The 5 AM Club - book review

The 5 AM Club – Book Review

Recently, I read the book The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning, Elevate Your Life written by Robin Sharma. The book surprised me in several ways and made me consider joining the 5 AM Club. In this book review, you can read more about The 5 AM Club and the author. I will also provide a summary and give my opinion about the book.

The aim of The 5 AM Club is to help you maximize your productivity while increasing your happiness and health by means of a bulletproof morning routine. The revolutionairy morning routine described in the book is Robin Sharma’s holy grail.

Who expects that The 5 AM Club is a practical “how-to” self-help book with tips and methods to install a new morning routine, might be suprised. The book namely turns out to be a fiction book. The book is still full of great ideas, thoughts and methods, but Robin Sharma’s beliefs are presented in a story rather than in a non-fiction way. In the book, several protocols and methods, with names such as “the 20/20/20 formula”, “the 90/90/1 rule”, “the 2nd wind workout (2WW)”, “the weekly design system (WDS)” and “the 60/10 method”, are introduced and discussed to improve wellbeing and productivity.

Although the main goal of the book is to increase productivity, it is not at all about ‘working more’. Nothing about an 80-hour workweek; on the contrary, Robin Sharma argues that 5 hours of deep-work a day is what is required to maximize productivity. Also, he thoroughly discusses the importance of rest.

About author Robin Sharma

The 5 AM Club is the 12th book that Robin Sharma published. It is one of his most famous books, together with The Leader Who Had no Title, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Who Will Cry When You Die. All his books are focussed around lifestyle, meaning, productivity and leadership. Sharma is quite the expert on these topics, as he has worked with and coached some of (the CEO’s of) the greatest companies on the planet. In total, Sharma sold over 20 million books worldwide.

Why I read The 5 AM Club

I remember seeing this book in an advertisement or as a recommended buy in a webshop. I read what it was about, since the title and overall appearance of the book caught my interest. The content of the book seemed indeed of interest to me. Already for quite a while I have been working on getting my life in order, self-improvement, personal growth and improving my happiness and productivity. In a lot of ways, I have succeeded. But still, there was (and is) much more to improve. One of the things I have been struggeling with for a very long time is rising early and implementing a healthy, consistent morning habit.

This book seemed to be the ideal guide to improve that specific part of my day and with that, my life. The book was on my wishlist for a while, when one day, I saw the book on the bookshelf of my girlfriend’s uncle. I asked him what he thought of the book and what he took away from it, and he told me that it was a very good book and suggested that I take it with me. I gratefully did and could finally start reading it.

Book summary of The 5 AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life

This section may contain spoilers!
Scroll to header “My opinion about The 5 AM Club” to avoid spoilers.

At the start of the book, the main characters (the artist, the entrepreneur), meet after attending a speaking event of ‘the spellbinder’. The spellbinder is seen as the grandmaster of inspiration. The artist and entrepreneur are struggeling in their life. They are not as happy, productive and succesfull as they wish to be. The entrepreneur even considered taking her life before the event.

When the entrepreneur and artist are conversing, just after the meeting in the conference hall, a stranger joined their conversation. The stranger (another main character in the book), referred to as ‘the homeless man’) seems to be delusional, as he speaks about how to reach world class both in your personal life as well as in your professional life and he claims that there is a plane waiting for him.

The homeless man offered to coach the artist and entrepreneurs for a few mornings. He explains how commitment, discipline, patience and work are all essential to reach world class and that an attitude of entitlement is not going to get you there. He tells the duo how digital distraction is one of the main reasons why people are underdelivering nowadays.

The homeless man convinced the entrepreneur and the artist, despite the doubts they have about him. They accept his offer and the homeless man, that turned out to be a billionair called Stone Riley, gets the students on a plane to Mauritius. Every morning the entrepreneur and artist wake up at 5 AM and get taught valuable lessons, rules and methods by the billionaire.

While the billionaire takes the students around several great places in the world, they get taught ideas like the 3 step succes formula, the 4 focuses of history makers (1. Capitalizatin of IQ, 2. Freedom From Distraction, 3. Personal Mastery Practice, 4. Day Stacking), the famous 20/20/20 formula and much more. During the journey, a love story is unfolding. But it is not all rainbows and sunshine, because investors of the entrepreneur’s company are trying to get rid of her. The entrepreneur even receives death threats from the investors while she is being mentored by the billionaire. The story unfolds towards a thrilling end.

Despite the setbacks, the students are noticing improvements in their happiness, mental claritiy and productivity already quite soon into their training. Eventually, they become extremely succesfull in both their personal and professional career. They follow up on Mr. Riley’s wish and start teaching others about the 5 AM club: own your morning, elvate your life!

My opinion about The 5 AM Club

First of all, I was quite surprised and a bit disappointed that The 5 AM Club turned out to be a fiction book. I don’t read fiction very often and I expected this to be a practical “how-to” book, and these are books I generally enjoy reading and I find easy to implement. However, I have to admit that my first impression was wrong.

The story in the book was fun and captivating, while still clearly bringing forward the benefits of waking up early and presenting the theory and tips on how to ‘own your morning’. The book was enjoyable to read and I think Robin Sharma did an excellent job in embedding the main message and theory into a story.

As often in fiction books, the tale was a bit romanticized and did not always seem very realistic to me. However, I think some of the things in the book can be seen as metaphores and also, it is a fiction book for a reason. It did not take away too much of reading fun for me, and the lessons taught by the fictional characters are still things that one can implement in real life.

I feel like the views presented in the book share some overlap with the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. Both books are discussing current societal topics, such as that a lot of people are not living up to their capabilities and talents, and a lot of people blame the world for everything that goes wrong (victimhood) and are not willing to put in the work, but still expect great results (entitlement).

Conclusions – The 5 AM Club book review

The 5 AM Club made me think a lot about meaning and my own habits and how I can implement new/better habits in my life. The book has proved me wrong after an initial disappointment, and the combination of a fun, interesting story and helpful insights made this a valuable book to me. Overall it was an engaging book that I would highly recommend to others, especially people that are thinking about changing their habits and improving their productivity and overall performance and happiness.

Will I join the 5 AM Club?

Now the big question remains: will I become a member of the 5 AM Club? I think Robin Sharma and the book are really convincing that owning your morning does elevate your life. Therefore, I am seriously considering to become a part of the 5 AM club for at least 66 days, as the book suggests. I already started implementing some of the habits that are recommended by Robin Sharma, such as working out straight away after getting out of bed. This is indeed something that helped me feeling more energetic in the morning. There are some practical issues I want to discuss with more experienced members of the 5 AM Club, in order to get fully convinced and start the early rising habit consistently, too.

I hope this book review of The 5 AM Club was valuable to you. You can find more book reviews here.

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