This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.
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A self-help book wrapped inside a fable, “The 5 AM Club” tells the story of a burned-out female entrepreneur on the verge of suicide, a depressed painter trying to understand how to fuel his creativity, and Mr. Riley, an eccentric billionaire with a desire to impart his knowledge and skillset to aspiring individuals.
The entrepreneur and the artist happen upon Mr. Riley at a personal optimization conference convened by a legendary self-help guru known only as the Spellbinder. At the end of his opening speech, however, the Spellbinder collapses on the stage, an event which leaves everybody shocked, but also draws these three disparate characters together.
Seeing how lost they are, Mr. Riley invites the entrepreneur and the painter to his beach house in Mauritius, at 5 a.m. the following morning. Little can they guess that their hesitant “yes” would mark the beginning of a captivating journey around the world and a book-length course in mastery and self-improvement. Get ready to hear Mr. Riley’s most indispensable lessons and prepare to become a virtual member of the 5 AM Club!
Even before reaching Mauritius, the artist and the entrepreneur learn that Mr. Riley was a student of the Spellbinder. Moreover, they discover that the 5 AM Club – or 5AC for short – is an exclusive, imaginary and transhistorical club of early risers, whose members have included everyone from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to John Grisham, from Georgia O’Keefe to Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright. They all knew, says Mr. Riley at one place, that getting up at 5 a.m. was the best way to isolate themselves from mediocrity and achieve greatness. When everyone else is asleep, the history-makers work and create; the hours the 95% waste are the same hours that the top 5% treasure.
“Rising at 5 AM truly is The Mother of All Routines,” explains Mr. Riley. “Joining The 5 AM Club is the one behavior that raises every other human behavior. This regimen is the ultimate needle mover to turn you into an undefeatable model of possibility. The way you begin your day really does determine the extent of focus, energy, excitement and excellence you bring to it. Each early morning is a page in the story that becomes your legacy. Each new dawn is a fresh chance to unleash your brilliance, unprison your potency and play in the big leagues of iconic results.”
However, as important as getting up early is, joining Mr. Riley’s 5 AM Club requires a little time and a lot of effort. Above all, it requires full understanding of the five ground rules of the club, which the artist and the entrepreneur are handed over in the form of handcrafted golden tablets. Let’s quote them the way one would the Ten Commandments – reverentially and in full:
There is a reason why history-makers work and create when everybody else is sleeping. Simply put, they have different expectations from themselves than the majority of people, as well as dissimilar goals and objectives. According to Mr. Riley, these are the four main focuses of history-makers:
There are not many who have tried to put 10,000 hours into mastering a skill. However, the real history-makers do one better: they put at least as much into becoming better human beings. They are aware that their “creativity, productivity, prosperity, performance, and impact on the planet are always a sublime expression of what’s going on inside.” So, they try to master the external world by mastering their four internal empires:
To master these four internal empires, you have to turn your resolutions into habits. The 5 a.m. routine should help you achieve that, just as the following three values will:
Now, personal discipline is a muscle: the more you stretch it, the stronger it grows. Just as well, it weakens when tired. Installing a habit successfully requires not depending on it. To achieve this, you need to tweak the four-part pattern that underlies all habits: trigger – cue – routine – reward. To adapt a new habit, you need to keep both the trigger and the reward while changing the routine. This isn’t easy. That’s why the habit installation protocol is a three-part process which lasts 66 days. During the first 22, you need to destroy your past habits. The next 22 days are reserved for the installation of the new routine. Finally, during the last stage, called integration, the new routine grows into an automatic response and becomes just as involuntary as the old one. “As it relates to becoming a member of The 5 AM Club,” advises Mr. Riley, “stick with your self-promise for at least sixty-six days. No matter what.”
Simply rising at 5 a.m. will not transform your creativity and productivity by itself. The real power of getting up early really comes from the daily application of the so-called 20/20/20 Formula. “I can’t think of another ritual that has contributed to my success and well-being as much,” says Mr. Riley to the entrepreneur and the artist before explaining how the formula works.
Essentially a plan for the first hour of the day, the 20/20/20 formula, as suggested by its name, encompasses “three twenty-minute pockets to install and then practice to mastery levels.” They are:
Its parable-like story, its memorable protagonists, and its easy-to-digest, valuable-if-applied advice makes “The 5 AM Club” a worthy successor to “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and “The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO.”
Whoever liked those two books will almost certainly enjoy this one as well.
Rise early. If so, by noon you will have already done more than most people will have by the end of the day – if not the week.
Robin Sharma is a bestselling Canadian writer. He worked as a litigation lawyer until the age of 25 when he quit his job and self-published his first book. His second book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” became an in... (Read more)
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