Culture & Lifestyle / Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You’ll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book “The 5AM Club”

Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You’ll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book “The 5AM Club”

Culture & Lifestyle Jun 10, 2019

With his latest book The 5AM Club garnering best-selling status, internationally renowned author and leadership expert Robin Sharma shares with us the importance of rising before dawn, the dangers of digital distraction and unleashing your inner hero.Robin Sharma tells us why you’ll feel victorious after reading his latest book The 5AM Club

Full disclosure. This is my first self-help book. Ever. When this crossed my desk, of course recognizing the global appeal of Robin Sharma, I wanted to hear directly from the man himself. So in order to prepare for said interview, I had to read his latest book, naturally. So, I cracked open The 5AM Club and prepared myself to be inundated with lists, philosophical mumbo-jumbo and mind-numbing mantras. And I’ve never been so happy for being so wrong.  As soon as I finished the first few pages I was hooked with his narrative. His formulas threaded through this magical story about two people, an artist and an entrepreneur who are in the search for answers to the questions that they found during their own career journeys. This book quenched the thirst that I didn’t know I had.  And I had questions. Lots of it And Robin answered all of them.


Hina P. Ansari: Robin, tell me why did you feel you needed to write this book? 

Robin Sharma: I’ve been teaching The 5 AM Method and The 20/20/20 Formula that it’s based on for over 20 years to billionaires and professional athletes I mentor and I noticed they were realizing great success in terms of their productivity, their performance and their happiness. Based on that and all the requests I’ve been getting from my readers I decided to spend the past four years writing The 5AM Club, sharing this method so that many people as possible can benefit from this early morning routine.

HPA: Why now?

RS: We live in the age of dramatic distraction. People have never been so exhausted and so overwhelmed. People have never struggled with complexity as much as now. There’s a magic to when the sun rises. That is the quietest time in the day as I say in my book. The new luxury is tranquility in the world that we live in.


Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You'll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book "The 5AM Club"
Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You’ll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book The 5AM Club: Robin Sharma. Photo Credit: Robin Sharma


HPA: The planet is divided into two groups. The early risers and the midnight owls. Both appreciate the magic of the tranquility that part of the morning/night brings to them. It’s that special magic that’s in the air. Why do you feel that 5am is better than say, working at 2am?

A lot of the greatest men and women of the world were early risers. There is a reason why the great saints got up at 5:00am. A lot of the great artists, warriors and entrepreneurs are early risers. Michelle Obama, Tim Cook from Apple, Howard Schultz from Starbucks. I totally hear you about the night owls. And yet there is something—I would say very respectfully—even more special about that period before the sun comes up. You’ve rested so your mind is more pure and refreshed and your heart is more open to learning and growing. And it’s a profoundly powerful part of the day.

I did a book tour two months ago in India and as evangelized The 5AM Method. I was told that it’s similar to Brahma Muhurtha [the period of one hour and thirty six minutes before sunrise as observed in the Vedic tradition as the most ideal time for spiritual meditation]. And it’s the hours between 4am and 6am. The great heroes, and the great saints said there is a purity in the air at that time of the day and that’s way people meditate at 5:00am.


HPA: I found it be similar to Fajr prayer. The first of our five daily prayers is always before sunrise. 

RS: Isn’t that incredibly interesting that the Muslims get up before the sun? The Hindus get up before the sun? A lot of the Christian mystics do their morning prayers. To me it’s very exciting and very profound. To me the sleep does wash away the residue of the previous day. Your mind is more open and not only that, in the book it’s not only Mindset, it’s also HeartSet, HealthSet, SoulSet, The Four Interior Empires.

The heart is very open. What we are doing from 5:00am to 6:00am. We are rebuilding and reclaiming that relationship with our highest nature. With our inner hero that lives inside every single human being. So, from a practical point of view the way you begin your day determines the way your day is going to unfold. And giving yourself an hour before the sun comes up creates exponential creativity and productivity because you get more done in an hour than most people get done in the whole day. So, you start your day on a winning note that cascades through the rest of the hours of the day.


HPA: You mention The Four Interior Empires with SoulSet being one of them. You describe SoulSet it in your book as “all about remembering who you truly are”. What’s the importance of “remembering who you truly are”?

RS: When we were children we were connected with our awe and wonder. And what happens I believe, is that we get this messaging from our parents to be reasonable. Then we get messaging from our teachers—all well intentioned—to be practical. And then we get this messaging from the media and from our peers that geniuses are cut from a different cloth so resign yourself to being average.

And there’s this slow process as we leave the perfection of childhood of losing the relationship of who we truly are. So, we wake up at 30, 40, 50 or 60 and we might be successful in the world but we are very empty inside because we committed the greatest crimes we can commit, we’ve betrayed ourselves.

So, that’s part of the transformational power of The 5AM Club. It gives you one hour every morning to reconnect with your Four Interior Empires including SoulSet which is your essential nature. Our essential nature is creativity. Our essential nature is bravery. Our essential nature is love. Our essential nature is connection with other human beings. In this age of dramatic distraction with social media and technology, look how we treat each other?  A lot of us have lost these values of love, decency, humanity and mastery that I talk about this book. So, you’ve got one hour to rebuild the most important relationship that drives the other relationships. It’s the relationship with your primal genius and your inner hero.

My mother said to me just the other day. “Just imagine if everyone in the world spent an hour on their MindSet, HeartSet, HealthSet and SoulSet. How many hours of personal development would that bring to the world and what would do to the world?”


HPA: You labelled the period between 5:00am to 6:00am as the “Victory Hour”. It is during that hour you suggest that we spend 10 minutes writing out our perfect day. Why is that important? 

RS: What happens is what researchers call precommitment strategy.  A lot of people struggle with translating their ambitions into their reality. So, we set goals. People fall off the wagon trying to create such  results. Researchers say one of the ways to build more self-discipline to get to your goals is to do precommitment strategy, which is writing out your ideal day during your “Victory Hour” from 5:00am to 6:00am. This will help you beat procrastination and get that ideal vision done.


Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You'll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book "The 5AM Club"
Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You’ll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book The 5AM Club: Embace the “Victory Hour”. Photo Credit:


HPA: You also suggest journaling. Why is it important to write out your obstacles, emotions, struggles in addition to your goals?

RS: It is profound. It’s important for your readers to know that I’ve given them a precise calibrated formula to run from 5:00am to 6:00am. It’s called The 20/20/20 Formula. The first 20 minutes is physical movement. The second 20 minutes is reflection and third 20 minutes is growth. In each 20 minute pockets of time I’ve given a bunch of suggestions. Journaling is very powerful during the Reflection pocket. Not only did it transformed my life, it saved my life. And you’re right I say write about your dreams and your ideal day but also process through your lower level toxic emotions. Why? Because society says, be happy, happy, happy and if you’re going through pain, anger, disappointment or resentment swallow it and suppress it and be one of the cool kids on social media.

That’s why I believe one of the real reasons why the planet is such a mess with so many people who are unhappy is that they swallowed normal human emotions which is anger, disappointment and sadness. They are working on their MindSets by reading these books and going to the courses. However, they’ve neglected their HeartSet and so they’ve got this suppressed well of pain deep within in them that is sabotaging everything they’re doing. It’s an incredibly important point and it’s the reason why these people read the books and go to the conferences but they don’t see any change. They are working on their positive thinking ie: their MindSet but they are not purifying their HeartSets.


HPA: Not only have you defined what the mornings should be, but you also have broken down the entire day as well. With respect to the evening schedule you note that between 7:00pm to 8:00pm to turn off all devices. Is that practical?

RS: It’s absolutely practical. You are just turning off your phone. None of this is black and white. If you’re in a job where you must be connected, you have all sorts of options. You can actually have a red line for example, “8:00pm is when I turn the phone off”. It’s human nature to say “I can’t do this because I have to be connected”. Companies pay people for productivity not for being busy. And we come up with all these excuses and we recite them so many times, we think they are true. Firstly, most bosses and most managers don’t think like that anymore. If they did, you can say “I believe I can be more productive than being on the phone 24/7. Research actually says that if you don’t take the time to rest and disconnect from the technology you will get digital dementia and you’re not going to be as focused. So, what I like to try is make my evenings free of digital technology so I can bring my best performance for this company.” Who’s going to say no to that? And now you’ve just got your evenings free.

The science does say the most creative and productive people are those who work in tense bursts of productivity and then take the take the time to refuel your 5 Creative Assets that I talk about in the chapter on the Twin Cycles of Elite Performance.


HPA: That’s one of the many things I loved in the book. The idea of working intensely but more importantly making sure to take breaks to refuel. It just makes complete sense. 

RS: Yes that’s the 60/10 Formula [where you work 60 minutes and give yourself a 10-minute break]. That can be incorporated in your day or refuel by taking your weekends off.

Take one day off in the weekend where you put your phone in a plastic bag and go on a nature walk or go to the art gallery. Just spend time with your loved ones. It’s not only is absolutely mission critical to take the time to refuel if you want to be at your creative and productive best, it is also important to remember that we are human beings not human doings, where you if you don’t schedule every minute and if you’re not productive every day you are a loser and you feel guilty. It’s FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.

Having worked with some of the most successful people in the world and having studied a lot of these great men and women, most of them have this in common, they understood the transformational power of recovery and rest.


Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You'll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book "The 5AM Club"
Robin Sharma Tells Us Why You’ll Feel Victorious After Reading His Latest Book The 5AM Club: My well-worn copy of Robin Sharma’s latest book. Photo Credit: Hina P. Ansari


HPA: The idea of the Ancient Brain vs Mastery Brain is fascinating. How did you come up with that description of the brain?

RS: That comes from the latest advances in neuroscience. What I try to do in the book is blend information and philosophy with tactics and neuroscience backed up with data. I tried to make it fun and entertaining. Logical and inspirational. So it touches your head, your heart and your spirit. And that’s why it took me 4 years to write it. It’s currently one of the best-selling books in the world because there’s this alchemy in there.

There is the neocortex which is the crown jewel of human reasoning. Then there’s the amygdala and the lower brain which gets activated when are scared. I’ve simplified and labelled it in a way so that anyone can understand it.

HPA: What was your writing process during the four years it took for you to write this book? 

RS: First of all I wanted to write in locations that inspired me. I find travel is a great source of creativity. That’s one of the reasons I encourage people to travel. We are nomadic at heart and feel very free when we travel to places that touches our heart. I wrote the book in Mauritius, Rome and Switzerland. And of you look at the detail, it’s my own personal experience. That’s why I knew the flowers and I knew the beaches in Mauritius. The boy on the banana bike, he actually rode right by me. A lot of the story I’ve lived it. That’s why I think I’ve done my job well is when you’re reading it and there be a lot of detail.

My creative process is to travel a lot and live the tight bubble of total focus. Which I talk about in my book where I detached myself from the world for weeks at a time and I wrote. The world slipped away and I wrote this magical adventure which is The 5AM Club.


HPA: Throughout your book, I noticed that you didn’t give identities or names to the Artist, the Entrepreneur and the Spellbinder. Stone Riley was the only person who actually had a name. Why is that?  

RS: What a great question. From all the press I’ve done no one has asked me that yet. I don’t know. One of the lines in the book is “instinct is more powerful than the intellect”. I encourage people to trust their instinct even though it seems crazy because all progress in humanity came from doing things that initially was seen as crazy. I used my instincts and felt right not to name the Artist, Spellbinder and the Entrepreneur but to name Stone. It just intuitively felt like the right thing to do. Maybe I just wanted people to connect with Stone Riley. Maybe I wanted readers to form their own visions of the other characters.

HPA: I think this would make for a pretty cool movie. Who would want to play the Artist, the Entrepreneur, the Spellbinder and Stone Riley? 

RS: I totally want to this to be made into a movie. I envision Hilary Swank for the Entrepreneur. The Artist would be Christian Bale. He can morph into any character. The Spellbinder I don’t know … maybe George Clooney? For Stone Riley … I think the English actor from The Darkest Hour. Gary Oldman.


HPA: When it comes to Stone Riley I go back and forth between two people. Jeff Goldblum and Jeff Bridges.

RS: Jeff Goldblum! Of course! Boy, you are good! Yes and I love Jeff Bridges.


HPA: The main characters in the book, the Artist and the Entrepreneur are two people who know what they want to do but just can’t figure out how to make it happen. But what about people who are still struggling to find their calling? What advice do you have for them? 

RS: There’s a line from a Matt Damon movie called Rounders: “our destiny chooses us”. In relation to The 5AM Club here is the formula: When you get up at 5:00am and you run The 20/20/20 Formula and you do it consistently so you work on your Four Interior Empires, you build a relationship with your highest truest self. And when you build more intimacy with who you truly are, you will hear the silent whispers of your wisest self far more clearly. And your destiny will start to lead you.

I really believe we have incredible wisdom. The Indian mystics, saints and philosophers have all said it. We have wisdom inside of us. We have intuition. The more you mediate, the more you isolate yourself the more you are in touch with your super powers that we all have within us. Yet most of us are out in the world looking for happiness in things and busy-ness that we have forgotten that the doorway to success swings inwards not outwards. That’s the magic of 5:00am. You’ve got one hour to reconnect with your primal genius and inner hero. As you do that you will own your true power again and part of owning your true power is “hey I get it, and here’s what I’m supposed to do”.


Main Image Photo Credit: Robin Sharma 

Hina P. Ansari

Hina P. Ansari


Hina P. Ansari is a graduate from The University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario). Since then she has carved a successful career in Canada's national fashion-publishing world as the Entertainment/Photo Editor at FLARE Magazine, Canada's national fashion magazine. She was the first South Asian in...


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