Last year, I served on the team that brought TEDx to Corpus Christi and met dozens of amazing people along the way. Through countless planning meetings, one team member stood out for his incessant energy and positivity. I’d honestly never heard him say he was tired, yet I knew he kept an extreme pace of work and service.
Recently, we connected to discuss the power of rituals. I immediately knew I needed to profile Sean to share the carefully crafted rituals he’s developed to provide an abundant reservoir of positive energy that allows him to wholeheartedly serve his family, his clients, and his community.
Sean, thanks so much for sharing with us today. Let’s begin with the most important question. How do you define success?
Success is being authentically me and contributing that me to myself and others in any and every way that serves me and serves others for a greater good. It’s as simple as enjoying life and giving back to it.
Was there a time when you had a different definition?
I used to believe that success meant fame, fortune, status, and achieving. What changed that? It was freaking tiring! I found myself trying to reach a higher and higher level without it even being aligned with who I was. I was 50 lbs overweight, broke financially, sometimes tragically emotionally, spiritually bankrupt, had terrible relationships with people I really did care about and who cared about me. I realized that my former definition of success was not leaving me fulfilled in so many ways though I did achieve. I got to a point where I knew EVERYTHING had to change.
Now that things have obviously changed, can you describe a typical day in your life?
A typical day begins with opening up my eyes. I have a morning process or ritual that I follow for about an hour or two. I take my daughter to school, return home to review my day, follow up on previous day messages, plan and take action before my first scheduled meeting. Meetings consist of either client sessions, community involvement meetings, or other business projects. There is a lot of energy through out the day, and I take many opportunities to engage in inspiration with friends, family, or colleagues. I pick up my daughter and the evening varies, but most of the time I spend working on the planned project of the day. I eat too, but I keep food super simple and healthy most of the times with tons of water or alkaline drinks. My days typically run from about 5 am to midnight or 8 am to 3 am. My days are so varied, yet they are all designed for maximum impact on myself and those I’ll be with that day.
Do you have any particular habits or systems that you feel are essential to your success?
My morning ritual is the most important and powerful ritual of my day. I can use it at other times of the day of course but it is very routine.
I spring out of bed and review my written board with all of my passions, goals, things I love, things I won’t stand for, and things that I’m passionate about. I review my values, my personal Code of Conduct, things that I’ve written that make me smile. I review this all while breathing deeply and smiling, taking it all in and reminding myself that these are the things I’ve made my life about. I cover this process with my coaching clients. It’s like a vision board but written.
After putting on my shoes and clothes, I grab some music and headphones. The playlist is crafted over 2 years to move me through different motions and thoughts. It begins with walking and breathing to a certain scientific rhythm for several minutes to clear the mind and lymphasize the body, clear it of toxins. I begin on an outward proclamation of gratitude for several minutes about anything and everything that I am grateful for.
Then I move on to the vision of my future and giving thanks out loud for everything that I want, need, or desire, as if I already have it. Then I spend a few minutes saying incantations even louder and wiring into my nervous system the things that I believe or want to believe . This is where things like “I AM” statements are used among other precisely crafted phrases and vocabulary to evoke energy, passion, and grounding. This all takes place in about the first 15 minutes of waking up.
When that is done, I’m ready to run, the music changes to a shuffle of songs that I’ve picked really move me to emotion. Whether that is laughing, smiling, and singing or another depth of emotional/spiritual connection. It could go from Black Eyed Peas and U2 and then Amazing Grace for example. The purpose here is to move the body, mind, spirit and emotions, be completely aware of what surfaces, enjoy it, engage it, make a mental note of it and keep running. I run for about 30 minutes at my target heart rate. Then that is done and I finish the run with a visualization exercise about the day coming and harnessing my energy.
As I get home, I go to my computer screen where I play a digital vision board video with music set to it an other recordings of myself reminding me of my purpose and vision in life. I’ll view this while jumping on a rebounder, clapping, and singing. I then center myself with some Tai Chi and breathing. Finally I sit down and either write in a journal, make a few notes, or send a few positive messages to people. While this all sounds like a lot, only about an hour has passed and depending on how much more time I have free or what my focus is, I stay in that mode and compound all that energy and focus. Then I shower.
Wow. That sounds like so much. It’s almost overwhelming to even think about. I think the only frame of reference that I even have for this would be the “Jessica’s Daily Affirmation” video that went viral a few years ago. Is there anything you can show us to help us understand more of what this looks like?
Absolutely. I made a video just for this profile, and I setup a special page on my website for any readers that want to learn more about morning rituals. (You can also click here if you can’t see the video.)
Tell me that someone wouldn’t be completely energized, inspired, and on purpose after a morning like that. I am certain that this ritual contributes to my success. Can I be successful without all that? Yes, but believe me, making time for that level of engagement in life is necessary and others feel it.
Thanks so much for taking the time to put that together. As we close, are there any habits you’re working to develop next?
I always think that there is a better way to improve what I’m currently doing. I think if I could integrate a few more things and use a computer like Iron Man has in the movies, I’d be able to get a ton more things done in the morning. 😉
Sean D. Olivares is a Transformational Coach, Poet, Business Consultant, and Servant Leader. He has learned first-hand from the world’s foremost experts on psychology, physiology, productivity, persuasion, leadership, love, and language. Through years of training, conversations, and friendships with experts in the fields of personal development, social change, and leadership, Sean has integrated and distilled lessons of mastery to share with his family, friends, clients, and his community.