What Is the 5 AM Club? The Path to Self-Mastery

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 5 AM Club" by Robin Sharma. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the 5 AM Club? How can waking up at 5 AM every day change your life for the better?

The 5 AM Club is a group of people who’ve learned the importance of rising early and starting their day with the intention to improve their lives. Before you learn the beliefs, principles, and instructions that guide the behaviors and habits of the 5 AM Club, you must understand what the 5 AM Club is.

So, what is the 5 AM Club? Keep reading to find out.

What Is the 5 AM Club?

The first hour after you wake up is your most productive hour of the day. Your body and brain are recharged and more capable of focus and creative thought. The 5 AM Club is a group of people who follow certain maxims to create a successful morning routine and begin their day focused, grounded, and ready for the tasks ahead.

The Maxims

There are five maxims underlying the 5 AM Club that can help guide your journey to excellence. 

1. One hour of tranquility leads to a lifetime of achievement. Great achievers know how to shut down the distractions in their lives to allow their creative spirit to thrive. When you take an hour each morning to exist in peaceful isolation, you lay the bricks for a productive day, which lays the bricks for a productive life. 

2. There is no power in excuses. You can rationalize your way out of any behavior—it’s unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or too extreme. If these excuses keep you from being open to change, then you’re validating them. Waking up early may not be familiar, comfortable, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be one day. Small adjustments on a daily basis are all that is needed to create real growth and change in your life. 

3. Without struggle, there will be no glory. The trajectory of change moves from difficult to chaos to beauty. Everything that now comes naturally to you was awkward and hard in the beginning. Getting up early will challenge you, but persisting through the difficult moments will make it routine, and you will rise shining bright with the sun. 

4. Being extraordinary means being different. The 5 AM Club is an elite group not because of their status, but because there are so few people willing to commit to becoming excellent. Only 5% of people are willing to push out of their comfort zones to focus on mastering their craft. The other 95% will ridicule your behavior and call you eccentric. If you’ve reached the level of eccentricity, you’re well on your way to achieving your highest level of greatness.  

5. There is only one direction that leads to greatness. Starting this morning routine will hurt, and challenging yourself to dive deep into your personal power will scare you. You’ll want to quit and retreat back to safety. But clarity and mastery only happen when you do the work to attain them.

What Is the 5 AM Club? The Path to Self-Mastery

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Here's what you'll find in our full The 5 AM Club summary:

  • What the Victory Hour is and how it can change your life
  • Why an early morning routine activates your creative and productive potential
  • Why the first hour after you wake up is your most productive

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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