The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma Summary

The 5 AM Club is written by the famous self-help author and life coach, Robin Sharma. Sharma is a leadership expert and has trained several fortune-500 companies like Microsoft, Nike, IBM, etc. along with organizations like NASA, and Yale. He has authored numerous great books including The Monk who Sold his Ferrari, and The Leader who had no Title

The best thing about Robin Sharma is that he inculcates life coaching in the form of a story. The 5 AM Club is no different. Two people – an artist and an entrepreneur – who are struggling not only professionally but also in personal life go to attend a conference where a life coach speaks about success. There, they meet a mysterious man who offers to take them on a journey of a lifetime. Later, they find out that the man is a billionaire and wants to teach his life hacks to these too. That’s where the story begins. 

Pro Tip: It is a comprehensive summary of the book. So if you feel tired after reading about a few chapters, bookmark the tab, take a short break, and then resume your journey. 

Chapter 1-6:

“Own your Morning, Elevate your Life.”

The first six chapters are merely about concept building. The author emphasizes the morning routine and how it helps in conquering your whole day. All the top people in their respective fields are early risers. Thanks to this habit, they have a few extra hours that give them an unimaginable competitive advantage in their industry. To put this in perspective, waking up just 2 hours earlier means you’ll have 14 hours per week, 60 hours per month, and 730 hours per year more than everyone else. That’s about one month. Imagine doing wonders if you have one extra month every year. Therefore, you must come out of your comfort zone and adapt to these changes. In the end, the author gives five rules to lead a fulfilling life:

Rule 1: An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production. Don’t get attracted to any distractions. People who become victims of cultural conditioning love entertainment while the natural leaders and victors prefer education. 

Rule 2: Excuses won’t get you results. Instead of making excuses for past mistakes, focus on getting better in present. If you couldn’t be an early riser in the past doesn’t mean you can’t be now. 

Rule 3: When you adapt to a new routine in your life, it is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle, and joyous at the end. Understand the process and don’t let it break you.

Rule 4: If you want to be among the top 5% of the world, you have to do what the other 95% are unwilling to do. 

Rule 5: In a world full of liars, be someone who always keeps his promise. You ought to become an icon whose words have weight. 

Chapter 7-8

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate” – Steven Pressfield.

The next two chapters are basically counseling by the author on the conceptualization of success and riches. Robin Sharma says that culture conditions us to believe that our real worth is measured through the designation we entitle, the money we have, and the mansion we live in. All that is fine until we start defining the worth of humans by these material things. These are fake powers our consumer-driven capitalistic civilization wants us to believe. 

Real power never comes from anything external. It lies in living with noble virtues of productivity, self-discipline, courage, honesty, empathy, and integrity. It manifests itself when you’re able to lead your days on YOUR terms versus blindly following the sheep that so many in our society have been trained to become. Real success is having peace of mind when you get up. 

After defining true success, the author explains a mindset that every truly successful person in the world owns. He names it 2*3 Mindset: If you want to double your income or impact, triple your investment in two core areas – your professional mastery and your professional capability. 

Chapter 9: The 3-step Success Formula

The 5 Am Club by Robin Sharma

From this chapter onwards, the members of the 5 AM Club (people who get up at 5 Am daily) are introduced to the guide that leads them to mastery. The three-step success formula is simple. With daily better awareness, you can start making better daily choices, and with better daily choices, you’d start getting better daily results. When you multiply these little results by 1 year, or 5, or a decade, they take you quite far ahead of the game. (Editor’s Edit: This is exactly why Infofeen came into existence.)

The author insists on investing time in getting valuable knowledge (information). He says that there is a lot of competition at the ordinary level but there is so less competition at the extra-ordinary level. People these days are very superficial in their expertise. If you want to be truly successful, you got to have a deep understanding of whatever you love to do. This concept is inspired by the concept of specialized knowledge in Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Chapter 10-11: Four Focuses of History Makers

Four Focuses of History Makers

All the history makers have focused on four key areas in their lives. They are:

  1. Capitalization of IQ: It refers to honing your skillset. Dedication and discipline beat talent and brilliance every day of the week. This is what every person who made history used to do. Practice more.
  2. Freedom from Distraction: Detach yourself from any distractions that you have in your life. It’s time that you should start managing your focus instead of managing your time. Our brain has limited cognitive energy each day. If you will waste it on social media or any other distraction, you won’t be able to do your daily tasks efficiently. Princeton’s psychologist Eldar Shafir calls this concept ‘Cognitive Bandwidth’.
  3. Personal Mastery Practice: Whatever impact you are having on the world is a reflection of what’s going inside you. If you don’t have faith in yourself, you would never be able to achieve anything out there. Therefore, you need to reinforce 4 key areas of yourself for the rest of your life. They are:
    1. Mindset (Psychology): refers to being psychologically tough. The way you think about a certain task is the way how you perform in it. Therefore, you need to be psychologically strong.
    2. Heart set (Emotionally): You need to learn how to control your negative emotions and develop positive ones. Y.N. Harari has talked about it in detail in his masterpiece work “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”.
    3. Health set (Physically): More you are physically fit, the more you can pursue longevity.
    4. Soul Set (Spiritually): Your belief in the greater being will open the uncharted territories for you in the lost times.
  4. Day Stacking: Repeating all of this day after day.

Chapter 12: Habit Installation Protocol

Habit Installation Protocol
Installation of any habit takes 66 days. It has 3 phases, to begin with:
  1. Destruction: In this phase, neural networks in the brain formed due to the old habit are destroyed. It continues for 22 days.
  2. Installation: In the second phase, new neural pathways are formed based on the new habit. During this period, the Cortisol level (the fear hormone) rises in the brain. Therefore, most people quit at this level.
  3. Integration: The third and final phase is where all the newly formed neural pathways are integrated into the system to function properly. That’s when you reach the point of automation i.e. you don’t have to put in the effort to do that.
The whole process requires 66 days and that is exactly the rule of becoming the 5 Am member i.e. whatever you do, do it for 66 days.

Chapter 13: The 20 20 20 Formula

The 20 20 20 Formula

People who believe in the paradigm of the 5 AM Club would be of no use if they don’t use the morning window to maximize their productivity. The 20 20 20 Formula ensures this thing. It gives the layout to spend 1st hour of the day. It stipulates that the first 20 minutes should be dedicated exclusively to the exercise. Move, sweat, and hydrate. In the second 20 minutes, reflect. About what you are going to do today. Write a journal, or meditate. The last 20 minutes are for learning. Read books, review your goals, listen to podcasts, etc.

The Author further says that failing to keep self-promises is the reason that many of us don’t love ourselves and have low self-esteem. Procrastination is a lethal form of self-hatred. Don’t do it. Own your mornings, and it would elevate your life. 

Chapter 14: The Essentialness of Sleep

Sound sleep is an essential element for elite productivity. It is in our sleep that neurons shrink by 60% and cerebral fluid washes our brain so that it could stay at optimum performance. However, we are in the midst of a global ‘Sleep Recession’. The blue light emitting from all the devices is affecting melatonin – a chemical that informs the brain that it needs to sleep. Therefore, it is extremely pertinent for the members of the 5 AM Club to have a deep sleep so that they could get up fresh. “It is not the calibration of the first hour but the management of the last hour of the day as well that would give you premium results”, as Robin Sharma would put it in the 5 AM Club. 

We need 7.5 hours of sleep each night to stay active and fresh the other day. So, the author has deconstructed a pre-sleep ritual that would help us do that. Apply the Habit Installation Protocol on this and truly make it a part of your life. 

The Pre-Sleep Ritual

Chapter 15: Ten Tactics of Lifelong Genius

Robin Sharma introduces ten tactics that could help the members of the 5 AM Club to implement what they have learned so far in the book. Consequently, these ten tactics have profound impacts on the productivity and efficiency of everything that one does. 

10 Tactics of Lifelong Genius
Those 10 Tactics are:

1. The Tight Bubble of Total Focus (TBTF):

Schedule a solitude period each day where there would be no distraction in any form whatsoever. Your creativity will peak and you could do any difficult task get done in this time. 

2. The 90/90/1 Rule:

Schedule the first 90 minutes of your day into 1 task for the next 90 days. It could be learning a new skill or anything that you deem fit. 

3. The 60/10 Method: To maximize productivity and end procrastination, work for 60 minutes with clear focus and then take 10 minutes break. It could be a song break, or going to take the open air or anything. 

4. Daily 5 Concepts: In the 2nd pocket of your victory hour where you would write the journal about the things you’d do in the day, enlist five small tasks each day and get them done every day. This habit alone will get 150 tasks done for you in just one month. 

5. 2nd Wind Workout: Exercise increases our metabolism and keeps us fit. 2nd wind workout is another workout in the evening to burn your calories. It could be anything from a simple walk to mountain biking or yoga.

6. The 2 Massage Protocol: Schedule 2 massages per week. It will help you regulate your mental health.

7. Traffic University: An average person spends a total of 3 years traveling in an average lifespan. While traveling, listen to any podcast or an audiobook and make this time productive. 

8. Dream Team: Delegate your tasks to other people who are good at it and do ONLY what you are master at doing and love to do. It will add to your productivity and your mental health.

9. Weekly Design System: Things that get scheduled are the things that get done. Early morning of each Sunday, spare some time to make a schedule for next week. 

10. 60 Minutes Student: Take 60 minutes each day and learn something new. It will make sure that you’d stay at the top for the rest of your life.

Chapter 16

In the end, the author instructs the 5 AM Club followers to protect their treasures through the twin cycle technique. It propagates that the biggest treasures of any person are his mental focus, physical energy, personal willpower, talent, and time. Therefore, one must protect them at all costs. One has to incorporate such habits into the daily routine that these treasures get refilled, and that’s the only way to sustain the high performance over a prolonged time. 

Twin Cycle of Elite Performance

HEC: The high cycle of excellence is when you perform at the highest level of productivity using the techniques of TBTF, 60/10, and others. 

DRC: The deep refueling cycle is when you recalibrate your weapons through deep sleep, meditation, journal writing, etc. 

Executive Summary

Being a member of the 5 AM Club is the key to getting sustainable peak results in life. Get your facts straight about the true concept of ‘success’, and understand the formula to acquire it. Learn about the habits and focus of people who have made history over the years. Incorporate those habits into your own through the Habit Installation Protocol. Know the importance of sound sleep and the way to have it. Learn about ten tactics that every genius practices to get peak productivity. In the end, understand the twin cycle of elite performance so that you could sustain that peak productivity over a long period. 

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