I remember when I was reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma back when I was in university. I still remember I couldn’t even finish that book because I felt the author was being very pretentious with his words. What he could have said in a few pages took him entire chapters!
Guess what? The same is the case with The 5am Club. Despite receiving worldwide acclaim and millions of readers praising The 5am Club, I felt somewhat shortchanged. Why? Precisely because I felt like I had read everything he talks about in this book, in his previous book.
The 5am Club is basically an amalgamation of Sharma’s previous books. So, if you have read his previous books, you will find The 5am Club a rehash and boring. However, if you’ve never read any of his previous books, then The 5am Club may appeal to you.
So, what’s the big idea? Everything boils down to Sharma’s concept of Victory Hour, which is 5am. He posits the idea that in order to achieve success, happiness and meaningful life, it’s important to get up at 5am and use that one hour to focus on your life- through meditation, exercise, eating healthy and reading/ writing. This morning hour is where, accordant to Sharma, one can access their genius part of their brain and cultivate and nurture it, thereby leading to a more productive life. It’s not just about getting up at 5am, but more about what you do in that one hour.
It’s not a new concept as such, as many successful CEOs/ athletes/ businessmen/ celebrities around the world practice the same thing- they all get up early morning and use that time to their advantage (I envy those people who claim to go to bed at 9pm!) As Sharma says, it’s time we “Own Your Morning, and Elevate Your Life.”
Some of Sharma’s ideas are great, and these very ideas are enmeshed in a story that feels rather cumbersome. There are two struggling strangers, who meet an eccentric tycoon, who eventually becomes their secret mentor. The mentor then shares his wisdom with the strangers and it is here where Sharma infuses all of his principles.
These principles include:
- The 2×3 Mindset (page 70)
- The 20/20/20 Formula (page 206)
- The 3 Step Formula (page 88)
- The 4 Focus of History Makers (page 107)
- The Four Interior Empire (page 136)
- The 5-3-1 Creed Willpower (page 162-163)
- The 66 Days Minimum (page 182)
There are some wonderful one-liner quotes that serve to inspire and encourage the readers, but these quotes are often surrounded by a storyline that drags and causes the readers to lose interest.
Some of my favorite quotes:
- The moment when you most feel like giving you is the instant when you must find it in you to press ahead. (page 17)
- It is the misuse of technology that’s ruining people’s mind, damaging their productivity and destroying the very fabric of society. (page 28)
- All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. (pah33)
- Raise the joy of others and you’ll get even more joy. Generosity- not scarcity- is the trait of all of the great men and women who have upgraded our world. (page 48)
- So long as you don’t get brainwashed into defining your worth as a human being by these material things. Enjoy them, just don’t get attached to them. Have them. Don’t base your identity around then. Appreciate them, just don’t need them. (page 68)
- Thinking about dying brings about what matters most into much sharper focus (page 104)
- Comparison is the thief of joy. (page 124)
- If you plan on being anything less than who you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life. (page 125)
- What makes the most successful achievers so great isn’t their inherent talent but their levels of commitment, discipline, resilience and perseverance. Grit is the word to describe this. (page 160)
The 20/20/20 formula is the one thing I am taking away from this book to implement in my life. Sharma does say that 5am is not a strict rule, you can even get up at 6am, or 7am, but the idea is that you need to have that one hour available for yourself only!
The basic idea is to split your Victory Hour into three parts, and each part comprises of one particular activity. I know it seems hard, but start practicing this into your daily morning routine, you will see a change. I know this because I have implemented this formula into my own life, and it’s certainly worked for me. No longer am I lethargic, nor am needlessly tired. I am energized, focused and ready to take on my day.