The First Hour of the Morning is the Rudder of the Day

Not long ago I took a boat ride. When the ride was over and we were loading the boat, I couldn’t help but notice how small the rudder was. How could something so small steer such a powerful vessel?

My “rudder moment” reminded me of a quote from 19th century clergyman, Henry Ward Beecher. “The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.”

Don’t miss this … Your rudder determines your direction.

For leaders few things matter more than morning habits. What you do before 9:00 am determines the direction of the rest of your day.

For me the best days are ones that begin with a concentrated hour around the following four disciplines:

Reading – a few minutes of Bible or devotional reading remind me that my life is not about me.

Prayer and meditation – I can certainly relate to Abe Lincoln who when overwhelmed with his responsibility as a leader once admitted, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”

Planning – having a plan keeps me focused and also gives me a measuring stick to look back on at the end of the day.

Exercise – 20 to 30 minutes of cardio, stretching, or strength training before breakfast gets my blood flowing and raises my energy level.

If you find yourself bored, tired, and disillusioned I suspect you might have a rudder problem. Make some adjustments to the first hour of your day and watch what happens to the direction of your life.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Are there other habits you try to incorporate into the first hour of your day?

Comments?

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Coach Brown

6 years ago

Just a thought, the rudder has no value unless the ship is moving away from the dock. When the ship is moored the rudder can freewheel with no effect upon the direction of the ship. The rudder provides direction to our day is the key, but direction without motion is but a dream anchored to the dock.

randygravitt

6 years ago

Brilliant reminder, Coach. Thanks!

japonzio

6 years ago

When I was in the Navy I got to see the bottom of the Nimitz when it was in dry dock. I remember looking up at the rudder and screws. As big as they were they were still so very tiny compared to the enormity of the entire ship. I am still amazed at how such small things can move and steer that very big ship…
I need to pause more often and check to see what is moving and steering my life, my day…
Thanks Randy,

randygravitt

6 years ago

That is very cool Jason. Thanks for taking the time to comment today!

Susan Barber

6 years ago

Coffee

randygravitt

6 years ago

Amen!

Wandering Willie

4 years ago

I’m a little late to this…but we thank you for your efforts and work in putting it together. We’ve been spinning in circles trying to get more done and this has helped to bring clarity to our lives and keep the focus on first things first.
My wife and I thank you

Randy

4 years ago

Thanks, Willie!

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