You know how people say the best way to get an idea across is by telling a story? When Robin Sharma wrote “The 5AM Club“, he took that concept to the absolute extreme. And… it’s kinda weird.
The book itself is a self-help sort of read, revolving around waking up at 5AM, immediately doing exercise, then some learning, then some reflecting. Mr. Sharma even includes diagrams of various ways to accomplish the tasks and reap the benefits of starting each day as he describes.
The entire book is a fictional narrative about two people who fall in love, and follow an eccentric billionaire around the world learning his methods for attaining success. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the writing is *bad* really, it’s just very odd. The entire narrative is contrived to explain the benefits of waking up early. The whole idea of telling a story to get your point across is to tell *your* story. This is fiction for the sake of, I guess “being a story” ?
Anyway, enough beating up the author’s style. Like I said, much of what the author tries get across is valuable, if not fairly simple and straightforward, stuff. Wake up early, get some exercise, take time to reflect, learn stuff every day. Boom. But I guess that’s not enough words to sell a book.
I actually listened to the audiobook version. And even though it was like an ELEVEN HOUR LONG story problem trying to teach simple mathematics, I managed to finish the entire book. That said, I don’t really recommend it. I *DO* recommend waking up at 5AM. I’ve been doing it for over a month. (not because of this book, I’d actually started waking up at 5AM before I ran across it)
I’ve already summed up the entire book twice in the section above, but here it is in bulleted format. This is what the author calls the “Hour of Power” or some such thing:
- Wake up every day at 5AM
- Exercise for 20 minutes
- Learn something new for 20 minutes
- Reflect and/or journal for 20 minutes
And… that’s really pretty much it. I mean, there’s more advice, but that’s the gist of the book.
Like I said, I do wake up every day at 5AM. I’m not a morning person, but I have to admit, I’ve been doing it for over a month, and I don’t plan to stop. That said, a few things have been important:
- I have to get OUT of bed within the first 20 seconds of my alarm going off. If I don’t get out of bed in that timeframe, I will rationalize why I should go back to sleep. It’s uncanny. But in that first 20 seconds or so, I’m not awake enough to think through why I should really get more sleep, etc. So if I get out of bed immediately and put on pants? It works.
- I do exercise first thing. This actually started after I read the book, so I’m grateful for that insight. I don’t always do 20 minutes of exercise, but I get my body moving enough so that I’m fully awake within the first few minutes. It’s crazy how much my brain wants to rationalize going back to bed. But once I’ve done 25 of something, I’m awake.
- I take my ADHD medicine right away too. I worried at first that if I started so early, it would wear off before the end of the workday. And, it does. But taking it at 5AM makes those first few hours really productive. And by the time I’m done with my exercises, and I’ve made coffee — the ADHD meds start to kick in, and I can start my day proper.
So am I glad I read the book? Yes. Do I recommend it? Not really. But I also have to admit, it was a book I’ll probably never forget. Maybe that alone means it was a success for the author.
My Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 stars