‘Anyway, let me simply say that the place where your greatest discomfort lies is also the place where your largest opportunity lives. The beliefs that disturb you, the feelings that threaten you, the projects that unnerve you and the unfoldments of your talents that the insecure part of you is resisting are precisely where you need to go. Lean deeply towards those doorways into your bigness as a creative producer, seeker of personal freedom and possibilitarian. And then embrace those beliefs, feelings and projects quickly instead of structuring your life in a way that’s designed to dismiss them. Walking into the very things that scare you is how you reclaim your forgotten power. And how you get back the innocence you lost after childhood.’
This is possibly one of the best quotes I’ve ever read, and it comes from the book: The 5 AM Club – Own Your Life, Elevate Your Life.
When I first saw this book, I thought it would be a typical self-help book. Don’t get me wrong, I love this genre, but not when it’s the cliché format of rules and tactics to achieve your goals. However, as soon as I started to read it I learnt that it wasn’t the ordinary self-help genre. This book is a fictional story with hidden life lessons.
If I were to summarize it in a sentence, the book emphasizes the importance of a morning routine by highlighting the significance of making time for the self-improvement you need to find success.
The story involves four main characters: the spellbinder, the artist, the entrepreneur and the homeless man. The artist, entrepreneur and homeless man meet at a life-changing event by the Spellbinder. The homeless man engages these two people in a conversation that’s full of quotes and lessons. At first, the entrepreneur and the artist doubt him given that he is disguised as a poor man. They even go ahead to insinuate that the expensive watch he is wearing is stolen. This is a clear illustration of judging the book by its cover. Eventually, when they start to pay attention to what he is telling them, they realise that he is actually very wise.
The biggest plot twist of all happens when we find out that this character who was originally portrayed as homeless and rugged is in fact a billionaire. I think it’s an extremely important lesson; that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. You should not look at a person and decide that based on what they look like they have nothing to offer because you never know the person’s full story.
The billionaire (Mr. Riley) invites the artist and the entrepreneur who are both seeking hope and motivation to embark on a journey with him, to understand the importance of starting your day early. According to him, ‘Winning starts at your beginning. Your first hours are where great heroes are made. Own your mornings and you’ll master your life.’ He says that people are able to achieve a lot more in their lives when they start it in good time. This explains the Lion sleep chronotype where most leaders live by the principle ‘early to bed, early to rise.’ The Four Sleep Chronotypes: How To Use Yours To Boost Your Productivity
The 5 AM Club is full of suspense, and that’s what kept me glued to the book. There are so many questions that you keep asking yourself. Why is the homeless man so well-spoken? Where is the billionaire taking the entrepreneur and the artist? Will his wisdom actually change the lives of these two people? As you flip through each page, you are given more reason to keep reading.
One of my main take-home from The 5 AM Club was the part where we are advised to put our phones aside an hour before going to bed. Mr. Riley suggests that we use this time to meditate and analyze our lives. This is because our screens produce blue rays of light that hinder us from sleeping well. Therefore to be more efficient, we must be well-rested. Health: 10 Dangers Of Insufficient Sleep
I also learnt the 20/20/20 formula which was very interesting to me. Robin Sharma recommends that we wake up at 5 am and spend the first 20 minutes exercising. This is a way of helping the body to wake up and make the body sweat. Sweating is necessary to reduce the hormone cortisol that induces fear and anxiety. He says that the next 20 minutes should be spent meditating and reflecting upon our lives. I learnt to visualize my ideal day during this period. The last 20 minutes should be spent learning. Perhaps reading a book, or expanding your self-knowledge. In short, 20 minutes to move, 20 minutes to reflect and the last 20 minutes to grow. Once you have gone through this process, you will be ready to start your day.
Finally, the book ends with an explanation of how the experience changed their lives after five years. Each of them has now used these valuable lessons and managed to transform their lives.
I would highly recommend The 5 AM Club. It has very valuable information that most people need to know about. On top of this, the delivery is just perfect, because instead of imposing rules and tactics, it has used a story to pass the same message across. Aside from just talking about the concept of waking up early, it also incorporates other valuable lessons about the dangers of the world today and how they are affecting us.
Read the book review for Man’s Search for true meaning by Viktor Frankl
Also check out Book Review: Ego Is The Enemy By Ryan Holiday
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Book Review: On Purpose Leadership By Dominick Quartuccio