The 5 AM Club offers advice on making your mornings the kick start you need to attain your most remarkable achievements. Mornings are often a struggle for people. However, Robin Sharma believes his formula can help anybody feel inspired and focused early in the morning. On top of this, he offers neuroscientific support for approaches that will help you rise far easier than the rest of society.
About Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma is considered one of the top 5 leadership experts worldwide. He is also the author of the bestselling books, The 5 AM Club and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Robin is admired by some of the world’s most successful people. He has advised rock stars, royalty, billionaires, and celebrity CEOs. Robin quit his career as a lawyer at the age of 25 to pursue stress management and spirituality.
The Preparation: Five Ground Rules
- 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.
- Excuses do not breed moments of genius. Just because you haven’t installed the early-rising habit before doesn’t mean you cannot do it now. Release your rationalizations and remember that small daily improvement can lead to stunning results when done consistently over time.
- All change is complicated at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. Everything you now find easy, you first found complex. Consistently getting up early in the morning will soon become your new routine.
- To obtain the top 5% of producers’ results, 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.
- 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
The Three-Step Success Formula
Better awareness leads to better choices, which leads to better results.
This heightened level of insight and consciousness will then optimize your daily decisions. Once you get your daily choices correct, you will dramatically accelerate your ability to accomplish and have a significant impact as a leader.
The Four Focuses of History Makers
Natural talent is not what defines great individuals. Instead, it is the extent of that potential that they capitalize on through consistency and relentlessness. No matter what sport, or specialism, those willing to put in exceptional dedication, commitment, and drive will become iconic.
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 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 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 trust.
Stop managing your time and start managing your focus. It might seem like spreading yourself thin saves you time, but your focus is ultimately the most important thing.
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 entirely 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 you. Your internal reflections will always manifest within your external behaviors. Therefore, challenge yourself when you are negative or distracted. Master your inner world, and you will master the external world around you.
Each day is equally important in the bigger picture of your life. Craft your life based on each day, focusing on the bigger picture of your life. Each of your special 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.
“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
The Secret of Morning Genius (Transient Hypofrontality)
When we get up at five in the morning, the stillness, solitude, and silence trigger our brain. Our brain waves shift from beta to alpha, then through to theta. And then, a pharmacy of mastery is stimulated in our brain. These changes help us produce groundbreaking thoughts 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 genuinely 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.
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. For example, our thinking and our optimism.
- Heart set: Relates to our emotional intelligence. How good are we at managing our own emotions?
- Health set: Relates to our physical fitness.
- Soul set: Relates to spirituality. How are we connecting to that Supreme power?
By taking care of these four empires, we can all achieve remarkable 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
The Five Scientific Truths Behind Excellent Habits
- World-class willpower isn’t an inherent strength; it is 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.
- Personal discipline is a muscle. The more you stretch it, the stronger it gets. Therefore, we should actively create conditions of relative hardship. These experiences will build natural power.
- Like other muscles, willpower weakens when tired. Therefore, recovery is necessary for the expression of mastery and to manage decision fatigue.
- Installing any virtuous habits follows a distinct four-part pattern for automation of the routine. Follow it explicitly for lasting results.
- Increasing self-control in one area of your life should elevate self-control in all areas of your life. That is why joining the 5:00 AM club is a game-changing habit that will lift everything else that you do.
The Three Values of Heroic Habit Makers
- 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.
- Completing what is started determines the size of personal respect that will be generated.
- The way you practice in private is precisely how you will perform once you are in public.
The Lifetime Habit Arc
The lifetime habit arc is the four-part automation pattern discussed 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. Then, after completing the habit, it’s time for us to reward ourselves. Finally, once that reward 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
The Habit Installation Protocol
According to research, it takes around 66 days for any habit to become automatic. However, these 66 days are divided into three stages.
- Stage one is destruction, where we destroy our old habits and try to implement a new one.
- The next 22 days are part of the installation stage. This is the most challenging phase of all three. Installation is where we attempt to install this habit into our lives. We deal with how the habit impacts and is impacted by the rest of our habits.
- The last stage is integration. Integration is where the habits slowly start to become more like an automatic response.
The 20/20/20 formula
Pocket #1: Move
5:00 AM to 5:20 AM is when 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 wake up fully.
When we exercise first thing in the morning, our cortisol levels decrease, and our dopamine and serotonin levels increase. These changes elevate our mood and our metabolism. Hence, 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. Additionally, you may want to spend this time planning your day, praying, or creating a time of personal contemplation. Anything that feels natural and involves active reflection.
This step helps us be more aware of ourselves and our mission, vision, and life goals. It ensures we are in alignment with our higher 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 for life, your week, and your day.
You can read books in your field, listen to audiobooks or podcasts, or engage with an online training course. This time should involve engagement with whatever 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
The Benefits of Journaling
Journaling multiplies our clarity and awareness. This clarity and awareness are the only way to be sure whether we are on the right path.
Journaling activates deliberate gratitude. It is often easy to get tied up in the business of our daily life and forget to be grateful. Journaling is a great way to handle your emotions when you feel low and 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 understand 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 genuinely elevate your life.
The Pre-Sleep Ritual
When we talk about getting up at 5:00 AM, it’s impossible unless we sleep on time. We need to sleep on time and have a high-quality sleep. It is vitally important that you keep to a healthy pre-sleep ritual to ensure these two factors. Generally, this ritual should occur between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. You should make sure that, by this time, you have 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 over stimulation. 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.”– Robin Sharma
9:00 PM to 10:00 PM is 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 to be ready and motivated to start your day in the right way.
And last but not least: Practice gratitude before you sleep. Doing this means you are ending your day on a high note, on a positive note.
The Amazing Day Deconstruction
In this part of the book, Robin Sharma has deconstructed what a fantastic day looks like. His day starts at 4:45 AM and ends at 9:30 PM.
Different people will have different timetables, and their needs will differ. You can still take this as a basic guideline and try to 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.”– Robin Sharma
The 10 Tactics of Lifelong Genius
Tactic One – 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 you have a scheduled routine away from all interruptions and distractions. This routine will allow you to focus on your work entirely.
Tactic Two – The 90/90/1 Rule
For the next 90 days, you should use the first 90 minutes of your work to identify one thing that could revolutionize your work. By doing this, you’ve ensured your day’s first 90 minutes is wholly focused on the single most important activity of your career. This, alone, will give you excellent results.
Tactic Three – The 60/10 method
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 you are not over stressed. You’re not sitting in one place for long, and you refuel yourself for the day ahead.
Tactic Four – The Five Daily Concepts
This concept states you should write five goals that you want to complete on a particular day. These goals should be created in the morning. Doing this should help every day become the best day it could be. By making these lists, you ensure you stay on track and move towards your ideal life.
Tactic Five – The Second-Wind Workout
We all know that workouts are great for us, so why do we simply reserve them for the first half of the day? By scheduling a second workout, you can ensure you end your day on an energetic note.
Tactic Six – The Two Massage Protocols
According to the book, it is a good idea to have two massages per week. Massages help you relax and gain the energy you lose throughout the week.
Tactic Seven – Traffic University
The idea is not to 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. If you are driving, you can listen to a podcast or an audiobook to learn as you commute.
Tactic Eight – The Dream Team Technique
We cannot accomplish what we want to accomplish without the help of others. By delegating some tasks to our team members, we can ensure everyone is doing what they are good at. So, having a dream team is a critical part of any pursuit.
Tactic Nine – The Weekly Design System
This tactic states you should sit down and plan your entire week every weekend, preferably on Sunday. How does your week look? 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 ensure you’re sticking to your goals. You can then develop this plan further by breaking those goals into five daily goals.
Tactic Ten – The 60-Minute Student
This idea states that those who are considered geniuses by society 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 talking with your mentor. However, the idea is to learn. 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.”– Robin Sharma
Twin Cycles of Elite Performance
This is a straightforward 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 them. We protect them by following this twin cycle: the high excellence cycle and deep refueling cycle.
We work with complete focus in the high excellence cycle 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
Use Joy as a GPS
With this concept, the author has mentioned we can use joy to guide us on the right path. Spend time with people who spark joy in your life. Plus, spend time on the pursuits and in the places that spark joy.
When you use joy as a GPS, you ensure you are happily achieving your goals.
“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”– Robin Sharma
The Heroic Human Cycle
The seven virtues of world changers are bravery, forgiveness, integrity, understanding, sincerity, politeness, and humility.
Unless you possess all these seven virtues, 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
Comment below and let others know what you have learned or if you have any other thoughts.
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