Does it really pay to be the "early bird?"

When I was young, I learned the saying “the early bird catches the worm.” Somehow, I really internalized this phase and it has become a sort of mantra for me. I can hear myself saying this a million times over in my life. Perhaps this ingrained bit of advice has become the defining way I live my life. I am forever up early; early to appointments, early to airports, early to parties, early to events.  It does not really matter what the meeting is, I will be early for it. 
Reflecting on it a bit, what does this little advice about catching worms really mean?  I have seldom, if ever, caught a worm and when I did, it was in the evening.  I remember shining my flashlight at night on the lawn and finding all sorts of worms. I don’t ever recall seeing any worms in the morning. You might say, well it is evident that getting up early helps you get the day going sooner, you have more time to spend and you will be more successful. At least, that is what I think it was supposed to mean. I have done this all my life, always gotten up early, been early to all my appointments and I am still waiting for my worm.  Maybe, if we knew what worm we were supposed to be looking for, it would be easier.  However, I am still not sure what kind of worm I want or even if I really want to catch a worm.  Judging by the amount of late people out there, it would appear that many other people are not interested in catching worms.   
Is there any validity to this bit of wisdom?  Will you really be more successful, if you are an early bird?  Do you think the “early birds” are catching more worms in life than the latecomers?  Have you caught all the worms you want yet?  Did you find “getting up early” was your key to success? Do you think you would be more successful, if you were more of an early bird?  What works for you in your life, sleeping late or getting up early? Does it really make a difference?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:52:02

    Hi John, Sitting here this morning catching up on all the blogs I missed this past week.
    Still pondering over the earlybird, but one thing for sure,and I think most early risers will agree, life is too short by wasting time sleeping late, although once in a good while it is a treat to sleep a little later. When I oversleep, it is usually because I have burnt the candle too late for a few nights, and my body is taking back those lost hours. It brings to mind an article I read about a year ago. You cannot get away with the quantity of hours your individual body needs to sleep without it selfishly taking it back.
    Well dear, I have to get busy around here. Jennifer has been here for several nights and I have Archie here who needs walking. Love that bulldog. Love & Hugs, Jeanine



  2. Bruce Galbreath
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 23:45:00

    I also am a habitually, even compulsively, early person. I'm not sure that it's gotten me ahead in any material sense, but I've found it interesting to see the beginnings of meetings, parties, wakes. I think that's different from getting up early (which I also do). I get up earlier than most people I have known (especially wives and lovers). I enjoy being the first one up, having an hour of solitude before the social part of life begins. I also tend to stay up later than others too, because I can get along well with 6-7 hours of sleep. But, given the amount of sleep you need, I don't think you can get extra time by getting up early, because it will be subtracted at the other end.



  3. John Persico
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 01:26:22


    Did you ever wonder of dogs or cats subscribe to the dictim about the early bird or is it only birds?



  4. John Persico
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 01:27:31

    HI Bruce, we are very similar. I love being up early but I am not a night person and we differ there. I love to nap as well but I need at least 8-9 hours of sleep a day.



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