You wake up to your alarm, press snooze, and roll back over for an extra few minutes of sleep. The alarm goes off again, and you get up, groggy still, to shuffle off and quickly get ready so you’re not late for work. Sound familiar? This is what your average person does; wake up and let the day take over. But do you want to be average?
If you want to be like the top 5%, you need to stop acting like the 95%.
There is a way to start your day with purpose and energy, a pattern that will help you accomplish more and increase your mental and physical health. It all starts with waking up at 5 a.m.
For most people, waking up at 5 a.m. without having to be somewhere sounds unappealing. But if you want to be great, this is where to start.
Robin Sharma is a leadership guru who loves to help others become more productive. In The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life, he uses a fictitious story about a billionaire mentor teaching a struggling artist and an entrepreneur about the importance of waking up early to show how revolutionary it is for success. He makes a convincing case that will persuade even the most sleep-loving people that to be truly excellent, we need to start our days intentionally.
Here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned from this book:
Waking up at 5 a.m. will provide you with the solitude and improved brain state to perform like the pros.
Balance your four “interior empires” to achieve self-mastery.
Don’t waste time when you wake up early, use the 20/20/20 formula.
Let’s get up and get started!
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Lesson 1: If you want to be successful, give your brain an advantage by waking up at 5 a.m.
The billionaire tells the artist and entrepreneur that he has the key to their success. When they arrive to meet him early the next morning, his first lesson is that waking up at 5 a.m. will give your brain the advantage to succeed throughout the day.
Our minds have a limited amount of “bandwidth.” When we fill our day with social media, interactions with those around us, television, and so on, we fill this bandwidth to the point that we can’t take in anything more before the day is even over. If you wake up at 5 a.m., you will find you can focus on one thing without these distractions and accomplish much more.
Our brain chemistry is different early in the morning. The brain’s prefrontal cortex, or that part of you that makes you worry or analyze things over and over, is temporarily shut down in the peaceful early hours. The tranquility at daybreak also has been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin, helping you feel energized and at peace. What an awesome way to start your day!
Lesson 2: Find balance in all four “interior empires” to find self-mastery.
Here’s another valuable lesson about success: don’t just focus on mindset. While thinking optimistic thoughts will help you, there are three other “interior empires” when trying to find balance.
Next to your Mindset, you also have your Healthset, Heartset, and Soulset.
Healthset refers to our physical health. One of the best ways to get ahead in life is to live longer. If you want to be in charge of your empire, you need to live long enough to do this! Committing to exercise will help you get much more out of life. It will also help you live longer. It will help you have energy, lose some stress, and be happier.
Heartset is your emotional well-being. To cultivate a healthy emotional life, we need to express ourselves and have healthy emotional attachments. This is vital to our success.
Lastly, Soulset is our spirituality. Whatever you believe, make time in the morning to connect with your spirituality and yourself. Remember all of the things that make you who you are, and why you are doing what you do. Too often we get caught up in the superficiality of life and forget to connect with ourselves deeply.
Apply all these in the peaceful time we make at 5 a.m., and you will be well on your way to a balanced, successful life.
Lesson 3: Use the 20/20/20 formula to set your day up for success.
By now you may be wondering if it’s so important to wake up at 5 a.m. What should I do when I’m up so early? It’s entirely possible to wake up this early and waste the extra time by using it to watch the news or scroll through social media.
The billionaire, however, lays out the perfect plan: the 20/20/20 rule, which says you should 20 minutes on three highly valuable activities each.
The first 20 minutes of that first hour should consist of exercise. Help your body wake up, and make your body sweat. Sweating decreases cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress and fear. Sweat also releases BDNF, the brain
-repairing neurotropic factor, which speeds up the creation of new neural pathways and repairs brain cells. If you want to think quicker, make sure you get sweaty!
The next 20-minute block should consist of reflection and meditation. The peace you find this early will make way for more inspiration than you thought possible. Make time to write these in your journal. Take the time to focus on what you want out of the day before you get distracted. And don’t forget meditation, which has been shown to reduce cortisol which will reduce your stress.
Finally, make time to learn. Instead of wasting time on useless entertainment, spend time reading and learning. Learn from the successful people of the world. What all the ultra-rich have in common is a love of learning.
If you’re ready to take your life to the next level and become great, it all starts with an effective morning routine. Through The 5 AM Club, we learn exactly how to do this, and an exciting fictional story to illustrate it comes as a bonus. The science-backed case Sharma makes for joining the 5 AM Club is likely convincing enough for even those who aren’t morning people.
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