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Book:  The 5 AM Club

Author:  Robin Sharma

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:   Sharma, R. (2018). The 5 AM club : own your morning, elevate your life. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.

Three Big Takeaways:

  1. To have the results 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. (pg. 60)

  2. The greatest bring rigor to what they do. They spend weeks, months, sometimes years getting the finishing touches perfect. They force themselves to stay with the work when they feel bored. While most performers call it being "picky", the top 5% of creators know it is the price of admission for world-class. The best refine the details, sweat the little points, and produce with precision. There's nothing wrong with healthy perfectionism - and an unyielding quest to be the best that you are capable of becoming. It's never been so easy to own the sport in business today because so few performers are doing the things required to reach industry dominance. There's a ton of competition at ordinary, but there's almost none at extraordinary. Finally, please remember that wonderful lives don't happen by sudden revolution. They materialize by tiny, daily wins that stack into outcomes of excellence over the long term. But few of us have the patience these days to endure the long game. As a result, not many of us ever become legends. (pg. 92)

  3. One of the main elements of your rise to legendary is longevity. Beautiful things happen once you commit seriously to peak fitness and go hard on cheating aging. Just imagine living a few extra decades - and staying ultra-healthy as you do so. That's another few decades to refine your craft, to grow into an even more influential leader, to compound your prosperity and to build a luminous legacy that will enrich all of humanity. Every day is just dramatically better with some exercise in it. And few things feel like getting uber-fit. (pg. 142)


Other Key Ideas:

The more one learns, the more one can achieve. Growth is the real sport that the best play every day. Education is truly inoculation against disruption. As you become better you will have better, within all arenas of your life. To double your income and impact, triple your investment in two core areas - your personal mastery and your professional capability. (pg. 70)

In this time of exponential change, overwhelming distractions and overflowing schedules, every great performer has developed the ability to concentrate on optimizing their particular skill for long, uninterrupted periods of time. This capability is one of the special factors that allows them to generate such high-quality results in a world where too many people dilute their cognitive bandwidth and fragment their attention, accepting poor performance and ordinary achievements while leading lives of disappointing mediocrity. (pg. 78)

When you deconstruct how the geniuses achieved what they did, you'll realize that it was their heightened awareness of the opportunities for daily greatness that inspired them to make the better daily choices that yielded better daily results. That's the power of self-education - as you become more aware of new ideas, you'll grow as a producer and as a person. As you escalate your personal and professional development, the level at which you execute your ambitions will rise. As your ability to make your dreams into reality increases, you'll be rewarded with greater income and higher impact. (pg. 91)

We constantly check our messages and scan for "likes." We spend vast chunks of our daily lives watching too much television. TV shows have become so superb these days, it's easy to get hooked. And when one episode ends, the next one begins automatically. We don't realize there's a staggering difference between being busy and being productive. High-impact performers and genuine world-builders aren't very available to whoever seeks their attention and demands their time. They're hard to reach, waste few moments and are far more focused on doing real work versus artificial work - so they deliver breathtaking results that advance our world. Other avoidance tactics include mindlessly surfing online, electronic shopping, working too much, drinking too much, eating too much, complaining too much, and sleeping too much. (pg. 118)

The term "cognitive bandwidth" to explain the point that we have a limited amount of mental capacity when we rise each morning. As we give our attention to numerous influences - ranging from the news, to messages, and online platforms to our families, our work, our fitness we leave bits of our focus on each activity we pursue. No wonder most of us have trouble concentrating on tasks by noon. The concentration we deposit on distraction and other stimuli is called "attention residue. People are far less productive when they are constantly interrupting themselves by shifting from one task to another throughout the day. I'm suggesting you work on one high-value activity at a time instead of relentlessly multitasking. Don't dilute your creative gifts chasing every shiny diversion that comes your way. Instead exercise the fierce discipline required to do a few things at a world-class level. (pg. 128)

When you're up early and all alone you are away from the overstimulation and noise and your attention isn't being fragmented by technology, meetings, and other forces. So the part of your brain that is responsible for worrying actually shuts off for a short time. You stop analyzing, ruminating, and stressful overthinking stops. The solitude, silence and stillness of daybreak also triggers the production of dopamine and serotonin. Automatically and naturally, you enter the flow state. (pg. 129)

If you want to be the best in the world you need to put in enormous amounts of practice time to advance your expertise. A performer must invest at least two hours and forty-five minutes of daily improvement on their skill for ten years. This is the minimum viable amount of practice required for the first signs of genius to appear within any domain. Yet so few of us think about the importance of putting what amounts to ten thousand hours of training into becoming better human beings. (pg. 134)

All you need to do to pretty much guarantee a hugely successful and splendidly meaningful life is own the day. Make those 1% course corrections and improvements over each twenty-four hour allotment you receive, and those days will slip into weeks and your weeks into months and your months will slip into years. Enhancing anything in your day by only 1% delivers at least a 30% - yes 30% - elevation only a month from starting. The main point I'm making here is focusing on creating great days that will stack into a gorgeous life. Consistency really is a key ingredient of mastery. And regularity is a necessity if you're amped to make history. (pg. 146)

Willpower weakens once it gets tired. Scientists call the condition "ego depletion." You wake up each morning with a full battery of self control. That's why you should do the activities that are most important when your capacity is strongest - at 5am. As you go through your day, going to meetings, checking messages and performing tasks, your ability to self-regulate decreases - and so does your capability to handle temptations and manage weak impulses. (pg. 179)

Your life will feel and work a hundred times better when you're in the finest physical condition you've ever been. (pg. 211)

One element of a great morning routine is a period of deep peace. Some solitude before the complexity starts arriving and all your other responsibilities take over. Tranquility is the new luxury of our society. Contemplate how you're living and on the values you want to be loyal to over the hours ahead of you. And how you wish to behave. Consider what needs to happen for this to be a great day amid the construction of a legendary life. As you experience the remainder of your day, the reconnection with your wisdom stays in focus, infusing every single moment and guiding each one of your choices. (pg. 212)

Consider writing "daily diaries." The key when you do this is just write. Don't think too much. Simply download your commitments for the hours ahead, record your precious ambitions and activate your gratitude by listing what's good in your life right now. Also, use your journal as a place to process through any frustrations, disappointments and resentments in your heart so you let them go. It's miraculous how you'll release toxic emotions and low energy from your system when you write down your suppressed hurts, freeing up maximum creativity. (pg. 217)

Calm performers are the highest achievers - meditation is simply one of the world's best ways to strengthen your focus, preserve your natural power, and insulate your inner peace. There's a lot of wonderful science confirming the value of a regular meditation ritual. Current research proves that regular meditation helps lower your level of stress. (pg. 220)

Here's a concept fairly foreign in today's age: read a book. One of the traits of the highest achievers is that they absolutely love to read books. They capitalize on their gifts and talents relentlessly. They invest in expanding themselves constantly. Fun is going to a conference. They don't spend too much time on meaningless entertainment because they're just too invested in endless education. (pg. 222)

The addiction to distraction is the death of your creative production. Your attraction to digital interruption is costing you your fortune. To have the income and impact only a few people currently have, you need to run your days like very few performers currently do. Each morning enter a mindframe completely empty of other people's superficial messages, spam, fake news, advertisements, silly videos, irrelevant chatting, and other forms of cyber-hooking that will destroy your life of monumental potential. Specific application ideas include selling your television, avoiding the news, staying out of noisy shopping malls where you buy things you don't need, unfriending energy-draining people, turning off all phone notifications, and deleting apps. (pg. 252)​

Studies have demonstrated that massage therapy generates significant improvements in brain performance, mood, your ability to fight stress, and in your general wellness. The key here is to have a deep-tissue massage versus simple relaxation bodywork. It needs to hurt a little to work well. This awesome practice also optimizes your good health and maximizes your lifespan. To follow this advice, lock in two ninety-minute massages onto your weekly schedule. Yes, two ninety-minute massages a week will cost you a lot of money. Death will cost you more. (pg. 257)

For at least sixty minutes a day, study. Do whatever it takes to you fireproof your commitment to relentless growth. Learning daily will raise your acumen, deepen your wisdom, and incite a blazing fire that stokes your grandeur. You'll become a weighty thinker and an outright superstar. As you capitalize on your brightest gifts, you'll become not only a bigger person but an even more indispensable one. You'll evolve into an exceptionally valuable leader in your field. The results will be generous rewards returned to in the form of income, eminence, and the psychic joy that comes with being a noble person doing world-class work and fulfilling a mighty purpose. (pg. 260)

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