Why A Perfect Morning Routine Is Never Going To Make You Happy (& What I Do Instead).

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In the age of social media, it seems like everyone's competing to show off the most audacious morning routine or the latest “life hack” promising instant success. You've seen those “Ultimate Morning Routine” videos, right?

Lace up for a sunrise marathon, churn out affirmations by the dozen, and craft a vision board…”


“…strap on your red light helmet, do 79 pages of gratitude journaling and have your second morning cup of coffee…up your butt, enema-style…”


“…smear your face with methylene blue then do burpees next to a claw-foot bathtub filled with ice cubes – all before your morning cup of coffee…up your butt, enema-style…” 

It's not that these often elaborate and occasionally ridiculous rituals don’t have value; it’s just that when pursued with blind fervor, you might find the precious day half-gone with little to show for it. The quest to optimize every minute of your day can ironically rob us of truly meaningful moments.

I’ve been there. In my early days, I was all about squeezing out every ounce of productivity, often to my detriment. My pride was synonymous with how hard and long I worked. But over time, I realized that “optimizing” isn't the same as “maximizing.” It's not about doing the most but about doing what's right for you. It's about balance, purpose, and joy.

Try this: Before you dive headfirst into yet another extreme routine or fad, just take a moment. Ask yourself if this new path actually feels integrated with your genuine needs and aspirations, or if it's just an ad hoc addition to the mounting list of “should-dos” – and something you’re doing because you heard about it on a podcast or read about it in your increasingly dizzying variety of biohacking blogs you subscribe to, and it’s just another thing you’d have FOMO or guilt about not doing. And so another task gets added to the ever-expanding self-care checklist. 

But it shouldn’t be that way. See, true growth is about deliberate choices, not fleeting trends. Take, for example, my new Ben Greenfield Life Masterclass. In it, I give insights based on the full evolution of my journey, from an unsatisfied productivity maximizer to a fulfilled father and husband.

I’ll tell you a story that I really expound upon inside one of the videos within my new Masterclass

It starts here: I grew up with a strong work ethic.

Believe it or not, I slept about three to four hours a night for the five to six years of my pre-collegiate and collegiate career.

I would appeal to take 30 plus credits a semester at the University of Idaho, and I would work in the evenings and the very early mornings as a personal trainer, nutritionist, bakery manager, barista, sports camp instructor, and computer repairman. Heck, I was selling chocolate croissants at 6 a.m. to hungry commuters, then training those same people to burn off calories at the gym at 7 p.m. later that day. On top of all that, I moonlit in the evenings at a pub and at a coffee shop while continuing to teach specific wellness, health, and exercise-oriented classes and camps at the University of Idaho.

I thought (and I took great pride in this) that the best way to get by in life is to simply put your nose to the grindstone and work as many hours as possible as hard as you possibly can.

On one level – I guess it worked.

I was making six figures a year by the time I was twenty-two years old, working as a personal trainer.

I was eventually voted as America’s Top Personal Trainer by the NSCA. As one of the top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness by Greatist.

My first online product sold 48,000 in the first five days it was online. 

I was regularly working with top athletes, CEOs, and high-achievers from all walks of life, all while getting paid booka bucks to fly all over the world and speak.

You get the idea: I reached what many might consider to be the pinnacle of career and personal success.

But looking back, I see that I was making a series of critical errors that prevented me from reaching my full potential.

I didn't manage my schedule well. I didn't delegate well.

I didn't outsource well.

I didn't set priorities in the right fashion.

I certainly had the priority list I talk about in my Masterclass, namely God, spouse, community, health, and business (in that order) full-on, ass-backward.

I was making an impact, and yet, for every milestone I achieved, I was left unfulfilled. I wasn't happy. My accomplishments were all siloed within my career, while my family life and spirituality suffered. I almost got divorced. My kids began to get carpal tunnel syndrome from waving me out the door as I hopped into yet another Uber to get on yet another plane. 

Maybe you can relate. It feels like you can only find success in one area – your career, health, or relationships – but always have to sacrifice the others. No matter how much you optimize your schedule, your biggest priorities fall by the wayside. 

You’re drowning in conflicting advice and you don't know where to start.

Maybe your health is suffering, and with it your overall quality of life.

You want to live with more purpose, but it feels like an uphill battle you can’t win.

I've been there too. 

It's time to stop accepting this as your fate. 

Let me ask you:

“How many times have you wished things could be different?”

“How many opportunities have you missed struggling to balance it all?”

“How much longer until you decide enough is enough?”

That struggle does not have to define your future.

The answer isn’t to give up on improving your life, but to reframe the concept of *optimization*. An optimized life isn't just about being productive and successful in a worldly sense. An optimized life must also be *meaningful*. This is the only path I’ve found that leads to true happiness, joy, satisfaction, and purpose.

You have the power to cultivate the joy, success, and fulfillment you desire. Through self-experimentation, I've discovered timeless principles to align your unique passions with your daily priorities. 

My new Masterclass is a comprehensive guide, based on what I’ve learned, to help you optimize your daily routine in just the way I live mine now, with the right priorities, in the right order, with the right fulfillment, success, and happiness. A film crew even came to my house for this Masterclass filming, and spent an entire week there while they captured me going through my actual routine (OK, OK, I locked the bathroom door and didn’t let them in for my coffee enema, so that’s not going to be part of my life optimization challenge I guess)…and later, over 6 months, an educational team made all my teachings super easy for you to learn and implement.

Good thing I’m surrounded by smart and talented people. I’ve just learned a whole bunch of valuable, life-changing, happiness-inducing stuff, and an amazing team has now helped me package it all up and make it easy for you to learn and implement too.

The Ben Greenfield 6-Day Life Optimization Challenge

After sharing my story, I believe you too can redefine what an optimized life means. It’s not just about relentless hustle; it’s about seeking balance, meaning, and purpose.

That’s why I decided to host a free 6-day challenge leading up to the launch of my new Masterclass. It’s an opportunity to join me and my team in a private community where we’ll share practical theory and prompts to turn the theory into practice. To get the most out of it, you will need to plan to set aside 90 focused minutes each day.

Both the 6-day Challenge and the Masterclass cover 6 key areas of life:

  1. Master Your Time: Regain control of your schedule and define freedom as spending your limited time on what matters most to you. Create the ideal daily, weekly, and monthly calendar tailored to your unique priorities.
  2. Shape Your Space: Optimize your environment for both productivity and comfort without sacrificing movement. Introduce simple activities into your daily routine that encourage regular motion.
  3. Build Your Body: Adopt health strategies tailored specifically to you. Reduce stress and safeguard your vitality. Define what boundless energy means for your needs.
  4. Connect Your Mind & Spirit: Cultivate your soul through authentic self-expression. Maintain confidence and transcendence via spiritual “workouts” like meditation.
  5. Deepen Your Connections: Strengthen relationships by becoming a better friend, partner, and leader. Practice resonance and spread more loving impact.
  6. Build Your Legacy: Grow your wealth and expertise to better serve others. Maximize your human capital and contributions. Leave a legacy you feel proud to have created.

Ultimately, this is about helping you maximize your potential by building a better day as your first step. Once you do that, you will learn the system for repeating this every day. 

The problem with much of the self-improvement advice out there today is that it lacks perspective. Hustle culture, with its relentless push for more, ignores where you currently are in your journey. I don't believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach to optimization. The truth is that what works for someone else may not work for you.

Broadly speaking, I see most people falling into one of four stages:

Stage 1: Feeling lost, unclear on goals and dreams, stuck in victim mentality, not engaging in any personal growth or development.

Stage 2: Finding success in one or two areas, like their career or physical fitness, but still lacking a deeper sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

Stage 3: Realizing that the outward success they’ve achieved in those one or two areas does not inherently bring lasting happiness or contentment. Beginning to feel a longing for something more.

Stage 4: Experiencing true balance across all facets of life, feeling a sense of alignment in body, mind, and soul. Uncovering lasting joy and fulfillment.

Which stage do you think you currently fall into? If you’re not quite sure, that’s OK: the intention behind the free Challenge and Masterclass is to help easily transform you from Stage 1 or 2 closer to Stage 3 or 4. You’ll do this by building a done-for-you life optimization practice tailored to your unique needs and priorities.

Small Steps Towards A Happier Life

Discovering practices and integrating them into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines can have a remarkable compound effect on well-being.

Small actions, when taken consistently, can yield transformative results over time.

This isn't about adhering to a strict, inflexible routine. It's about gifting yourself a set of tools that you can weave into your life as it suits you.

It’s also not about jam-packing every hour with tasks to appear productive. In both the Challenge and the Masterclass, I'll introduce you to time management techniques that have worked for me, but it's more about resonating with your unique rhythm and enhancing your life purposefully.

For instance, on Day 2 of the Challenge, titled “Shape Your Space,” you'll dive into the concept of NEAT. This stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and refers to the calories you burn through everyday activities, excluding eating, sleeping, and structured workouts. The layout of your personal spaces, like your home or office, can influence your everyday motion. By making subtle shifts like incorporating standing desks or pacing during phone calls, you can seamlessly integrate beneficial micro-movements into your routine.

Day 3, “Build Your Body,” invites you to explore simple breathing techniques that can work wonders. Take alternate nostril breathing, for instance. This short exercise can alleviate stress and improve sleep when practiced consistently.

Day 4, “Connecting Your Mind & Spirit,” unveils daily rituals that have grounded me. Whether it's a short meditation session, a moment for prayer, or penning down thoughts, these acts can serve as foundational pillars for your mental and emotional well-being.

And on Day 5, named “Deepening Your Connections,” you'll uncover the magic of small, consistent gestures. Think of scheduling regular check-ins with a loved one or leaving spontaneous appreciation notes for family. It's these repeated moments of thoughtfulness, rather than occasional grand gestures, that fortify relationships.

Albert Einstein hailed compound interest as the “8th wonder of the world.”

“He who understands it, earns it,” Einstein said, and “he who doesn't pays it.

Similarly, the journey to holistic self-improvement is seldom about radical shifts. It's often about the minutiae – those small yet pivotal changes in how you allocate time, attend to your body, bond with loved ones, and engage with the world – that reshape your life dramatically. It’s the compound interest of life-hacking, I suppose.

Take the Plunge

You might often find yourself caught up in the rush to always want more. The world around you paints a picture of “success” – emphasizing career achievements, popularity, and status.

It's not that these things don't have value. However, they aren't the sole markers of fulfillment.

You might also be led to believe that life optimization is intricate. But genuine optimization isn't about adhering to an elaborate morning regimen or mastering countless “life hacks.” In truth, it's more straightforward and impactful than that.

It might just take one pivotal moment, one choice, to steer your path toward true balance and purpose.

And guess what? A daily dose of laser light helmet, coffee enema, and 79 pages of gratitude journaling is fully optional. Trust me, all that stuff is overrated compared to what I teach you in the new Masterclass.

Are you ready to embark on a journey that’s crafted for you? Start by signing up for my free 6-Day Life Optimization Challenge beginning on September 25th. And please leave your questions about it below – I’ll get back to you with answers!

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3 thoughts on “Why A Perfect Morning Routine Is Never Going To Make You Happy (& What I Do Instead).

  1. Lambda Winner says:

    Wow, this really hit home for me. I used to be all about squeezing every drop of productivity from my day, thinking it would lead to happiness. But like you, I found myself unfulfilled. Now, I’m all about balance and purpose. No more blind pursuit of extreme routines.

    1. William Serna says:

      I totally get what you mean about the productivity trap. It’s a struggle many of us face. For me, work productivity became an obsession, and I lost sight of the bigger picture. It’s refreshing to hear someone else’s journey towards balance. How did you manage to shift your mindset, and what practical steps did you take to find that equilibrium?

      1. Hendrik Moagi says:

        I can relate to your struggle with work productivity. I’ve found that incorporating personalized fitness plans into my routine helps maintain a balance. I’ve been working a lot and doing some research for work related about found https://qwertylabs.io/services/brand-protection/ which was quiet helpful now I can go back to my normal routine and not sleep late, anyway It’s not about the extreme routines but aligning with one’s unique passions.

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