In this summary of The 5 AM Club, we will be sharing some of the most insightful educational tips and key takeaways from the book. In doing so, we hope that these tips will help you to change your life and become a member of the 5 AM club.
About the Author
Robin Sharma is a globally respected humanitarian. Widely considered one of the world’s top leadership and personal optimization advisors, his clients include famed billionaires, professional sports superstars, and many Fortune 100 companies.
The author’s #1 bestsellers, such as The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Learn the key takeaways in the app), The Greatness Guide and The Leader Who Had No Title, are available in over 92 languages. This makes him one of the most broadly read writers alive today.
Key Takeaways and Summary of The 5 AM Club
The Preparation: Five Ground Rules
Rule #1: An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production. Empire makers and history creators take one hour for themselves before dawn. This time allows them to develop a synergy with opportunities that go beyond the clutches of everyday complexity. They can then best prepare themselves for a world-class day.
Rule #2: Excuses do not breed moments of genius. Just because you haven’t installed the early-rising habit before, this doesn’t mean you cannot do it now. Release your rationalizations and remember that small daily improvement, when done consistently over time, can lead to stunning results.
Rule #3: All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end. Everything you now find easy, you first found difficult. Consistently getting up early in the morning will soon become your new routine.
Rule #4: To have the results that the top 5% of producers have, you must start doing what 95% of people are unwilling to do. As you start to live like this, the majority will call you crazy. Remember that being labeled a freak is the price of greatness.
Rule #5: When you feel like surrendering, continue. More often than not those who are relentless will succeed in the end.
“Take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will pretty much take care of itself. Own your morning.”Robin Sharma
Key Idea #1: The Three-Step Success Formula
Better awareness leads to better choices, which in turn leads to better results and better awareness of your natural ability to achieve great things.
This heightened level of insight and consciousness will then optimize your daily decisions. And, logically, once you get your daily choices right, you will dramatically accelerate your ability to accomplish and have a significant impact as a leader.
Key Idea #2: The Four Focuses of History Makers
1- Capitalization IQ
What makes a legendary performer so good? It isn’t the amount of natural talent they are born into. Instead, it is the extent of that potential that they actually capitalize on through consistency and relentlessness.
Many of the finest athletes in the world have had less innate skills than athletes who have tried to make a career out of their sport and then failed. No matter what sport, or specialism, it is those who are willing to put in exceptional dedication, commitment, and drive into their passions that become iconic.
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight and the dog.
2- Freedom from Distraction
An addiction to distraction is the death of your creative production. Strip away all the layers of complexity from your days. Simplify and streamline everything. Less really is more. Concentrate on just a few projects, so you can make them amazing. A few groundbreaking projects are fundamentally better than spreading your attention across multiple tasks and producing lackluster results. Quality over quantity.
Have a few friends, but go deep with them. This will ensure that each of your relationships is rich and prosperous for both parties. As with your projects and your tasks, it is much better to focus on developing strong relationships than obtaining multiple shallow-level friendships. You want to have friends you can always rely on.
Stop managing your time and start managing your focus. It might feel like spreading yourself thin is saving you time, but ultimately the most important thing is your focus.
3- Personal Mastery Practice
All your actions within your environment is a consequence of what’s happening within you. Your fortune always follows your fearlessness. Your influence in the world is completely attributable to the glory, nobility, vitality, and luminosity you have accessed in your consciousness.
External always expresses internal. Your creativity, productivity, prosperity, performance, and impact on the planet are always a sublime expression of what’s going on inside of you. Your internal reflections will always manifest within your external behaviors. Therefore, challenge yourself when you are being negative or distracted. Master your internal world and you will master the external world around you.
4- Day Stacking
Each day is equally important in the bigger picture of your life. Craft your life based on each day, with a focus associated with the bigger picture for your life. Each of your prized days represents your precious life in miniature. What we are doing today is creating our future. Therefore, always consistently and relentlessly stick to your focus each day.
“I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing that I can do to any fellow-being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”Robin Sharma
Key Idea #3: The Secret of Morning Genius (Transient hypofrontality)
When we get up at five in the morning, the stillness, solitude, and silence trigger our brain to change the waves from beta to alpha to theta. And then, a pharmacy of mastery is stimulated in our brain, which supercharges it towards potentially groundbreaking thoughts and ideas that would not have previously been possible.
The cortisol levels in the brain decrease, while the dopamine and serotonin levels increase. The prefrontal cortex then rests, which allows us to enter into the flow state. Flow is a state of mind when we are truly engaged in the activity that we are pursuing and we lose track of time. This state is most easily achievable in the early mornings because that’s when we have the stillness, the solitude, and the silence required.
Key Idea #4: The Four Interior Empires
To be a genius and successful in the long run, we need to take care of these four interior empires:
Mindset: Relates to the psychological aspect of our being, our thinking, our optimism.
Heartset: Relates to our emotional intelligence. How good are we at managing our own emotions?
Healthset: Relates to our physical fitness.
Soulset: Relates to spirituality. How are we connecting to that Supreme power?
By taking care of these four empires, on a personal level, we can all achieve truly phenomenal things and obtain life goals we have held forever.
“Elite producers and everyday heroes understand that what you do each day matters far more than what you do once in a while.”-Robin Sharma #5AMClub
Key Idea #5: The Five Scientific Truths Behind Excellent Habits
Truth #1: World-class willpower isn’t an inborn strength, but is instead a skill developed through relentless practice. Getting up at dawn is perfect self-control training for the rest of your day. If you can push yourself to get up earlier than most other people, you can push yourself to do anything.
Truth #2: Personal discipline is a muscle. The more you stretch it, the stronger it gets. Therefore, self-regulation means that as individuals we should actively create conditions of relative hardship, so we can build this natural power.
Truth #3: Like other muscles, willpower weakens when tired. Recovery is therefore absolutely necessary for the expression of mastery. And to manage decision fatigue.
Truth #4: Installing any good habits successfully follows a distinct four-part pattern for automation of the routine. Follow it explicitly for lasting results.
Truth #5: Increasing self-control in one area of your life should help elevate self-control in all areas of your life. That is why joining the 5:00 AM club is the game-changing habit that will lift everything else that you do.
Key Idea #6: The 3 Values of Heroic Habit makers
Value #1: Victory demands consistency and persistence. Anyone can be great for just one day. But to be great consistently is what is required to become heroic.
Value #2: Following through on what is started determines the size of the personal respect that will be generated.
Value #3: The way you practice in private is precisely the way you will perform once you are in public.
Key Idea #7: The Lifetime Habit Arc
This is the four-part automation pattern that was talked about in the previous part of this book summary.
The first step is the trigger. It’s the cue that initiates the habit. Once the habit is initiated, we need to follow a particular ritual to continue it. Once we are able to complete the habit, it’s time for us to reward ourselves. And once that award is pleasurable, that’s when repetition comes into the picture.
“Limitation is nothing more than a mentality that too many good people practice daily until they believe it’s reality.”Robin Sharma
Key Idea #8: The Habit Installation Protocol
According to research, it takes around 66 days for any habit to become automatic. But these 66 days are divided into three stages. Stage one is destruction, where we destroy our old habit and try to implement a new one.
The next 22 days is installation, and this is the toughest phase of all three. This is where we attempt to install this habit into our lives, dealing with the way in which the habit impacts on and is impacted by the rest of our habits.
The last stage is integration. This is where the habits slowly start to become more like an automatic response.
Each of these stages is spread over 22 days, making it a 66 day minimum time period to install any new habit.
Key Idea #9: The 20/20/20 formula
What do you do when you get up at 5:00 AM? How should you spend the first hour of your day to ensure that your day is exactly how you want it to be? The four laws of 20/20/20 help us to better understand these important questions.
Pocket #1: Move
5:00 AM to 5:20 AM is where we have to move. This includes doing intense exercise, hydrating ourselves, or breathing deeply. Your body has been in a state of sleep and you need to allow your body and mind to fully wake up.
When we do exercise first thing in the morning, our cortisol levels decrease and our dopamine and serotonin levels increase, which elevates our mood and our metabolism. This means we are ready for the day ahead. We will be less stressed throughout the day and our energy levels will remain higher than if we hadn’t exercised.
Pocket #2: Reflect
This pocket is from 5:20 AM to 5:40 AM. You should use this time to ruminate and reflect on your life. You can do it either by meditation or by writing in your journal, by planning your day, by praying or creating a time of personal contemplation. Anything that feels natural to you, but it should involve active reflection.
Now, this step helps us to be more aware of ourselves, and our mission, vision, and goals in life. It ensures that we are in alignment with our greater purpose.
Pocket #3: Grow
This pocket should generally occur between 5:40 AM to 6:00 AM. In these 20 minutes, you have to review your goals, both for life as well as for the week as well as for the day.
You can read books related to your own field; you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts; you can engage with an online training course; you can engage with whatever it is that you feel will help you grow in your respective field.
“And all it takes is a single morning filled with positivity to deliver a monumental download of inventive ideas that elevate an entire generation, you know.”-Robin Sharma #5AMClub
Key Idea #10: The Benefits of Journaling
Journaling multiplies our clarity and awareness. It helps us to know ourselves better; gaining this clarity and awareness is the only way that we can be sure of whether or not we are on the right path.
Journaling activates deliberate gratitude. Very often it is easy to get tied up in the business of our daily life, which leads us to forget about being grateful. Journaling is a great way to handle your emotions when you are feeling low and to express your gratitude for what is good in your life.
Journaling also allows you to plan effectively and set demonstrable goals. On the back of this, you will see that your execution improves. As we have heard so many times, what gets written gets done. Also, Journaling captures your life’s best experiences. Journaling allows you to re-experience joyful times.
So a simple act of writing in your journal can truly elevate your life.“You need to remember that your excuses are seducers, your fears are liars and your doubts are thieves.” -Robin Sharma #5AMClubClick to Tweet
Key Idea #11: The Pre-Sleep Ritual
When we talking about getting up at 5:00 AM, it’s not really possible unless we sleep on time. We need to sleep on time and have quality sleep. It is vitally important that you keep to a healthy pre-sleep ritual to ensure these two things. Generally, this ritual should occur between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. You should make sure during this time that you have or you have already had your last meal of the day. Plus, you will want to turn off all your devices and keep them away from the bed.
Try to isolate yourself from overstimulation. From 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM you can have family time. You can have real conversations with your loved ones, or you can meditate if you want. You can spend some time reading or listening to audiobooks or podcasts. The idea is to just relax and calm your mind before sleeping.
“Art feeds my soul. Great books battleproof my hope. Rich conversations magnify my creativity. Wonderful music uplifts my heart. Beautiful sights fortify my spirit.”
9:00 PM to 10:00 PM is then when you have to prepare for your sleep. Make sure your room is cool, dark, and technology-free. You can organize your exercise gear for the next morning, so that you are ready and motivated to start your day in the right way.
And last but not the least: Practice gratitude before you sleep. Doing this means that you are ending your day on a high note, on a positive note.
Key Idea #12: The Amazing Day Deconstruction
In this part of the book, Robin Sharma has deconstructed what an amazing day looks like, starting from 4:45 AM and ending at 9:30 PM. Things cannot get more granular than this.
Of course, different people will have a different timetable and their needs will differ, but you can take this as a basic guideline and try and reframe the structure according to your needs.
By keeping what works for you, you can tremendously improve your current lifestyle.
“Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours.”
Key Idea #13: The 10 Tactics of Lifelong Genius
#1: The tight bubble of total focus
What this means is that people who excel in their field stay away from distraction. They work in the tight bubble of total focus; in this bubble, nobody can interrupt them. To execute this, all you have to do is ensure that you have a scheduled routine away from all interruptions and distractions. This will allow you to completely focus on your work.
#2: The 90/90/1 rule
This rule states that for the next 90 days, use the first 90 minutes of your work to identify one thing that could be the game changer in your line of work. By doing this, you’ve ensured that the first 90 minutes of your day is completely focused on the single most important activity of your career. This alone will give you great results. Definitely try this out.
#3: The 60/10 method
This method states that after every hour of work, take a 10-minute break. Go for a quick walk, drink some water, do some stretches, and then get back to work. By doing this, you ensure that you are not overstressed. You’re not sitting in one place for long and you refuel yourself for the day ahead.
#4: The daily five concept
This concept states that every morning you should write five goals that you want to complete on a particular day. Doing this should help every day become the best day it could be. By making these lists of five every day, you ensure that you are staying on track and moving towards your ideal life.
#5: The second-wind workout
We all know that workouts are great for us, so why do we just reserve it for the first half of the day? By scheduling a second workout, we can ensure that we are ending our day on an energetic note.
#6: The two massage protocol
According to the book, it is a good idea to have two massages per week. This would really, really help us to relax, to gain that energy that we lose throughout the week, and get more refueled.
#7: Traffic University
The idea is to not waste the time we spend commuting. We can accomplish so much more by utilizing this time productively, and that’s what Robin Sharma has called traffic university. If you are on public transport you can use this time to think of creative ideas, or if you are driving you can listen to a podcast or an audiobook so you can learn as you commute.
#8: The dream team technique
Now we cannot accomplish what we want to accomplish without the help of others. By delegating some of the tasks to our team members, we can ensure that everyone is doing the things that they are good at. So, having a dream team is definitely a critical part of any pursuit.
#9: The weekly design system
This tactic states that every weekend, preferably on Sunday, you should sit down and plan your entire week. How does your week look like? What are the things you want to accomplish this week? What do you want to do each day?
By having this weekly plan, you can be sure that you’re sticking to your goals. You can then develop this plan further by breaking those goals into five daily goals.
#10: The 60 minute student
This idea states that those who are considered geniuses by society are those that study for a minimum of 60 minutes each day. For you, it could be a book about your field or the latest update in your field. It could even be having a talk with your mentor. But the idea is to learn, because the moment we stop learning is the moment we stop growing.
“Limitation is nothing more than a mentality that too many good people practice daily until they believe it’s reality. It breaks my heart to see so many potentially powerful human beings stuck in a story about why they can’t be extraordinary, professionally and personally. You need to remember that your excuses are seducers, your fears are liars and your doubts are thieves.”
Key Idea #14: Twin Cycles of Elite Performance
This is a very simple diagram. It states that, in total, we have five assets: mental focus, physical energy, personal willpower, original talent, and daily time.
These are our five assets and we have to protect these. And the way we protect them is by following this twin cycle: the high excellence cycle and deep refueling cycle.
In the high accident cycle, we work with complete focus in our tight bubble without any distraction or interruption. And then, in the deep refueling cycle, we cool down, relax, and re-energize ourselves.
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”-Robin Sharma #5AMClub
Key Idea #15: Use Joy as a GPS
With this concept, the author has mentioned that we can use joy to guide us on the right path. Spend time with people who spark joy in your life. Spend time on the pursuits and in the places that spark joy.
So, you basically need to try and avoid things in your life that do not spark joy. It could be people, pursuits, or a place. When you use joy as a GPS, you ensure that you’re not only achieving your goal but you are happily achieving them, instead of waiting to be happy after you achieve your goal.
By using joy, we can ensure that we are not just accomplishing things via happily and joyfully doing it.
“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”-Robin Sharma #5AMClub
Key Idea #16: The Heroic Human Cycle
This is the final lesson that we cover in this book summary of The 5 AM Club. The seven virtues of world changers are bravery, forgiveness, integrity, understanding, sincerity, politeness, and humility.
Unless you possess all these seven virtues, no matter how accomplished you are, you are not reaching your fullest potential. Every great human being has these qualities in them. They are humble. They are brave. They forgive others. They act with integrity. They are understanding, sincere, and polite.
“To lead this to inspire others by the way you live. To lead is to turn your terrors into triumphs and more than all else to lead is to be a force for good on this tiny planet of ours.”-Robin Sharma #5AMClub
What did you learn from the book summary of The 5 AM Club? What was your favorite takeaway? Is there an important insight that we missed? Comment below or tweet to us @storyshots.
New to StoryShots? Get the audiobook and animated versions of the summary of this book and hundreds of other bestsellers in our free top-ranking app.