9 morning habits of successful people who always move forward in life

Ever wondered how the most successful people manage to make continuous progress in their lives?

Well, it often boils down to the little things, especially the habits they cultivate first thing in the morning.

As Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit, I’ve spent years studying and learning from successful people. And I’ve discovered that they all share some common morning habits.

In fact, I’ve identified 9 key morning habits that consistently set these high-achievers up for a day of progress and productivity.

In this article, I’ll be sharing these habits with you. Not to dictate your morning routine, but to offer some proven strategies that could help you move forward in life.

Remember, it’s not about copying them verbatim, but finding what resonates with you and making it your own. Because at the end of the day, success is a personal journey.

1) Early risers

It’s a common claim, “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. I’ve found this to be true amongst the most successful people I’ve studied.

Getting up early seems to be a universal habit among high achievers. And there’s a good reason for this.

Waking up early gives them a head start on the day. It provides quiet time for focus and reflection before the world wakes up and distractions creep in.

Think about it. Have you ever noticed how peaceful it is in the early morning? It’s almost as if time stands still.

This undisturbed time is perfect for planning, setting goals, and visualizing the day ahead. It’s no wonder that many successful people swear by it.

But it’s not about torturing yourself with a 4 am alarm. The goal is to find a wake-up time that works for you and that allows you to start your day in a proactive, rather than reactive, way.

If you’re looking to move forward in life, consider setting your alarm a bit earlier. Just remember, it’s not about following someone else’s schedule to the letter. It’s about finding what works best for you.

2) Mindful meditation

As Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit and an expert in Buddhism, I’ve found that one of the most powerful habits successful people have is practicing mindful meditation in the morning.

Meditation is a key practice in Buddhism, focusing on mindfulness and presence. And guess what? Many successful people take time each morning to meditate.

They do this to clear their minds, reduce stress, and increase focus. It’s a time to let go of any negativity and to set a positive tone for the day ahead.

Meditation helps them to be present and mindful, to not just rush through their day, but to truly experience it. It allows them to handle stress better and make more thoughtful decisions.

Even if it’s just for ten minutes, starting your day with meditation can give you a clear head and a calm heart.

You don’t need to be a Buddhist monk or a yoga master to meditate. It’s about taking a moment for yourself, focusing on your breathing, and giving your mind a chance to rest before the day begins.

3) Healthy breakfast

I’ll admit, I used to be one of those people who would skip breakfast or just grab a coffee on the go. But over time, I’ve come to realize just how important this meal is.

Most of the successful people I’ve studied don’t just eat anything for breakfast. They focus on a nourishing meal that energizes them for the day ahead.

A healthy breakfast is like fuel for your brain and body. It kickstarts your metabolism and helps you focus better, making you more productive throughout the day.

Think about it this way – you wouldn’t start your car without any fuel, right? The same applies to your body.

Whether it’s a bowl of oatmeal, a protein-packed smoothie, or some eggs and avocado, the aim is to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.

If you’re looking to consistently move forward in life, having a healthy breakfast could be an important habit to incorporate into your morning routine. Trust me, your body will thank you.

4) Practicing gratitude

In the daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget to appreciate what we have. But one habit that I’ve found prevalent among successful people is practicing gratitude each morning.

In Buddhism, gratitude is a fundamental principle. It’s about appreciating the simple things in life and recognizing that everything is connected. This perspective helps us understand that our success is not just our own, but is also influenced by others and our environment.

Each morning, take a moment to express gratitude for what you have. It could be your health, family, work, or even just the sunrise.

Practicing gratitude provides a sense of contentment and reduces the constant need for more, which is a common source of stress and dissatisfaction.

In my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve deeper into the importance of gratitude in leading a fulfilling life.

Starting your day with a positive mindset not only boosts your mood but also sets the tone for the rest of your day. 

5) Embracing stillness

Now, this one might seem counterintuitive. After all, successful people are known for their hustle and drive, right? But what if I told you that many high achievers intentionally carve out time for stillness in their mornings?

Yes, you heard that right. Stillness.

In our fast-paced world, we’re often rushing from one task to another, barely taking a moment to breathe. But many successful people understand the value of quiet moments of reflection.

These moments of stillness are when they allow themselves to just ‘be’. No tasks, no distractions. Just them and their thoughts.

This practice helps them get in touch with their inner selves, reflect on their goals and priorities, and gain clarity on their path forward.

6) Practice of detachment

One key principle in Buddhism that successful individuals often embrace is the practice of detachment. This isn’t about being aloof or indifferent, but rather about not letting external factors disturb your peace of mind.

Every morning, successful people take time to remind themselves of the impermanence of things. They understand that successes and failures, praise and criticism, are all fleeting.

This helps them to not get overly attached to their success or become disheartened by failures. Instead, they focus on their actions and efforts, knowing that outcomes are often beyond their control.

Practicing detachment allows them to maintain a balanced perspective, regardless of what life throws at them. It fosters resilience and adaptability, crucial traits for anyone looking to consistently move forward in life.

7) Physical exercise

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t always the biggest fan of exercise, especially in the morning. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate its benefits, and it’s become an integral part of my morning routine.

It turns out, many successful people swear by morning workouts too. It doesn’t have to be an intense gym session; even a brisk walk or a few yoga stretches can do wonders.

Physical exercise gets your blood flowing and wakes up your body, preparing you for the day ahead. It also releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters.

More than just physical fitness, regular exercise also boosts mental clarity and improves focus. It allows you to start your day feeling accomplished, setting a positive tone for the rest of your activities.

8) Limiting technology

In our digital age, this might seem a bit counterintuitive. But many successful people limit their use of technology in the morning.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Technology is a powerful tool, and it plays an essential role in our lives. But it can also be a significant distraction.

Checking emails or social media first thing in the morning can lead to a reactive mindset, where you’re responding to external demands rather than focusing on your own goals.

Successful people understand this, and many choose to start their day tech-free, or at least limit their screen time until they’ve completed their morning routines.

This allows them to start the day on their own terms, focusing on their priorities rather than getting caught up in the digital noise.

9) Compassion and kindness

Lastly, but by no means least, is a habit that might seem simple, but carries profound impact: practicing compassion and kindness. This is a key principle in Buddhism and one that many successful people intentionally cultivate.

Each morning, they take a moment to set an intention of kindness and compassion for the day. This could be as simple as wishing well for their loved ones, colleagues, or even strangers they’ll cross paths with.

Practicing compassion isn’t just about being nice to others; it’s also about being kind to yourself. It’s about acknowledging your efforts, forgiving your mistakes, and encouraging your growth.

This habit helps foster a positive mindset and promotes better relationships, both personally and professionally. It provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose, driving them to move forward in life.

Consider making compassion and kindness a part of your morning routine. It’s a beautiful way to start the day, and who knows, it might just make the world a little bit better too.


It’s not about trying to incorporate all these habits at once, but about finding what resonates with you and making it a part of your unique routine.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into some of these principles, particularly those inspired by Buddhism, I invite you to check out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It provides a practical approach to applying Buddhist principles to everyday life.

In the end, success isn’t defined by a single moment or achievement. It’s about consistently moving forward, growing, and making the most of each day. And that starts with how you choose to begin your mornings. So here’s to creating mornings that propel you forward in life.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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