collect my thoughts, catch up on reading or the news, my job is so demanding, my early morning rise is essential to my sanity!

  • Nick
    Posted at 08:18h, 01 February Reply

    I was a night person for a long, long time. That was before I had a dream. I watched way too many Seinfeld reruns…

    Now that I have a dream I’ve reduce my sit-com intake by about 90% and wake up before my 4:30 alarm at least 5 of the 7 days. It’s so energizing to wake up to hustle towards a dream.

    Great post.

    • Nick
      Posted at 08:30h, 01 February Reply

      What time does your family get up? I usually only have quiet time until 6:30, so I’d have to type really fast if I got up at 6:15! 🙂

  • Caleb
    Posted at 08:28h, 01 February Reply

    Didn’t get home from my 2nd job until 5am this morning.

    My 4 teenagers and my 7 month old are here with me.

    For those keeping track at home, yes, I have 5 kids. #miniduggars

    My wife is out with some ladies from our church today (ALL DAY).

    My wife is texting me right now and detailing how annoying one of the said ladies are who is up in years and doesn’t know when to shut the ole pie hole.

    My only daughter just came and asked me, “What’s for lunch?!”.

    It’s 9:15 AM

    I feel like kickin’ my Hustle tank to the curb and moving to the Jamaican islands. Permanently.

    Then I read your post.

    Enter, “I got this.”

    Thanks, Jon.

    • Grace
      Posted at 12:37h, 01 February Reply

      Caleb! Thanks for the vivid picture of your day. It is a great reminder that not everyone works “normal” 9-5 hours. There are Second Shifters (like me), Third Shifters (like you!), and Swing Shifters (all who I’d love to hear more from!).

      For 15 years I forced myself up and out of bed to adhere to “normal” work hours — and most days I was over-caffeinated, over-tired, and over-weight. I love my schedule now: I get good quality sleep, get to hustle on my dream for a few hours before my evening shift (nothing redefines your “job” by putting your dream first in the day) and still have enough energy to work on it again when I get home (nothing makes a bad work day go away faster than putting your dream last — especially over sitcoms!). And by honoring my body clock — I do it all without caffeine, without naps, and without sugar-fixes at 4pm.

      Good quality sleep is one of the most important ingredients to a good hustle — no matter when you get it (and for a lot of us that means hustling long after early risers are asleep at 9/10pm — and hopefully sleeping a later in the morning).

      Would love to hear more from other folks who work off-hours, are staying healthy, and are still hustling on their dreams!

      • Grace
        Posted at 12:51h, 01 February Reply

        PS: Let me just qualify that I don’t get up and putter around in my PJ’s waiting for my dream to start…I get up and get moving! The last thing I do at night is set my schedule for the next day so that I can get right to it once I wake up. Again, no morning shows or mindless TV or web surfing…I exercise, shower, eat, and get hustling! For night owls, taking the time to set up your day before you go to sleep so that you have a plan of attack is helpful. Then you don’t have to think about what you need to do — you just get up and get doing it!

        • chris
          Posted at 15:49h, 02 March Reply

          Great advise. Often I get up early and after some prayer, I dawdle and take my time to get moving. Before I retired a couple of years ago I always planned and marked off things. (Covey guy) since then I’ve gotten out of the habit. I need to get it back. Thanks for the lift.

  • Candice
    Posted at 08:47h, 01 February Reply

    My dream keeps me up till late so I guess it’s kind of the reverse, it makes me hustle till late some nights which means dragging myself reluctantly out of bed in the morning 😛

  • Joseph
    Posted at 09:05h, 01 February Reply

    This is very timely as I have not been getting up as early as I use to when I was focused on my dream or things that are important to me to accomplish. I need to reevaluate my goals and get focused again. Very timely.

  • Alex Van Slyke
    Posted at 09:07h, 01 February Reply

    I have been trying to write a book for so long, but sadly I’m only creative when I write at night (be that early in the morning or late at night). This is really difficult because I get up every morning at 5am to go to the gym, giving me no time to really write because I have a lot of stuff to do in the mornings, and since I woke up that early, by the time the sun is down it’s time to crash. I only manage to write at all on saturdays (If i’m not working at night). Right now I have only about 6500 words in my novel and after reading this I hope I can squeeze in some more writing whenever I can.

  • Rick Theule
    Posted at 09:10h, 01 February Reply

    Jon – Thanks for the continued inspiration! My plan for the day was to be out of the house and to the coffee shop by 8am. Alone time. Time to read, write, recharge. I did it!

  • Amy
    Posted at 09:18h, 01 February Reply

    I got up at that same time! I usually sleep as late as possible, but today I was excited to read my Bible, journal to God, and work on my home based business. Your words are exactly what I’m feeling. I feel blessed and happy to share my dream job with everyone I meet!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 09:21h, 01 February Reply

    My 6 month old is NOT an excuse to not hustle! Gettin my hustle on!

  • Mike
    Posted at 09:28h, 01 February Reply

    I read this at breakfast right AFTER my kid’s 6:15 am Saturday hockey practice. He has a dream.

  • Jeff & Deb
    Posted at 09:37h, 01 February Reply

    After 20 years of dreaming, planning and preparing we now move into the execution. Excited to have a dream….more exciting to LIVE the dream!

  • Sean Buck
    Posted at 09:44h, 01 February Reply

    Love this post. I got up at 3 am, wrote and published a blog post on practicing gratitude. Got some other work done. Now off to teach a Crossfit class, followed by working on my dream…

  • Brian Hope
    Posted at 09:45h, 01 February Reply

    Awesome post Jon! I love reading the comments and all they are so inspirational. I get up about the same time everyday which is 7:00. I usually get an hour or two to myself on the weekend to just recharge, today I didn’t but had a great time with my son!

  • J Cleveland Payne
    Posted at 11:15h, 01 February Reply

    Woke up this morning set to work on the dream. Plan to wake up tomorrow and the next day and the next day and so on to work on the dream. The dream has been long in the making, but that doesn’t make working on it just as hard now any less important

  • Rob
    Posted at 11:29h, 01 February Reply

    I dreamt about my dream and woke up to work on making it a reality!

  • Jim
    Posted at 14:10h, 01 February Reply

    I don’t see the obsession with getting up early. First of all a solid 8 hours of sleep is vital for the brain and body. Anyone who says it’s not is simply wrong. Hey if you want to get up at 5AM, great — but that means you need to be in bed by 9! Sleeping 3,4,5 hours to hustle on a dream is not healthy and impossible to sustain. Sleeplessness causes all kinds of physical and mental problems.

    I’m a late person. Period. I get up about 8. And I hustle just as much as anyone! And I know many people who are late nighters who are successful — one of whom is the most successful media trainer in the world who makes about 400K a year who gets up around 9! Yup 9! Sometimes 10! Can you believe it!?

    In Fast Company they listed some major players in business and entertainment and what time they got up. Yeah many got up early, some did not. One went to bed at 2AM and got up at 10AM.

    Everyone’s different. And the hours people work (cops, fireman, bartenders etc) may not be the typical 9-5. Long story short, hustle on your dream but listen and respect your body. It needs rest so you can hustle more! There’s no false pride in depriving ones self of getting much needed sleep!

    • Robin Morrow
      Posted at 09:49h, 02 June Reply

      Thank you for that! I was thinking the same thing.

      Unfortunately I lost my health from all that hustle & have been struggling for 9 years to regain it. It’s a very serious thing to constantly stay in the Fight or Flight mode, which is what I did.

      Now I am between careers. My husband told me about this 30 Days to Hustle. Unfortunately my only dream has been to be healthy again. God has told me to Be still & let Him reveal His Will for me because I have a lot of interests & creativity but I have no idea what I want to do with it. And I wake up in constant pain which isn’t conducive to Hustling whatsoever.

      I say none of these thing to make anyone feel sorry for me.
      I just want to say that if you are fortunate enough to feel healthy & pursue al your dreams then count yourself very blessed & take care of your body by listening to it & not ignoring it if you need rest.

      I would have reach my goals had I not fell ill.

  • Priscilla
    Posted at 14:59h, 01 February Reply

    I get up to CrossFit. I have a dream that one day I will be good at CrossFit. Until then, I write…sometimes about CrossFit.

    Getting up to pursue my dreams has never once returned void! Great post.

  • theDesignBender
    Posted at 15:01h, 01 February Reply

    I stayed up all night till 8am today to finish a proposal for a Social Incubator Application for my dream project. I told myself that I have stayed up like this so many times before for so many proposals and yet never got positive responses and I almost lost hope. Your post just reminded me why I do what I do even though it seems like I hit a wall all the time. Thank you Jon. I am a great fan of your blog! Just watched Turbo! No dream is too small! I’m almost there!

  • Bob
    Posted at 15:03h, 01 February Reply

    My wife and I just had a great conversation about this meme. My issue is, I have absolutely no clue what dream would drive me to get up early and hustle. The search has been ongoing, and I look forward to a day I’m super excited to hustle on something.

  • Lady Tam
    Posted at 18:17h, 01 February Reply

    If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s that I have ZERO self-discipline. If I don’t have a scheduled place to be – work, school, etc. – then I will NOT get up.

    Or, I’ll get up then go right back to bed.

    I…..am not a morning person. lol That’s why so much of my writing is done either in the afternoon, or at night. So maybe if I made that meme, I’d have it read “…keeps you up at night…” instead of “…gets you out of bed…”

    • Lady Tam
      Posted at 18:18h, 01 February Reply

      Though Dream #2 DOES involve me getting up for school on time, so…the above is true for me as well..? I guess…?

      I think I’m thinking about things too hard again.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 06:58h, 02 February Reply

    Until a month ago, the only thing that would get me out of bed is coffee or snowboarding. I love, love, love coffee and snowboarding. As much as I love to drink coffee, I don’t dream of making or selling coffee for others. And living the life of snowboard instructor is not for me. I think I’ve found my thing. I love graphic and web design and telling stories with my husband through words and images. I’m learning everything I can and I would get up early, stay up all night to do more for this dream! I have a few things to wrap up in my “day job” before I can focus full time, but I will hustle this dream any time I can.

  • Anne M Bray
    Posted at 07:23h, 02 February Reply

    Yep. I was waking up early due to “inner thermostat issues” and figured, why not get up and create some stuff instead of lying in bed stressing out that I can’t sleep? I get a lot of personal work done between 4:30-6:30am before I go off to the day job. Morning is the best time of day for me anyway.

  • Donald
    Posted at 10:13h, 02 February Reply

    There’s a shirt on Eric Thomas’ website that reads, “No Alarm Clock Needed, My Passion Wakes Me.” It was the first thing I thought of when read this post, great reminder!! Thanks for being an inspiration!!

  • Kimanzi
    Posted at 12:00h, 02 February Reply

    When you work for yourself, the hustle level has to step up even more. Since becoming supported by my dream I noticed I’m not hustling as hard, I’ve been making too many excuses. Like you said, you have the freedom to sleep instead of hustling because you have time you wouldn’t have when you had a day job. I’m back on the grind though!

  • Rob
    Posted at 13:56h, 03 February Reply

    It was really hard getting out of bed this morning for this very reason. I know I’m capable of so much more than my day job can offer, I just don’t know where to put my energy.

  • Dianne
    Posted at 17:00h, 02 April Reply

    Funny thing is I was debating between two WHATs and getting up at a decent time was my other choice. While drinking the water made the cut, I will be working on this in the background. Love the perspective here. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jo
    Posted at 13:44h, 02 May Reply

    I start work at 5 am so i set my alarm for 2:30 so i can get my real work done. Only time this crazy house is quiet. There are mornings though that my eyes open before my alarm goes up, so i get up. That’s what happened this morning. I got a crazy amount done today.

  • Gina
    Posted at 13:39h, 02 July Reply

    This is great! Can I share this on Facebook or twitter? The more I dabble in other fields, the more I realize that my original dream (although not “realistic or “stable”) is what I really want to achieve.

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