The 5AM Club is not a book about getting up early, resenting your alarm clock before your head hits the pillow nor is it about depriving yourself off sleep to be the most productive person.
I have been asked to review this book many times since it appeared on my Facebook timeline and Instagram posts but I had held back because I wanted to only talk about it once I have tried living the recommendations by the author, Robin Sharma. Today is the 120th day I have programmed myself to wake up at 5AM, and have I not felt better, lived better and served better. And I owe it to Robin Sharma to share his teaching in his, what I would consider, his magnum opus.
The 5AM Club, first and foremost requires you to get up before the sun and do what your body would hate you the most for – making the body sweat when everybody else is comfortable, safe and sound under the covers. The first 20 minutes of the day is spent just defying your body that’s begging for you to just stop, sit down or even better, lie down AND your mind that’s justifying arguments and reasons that you should just stop, sit down or even better, lie down.
It was terribly hard for me the entire 66 days (minimal number of days for habit installation) to get my heart rate up with burpees just as soon as getting out of bed. It was NOT easy. At one point, getting up at 5AM became automatic but getting out of bed took so much willpower, I could just cry and tell myself that I just given birth to my fourth baby and she woke up like three times throughout the night and I have SOLID, JUSTIFIED reasons to give up such non-sense about waking up early because I need to love myself and let it indulge in doing what it wants. Nope, had to break away from those thoughts and get the machine (the body) to work.
Getting up at 5AM and sweating is the real deal of getting your mind over the matter.
After 20 minutes of sweat inducing workout, you are to journal. Yes, simply write down whatever the thoughts that pass your mind – nobody is judging you, write it down on a book, not as a Facebook post though. This exercise is not to hone your writing skills (although I believe improved writing skill is an after-effect), it is to practise observing your thoughts. In observing your thoughts, you realise your emotions, behaviour and reactions take root in your thoughts. And they beauty of that is, when you can observe your thoughts, you can control your emotions, behaviour and reactions.
In my 120 days of waking up at 5AM, I have installed 5 habits (the 6th habit is failing at its daily attempt – to perform my prayers right after the azan, my God like the hardest thing ever!), which I attribute my 2nd habit installation’s success to journaling.
The second habit I installed was eating intentionally, in laymen terms that just mean to stop eating junk. So by journaling I delved into my thoughts and found the reason I was attached to junk food as a form of celebrating life. I went back to the days when junk food was scarce and the joy that came upon sinking my teeth into candy. Journaling allowed me to re-process that experience as an adult and to realise that there are so many other ways to celebrate life that doesn’t need to put myself into the risk of diabetes, tooth decay or simply just that feeling of out of funk after eating too much junk.
The second 20 minutes after waking at 5AM is for you to get in touch with your soul by journaling. And spending that 20 minutes listening to your soul just makes getting up at 5AM so much easier because you hear your soul yearning your forgotten potential, the small voice you often ignore in order to make ends meet, that little skip of a heartbeat when you deny your dreams.
After 20 minutes of journaling, Robin Sharma recommends to make full use of the theta brainwaves happening after you have conquered your mind and body, gotten in touch with your soul, by learning something you want to improve yourself in. He recommends reading, listening to podcast or simply working on something that you have always wanted to do.
Personally, I have used this method on my 7-year-old. I don’t think it’s fair for him if I shared the problem here, so I would only tell if asked personally. I could see improvements with his learning after just 5 days of waking up to 10 burpees and then to the white board to improve his learning. I attribute the ease of teaching to the fact that he learnt difficult concepts at a time when his theta brainwave was at the strongest.
I wish everybody could just try this out on their kids if they think it’s not worth trying on themselves.
So to conclude, the routine that Robin Sharma recommends in The 5AM Club is:
20 minutes of sweat inducing workout.
20 minutes of journaling.
20 minutes of learning.
Have I tried it? Yes. Does it work? Yes. Do I recommend it? A MILLION TIMES OVER.
Do note that this is just a small portion to Robin Sharma’s The 5AM Club. The book also lets you in on the steps to living your best life by developing your Mindset, Healthset, Soulset and Heartset. So. Give. This. Book. A. Try.
Now I would like to hear from you. Is there any of your habit that irks yourself that you would like to rid of? You may write in the Comments section below or you may reply to me directly if you are a subscriber to The Baini Mustafa Weekly Email. If you would like to receive weekly emails from me and so much more, you may subscribe here.
Until then, be safe and listen to inner voice, read more books and communicate effectively with those around you for the best results.