3 Sentence Summary
Robin Sharma, in his book The 5 AM Club, tells the story of a fictional artist, entrepreneur, and tycoon to explain the benefits of rising early every morning. He provides a variety of tactics for making the most of our mornings, along with some fundamental principles for world-class performance. By rising early and taking advantage of the morning hours, we can set ourselves up for a successful and productive day.
Summary Read Time: Less than 5 minutes
Actual Book Length: 336
First Published in: 2018
Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book:
Part 1: The 3-Step Success Formula
In order to be in the top 5% and have a competitive advantage, you must be willing to do what 95% of people don’t or won’t do. This starts with choosing how to lead your life. Specifically, there are 3 steps to achieving phenomenal success:
1: Better Awareness: Know your values, why you do what you do, and how you want to be remembered.
2: Better Choices: Be rigorous with your daily choices so that every action is aligned with yours and who you are.
3: Better Results: If you consistently seek excellence and growth each day, it’ll add up and dramatically improve your results.
The most outstanding people commit to becoming the best version of themselves and living an original life. They set high standards for themselves in all aspects of their life, and they stick to them. By contrast, 95% of people only achieve mediocre results because they lack the clarity, focus and discipline of the top performers.
Part 2: On Choice & Thinking
The best performers always have their eye on four things: using their talents to the fullest, staying focused and undistracted, gaining personal mastery, and consistently stacking small wins. Robin Sharma calls these the “four focuses of history makers”:
1: Develop your “Capitalization IQ” to actualize your inborn talents. Believe in your own abilities/potential, and keep persisting until you succeed.
2: Eliminate distractions. Don’t try to take on too many things at once. You’ll only end up spreading yourself too thin and not being able to give your full attention to anything. Instead, focus on a few high-value projects or relationships. And be careful of getting addicted to technology or constantly switching tasks whenever you encounter a challenge. That will only lead to self-sabotage.
3: Improve your personal mastery and abilities to see greater results. Create balance in your life by focusing on four key areas: Mindset (psychology), Heartset (emotionality), Healthset (physicality), and Soulset (spirituality).
4: Stack your daily successes. By making a commitment to improve by just 1% each day, you’ll be 365% better off by the end of the year.
Part 3: How & Why The 5AM Club Works?
The 5 AM Club is based on various scientific findings about the brain, willpower, and habits. In the book, Robin Sharma inserts scientific insights about the human brain, willpower, habits formation, transient hypofrontality, flow, etc. to help readers understand why the peace and quiet of the morning helps us achieve peak performance. In the full version of The 5 AM Club summary, we’ll explain each of these concepts in more detail.
The reason that top producers outperform others is because they have developed the habit of completing high-value activities. In the beginning, they had to make themselves keep going whenever they felt like quitting. However, with time they were able to strengthen their willpower, self-mastery and discipline until it became habitual for them to operate at a higher level.
To build a new habit, you need to be willpower personified – at least in the beginning. But once you’ve gotten the hang of things and it becomes second nature to you, it’ll be a breeze. There are four steps involved in forming any habit: a trigger, a routine, a reward, and repetition. It usually takes about 66 days to cement a new habit into place, which isroughly 22 days for each of the three phases: destruction, installation, and integration, until it finally becomes automatic.
Part 4: The 20/20/20 Formula
The first hour of your day is the most important for setting the tone of your day and your willpower is strongest then. The author calls this your Victory Hour. He recommends that you split this hour into three 20-minute blocks where you focus on building your mindset, heartset, healthset, and soulset.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
1: Move (0500-0520) – Start your day with a healthy dose of exercise that gets you sweating. This triggers a host of biochemical reactions in your brain and body that put you in an optimal cognitive state for the day ahead.
2: Reflect (0520-0540) – The next 20 minutes are for you to focus on yourself. Whether that means taking some time to reflect in silence, meditate, pray, journal or plan for the day ahead, use this time to do something that will provide you with guidance and wisdom. This will help you stay focused throughout the day.
3: Grow (0540-0600) – Use the final 20 minutes of your day to set yourself up for success. Consider how you can increase your impact and become more valuable to your industry and society. Use the time to read a book, listen to podcasts, watch an educational video, or study the lives of successful people. This extra time in your day will be worth it when you see the positive effects it has on your professional and personal life.