“I started going to the gym when I was fifteen years old with the dream of joining the Indian Air Force.” – Professor M.S. Rao Share this quote on Twitter

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Professor M.S. Rao

What is your morning routine?

I wake up at 4:00am every day. I express my gratitude to God for gifting me one more day to freely share my knowledge with the world. I drink lots of water, brush my teeth, go to the washroom, and then go to my laptop to write books and articles for 3-4 hours. I am highly creative and productive early in the morning. I write whatever comes to my mind on the topic that I decided on the previous night—my mind is fresh with peace and tranquillity as there is no noise in the early morning.

Next, I have breakfast. I am blessed with a brilliant and beautiful wife, Padmavathy, who wakes up a little later and offers me dried fruits and nuts―almonds, dates, cashews, and pistachios. She offers me a spoonful of honey and I enjoy it. She then gives me tea. My wife is an expert in making tea. After breakfast, I proceed to the gym.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

Almost five years.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

Previously, I woke up at 3:00am. I did that every day for five years. I changed to 4:00am five years ago when I started doing heavy physical exercises. My body needed more sleep, so I began waking up later.

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What time do you go to sleep?

Usually 10:00pm.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

I talk to my wife about the day’s developments, and I plan what I must do the next day. I give commands to my subconscious mind repeatedly about my lifetime ambition to become the President of India.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

Yes, but I get up automatically since I am used to waking up at this time.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

There is no fixed time to take my breakfast. It is usually between 8:00 and 10:00am. It all depends on my creative writing and other commitments, such as offering my training programs and delivering speeches.

My wife is a great cook. She changes the menu for breakfast and lunch each day depending on the availability of vegetables, fruits, and groceries at home. Usually I take a typical South Indian breakfast and a North Indian lunch. In fact, I’ve loved North Indian food (my favorites are tandoori chapati and daal) since I served in the Indian Air Force. In the Indian military, food is the same for all soldiers irrespective of the regions and communities they’re from. However, there is the option to choose between vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I don’t have a bicycle or a car, so I walk thirty minutes to the gym to work out. I do a heavy workout for an hour, as I am basically a fitness freak. I started going to the gym when I was fifteen years old with the dream of joining the Indian Air Force and serving my nation. I was passionate about serving my nation, and in the armed forces physical fitness is essential. I was underweight with an asthma problem, but I gradually overcame my health issues and achieved physical fitness. I joined the Indian Air Force when I was nineteen years old. I loved the life of wearing a uniform and serving my nation—it is an honor to serve one’s country.

While working out, I talk to one or two people and try to inspire them by identifying their personality traits. After my workout, I read the newspaper for 10-15 minutes in the gym. I then walk back home. That means I work out for an hour and walk for an hour every day. After I return home, I read another English newspaper and jot down any important points I can use in the articles I write to inspire people globally.

I have the practice of carrying my pen and paper wherever I go. I get lots of ideas and I capture them immediately by writing them down on paper. I transfer those ideas onto my laptop to take them forward for further action. I am very ruthless in the execution of my ideas.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

After writing in the morning, I check emails. I have a few email accounts, and each email address has a specific purpose. I check all these email accounts daily at different times of the day. I have an email exclusively to send research papers and articles; an email to reach out to my fans and followers globally; an email to communicate with my publishers; an email to subscribe to newsletters; an email to communicate with my celebrity friends globally; and an email for all my social media accounts.

I get lots of emails from my students and fans with queries on careers and leadership. I respond to them depending on how much time I have after working on my books.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

No. I love technology, but I am not an expert in it.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I rarely use my phone as it distracts me from my creativity and writing.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Authoring books, writing articles, blogging small posts, and sharing my own quotes. I have four blogs but I only post on one. (I also regularly post small articles on LinkedIn.)

I am passionate about freely sharing my knowledge with the world. I have a quest for learning so I can better understand the world and a thirst for sharing so I can help build a better world. In a nutshell, I have a quest for learning and a thirst for sharing.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

The moment I wake up I drink lots of water that’s been stored in a copper vessel overnight. My wife gives me Chai in the morning.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My wife, Padmavathy, is the secret to my success. I am blessed with an amazing and inspiring wife who fits into my life and supports me through thick and thin.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

Yes. I am very strict about my morning routine except when I encounter external challenges and when I am away from home to keynote at global conferences.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

It is a bit challenging. When I go to different countries, I have to follow different time zones. Additionally, there is jet lag.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I readjust my biological clock. When I served in the Indian Air Force, life was not fixed as I had to wake up and work at different times in different geographical locations and climatic conditions in India due to service exigencies. Sometimes, we were told to get ready within thirty minutes to travel to unknown destinations for secret operations. Therefore, I’m able to readjust and adapt in different environments.

Most soldiers have these qualities irrespective of their nationalities. That is just one of the many reasons why military people excel as great leaders globally.


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