Waking up earlier will not make the sun rise sooner – Mexican Proverb

Main Piece:

“No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano.”


Not much early rises earlier.


Waking up earlier will not make the sun rise sooner.



Nationality: Mexican

Location: Guadalajara, Mexico

Language: Spanish

Context and Analysis:

The informant is a 78-year-old male. I asked the informant if he had any sayings, legends, or superstitions he would like to share. The informant smiled and simply said, “No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano.” I asked him what this proverb means to him and if he knew where he had first heard it. The informant went on to tell me about his first assignment as a newly graduated civil engineer on his first solo project. He was so eager to impress his boss that he told his second in command to meet him at the construction site at 5:00 am. Despite multiple attempts his partner made to try to convince him otherwise, my informant claims not to have listened and reprimanded him for being lazy. The next morning when they arrived at 5:00 am the sun had not risen and there was no light. They had to wait two more hours until they could begin working. As they waited my informant’s partner said to him, “No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano.” 

This proverb speaks to the importance of timing. It is often understood that by getting to a particular place early or rising earlier it will lead to more efficiency. A popular proverb representative of this is, ‘the early bird gets the worm’. However, not enough is said to finding the right time. As my informant claims it is important to pay attention to one’s surroundings and gain context before making a decision as opposed to blindly following what one thinks is right. One cannot control every variable in life; sometimes it is more valuable to let nature take its course and adapt to the situation. By doing this, a person is more effective than if they are trying to fight the flow of life wasting energy by attempting to control every variable.