the 5 am club
The Dangerous Deed
A Daily Philosophy on Becoming Legendary
An Unexpected Encounter with a Surprising Stranger
Letting Go of Mediocrity and All That’s Ordinary
A Bizarre Adventure into Morning Mastery
A Flight to Peak Productivity, Virtuosity and Unrepeatability
Preparation for a Transformation Begins in Paradise
The 5 AM Method: The Morning Routine of World-Builders
A Framework for the Expression of Greatness
The 4 Focuses of History-Makers
Navigating the Tides of Life
The 5 AM Club Discovers The Habit Installation Protocol
The 5 AM Club Learns The 20/20/20 Formula
The 5 AM Club Grasps the Essentialness of Sleep
The 5 AM Club Is Mentored on The 10 Tactics of Lifelong Genius
The 5 AM Club Embraces The Twin Cycles of Elite Performance
The 5 AM Club Members Become Heroes of Their Lives
Author : Robin Sharma
A Daily Philosophy on Becoming Legendary
“Do not allow your fire to go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours.” —Ayn Rand
He was a speaker of the finest kind. A genuine Spellbinder. Nearing the end of a fabled career and now in his eighties, he had become revered throughout the world as a grandmaster of inspiration, a legend of leadership and a sincere statesman helping everyday people realize their greatest gifts.
In a culture filled with volatility, uncertainty, and insecurity, The Spellbinder’s events drew stadium-sized numbers of human beings who longed not only to lead masterful lives filled with creativity, productivity, and prosperity but also to exist in a way that passionately elevated humanity. So that, at the end, they would feel confident they had left a wonderful legacy and made their mark
on the generations that would follow. This man’s work was unique. It blended insights that fortified the warrior within our characters with ideas that honored the soulful poet who resides inside
the heart. His messaging showed ordinary individuals how to succeed at the highest levels of the business realm yet reclaim the magic of a life richly lived. So, we return to the sense of awe we once knew before a hard and cold world placed our natural genius into bondage by an orgy of complexity, superficiality, and technological distraction.
Though The Spellbinder was tall, his advanced years left him slightly bent over. As he walked the platform, he stepped carefully yet gracefully. A precisely fitted charcoal gray suit with soft white pinstripes gave him an elegant look. And a pair of blue-tinted eyeglasses added just the right amount of cool.
“Life’s too short to play small with your talents,” The Spellbinder spoke to the room of thousands. “You were born into the opportunity as well as the responsibility to become legendary. You’ve been built to achieve masterworklevel projects, designed to realize unusually important pursuits and onstructed to be a force for good on this tiny planet. You have it in you to reclaim sovereignty over your primal greatness in a civilization that has become fairly uncivilized. To restore your nobility in a global community where the majority shops for nice shoes and acquires expensive things yet rarely invests in a better self. Your personal leadership requires—no, demands—that you stop being a cyber-zombie relentlessly attracted to digital devices and restructure your life to
model mastery, exemplify decency and relinquish the self-centeredness that keeps good people limited. The great women and men of the world were all givers, not takers. Renounce the common delusion that those who accumulate the most win. Instead, do work that is heroic—that staggers your marketplace by the quality of its originality as well as from the helpfulness it provides. While
you do so, my recommendation is that you also create a private life strong in ethics, rich with marvelous beauty and unyielding when it comes to the protection of your inner peace. This, my friends, is how you soar with the angels. And walk alongside the gods.”
The Spellbinder paused. He drew in a gulp of air, as big as a mountain. His breathing grew strained and made a whooshing noise as he inhaled. He looked down at his stylish black boots that had been polished up to a military-grade. Those in the front row saw a single tear drizzle down the timeworn yet once handsome face.
His gaze remained downward. His silence was thunderous. The Spellbinder
After a series of stressful moments that had some in the audience shifting in their seats, The Spellbinder put down the microphone he had been holding in his left hand. With his free hand, he tenderly reached into a pocket of his trousers and pulled out a crisply folded linen handkerchief. He wiped his cheek.
“Each of you has a call on your lives. Every one of you carries an instinct for excellence within your spirits. No one in this room needs to stay frozen in average and succumb to the mass mediocratization of behavior evident in society along with the collective de-professionalization of business so apparent in industry. Limitation is nothing more than a mentality that too many good people practice daily until they believe it’s reality. It breaks my heart to see so many potentially powerful human beings stuck in a story about why they can’t be extraordinary, professionally and personally. You need to remember that yournexcuses are seducers, your fears are liars and your doubts are thieves.”
Many nodded. A few clapped. Then many more applauded.
“I understand you. I really do,” continued The Spellbinder.
“I know you’ve had some difficult times in your life. We all have. I get that you might be feeling things haven’t turned out the way you thought they would when you were a little kid, full of fire, desire and wonder. You didn’t plan on each day looking the same, did you? In a job that might be smothering your soul. Dealing with stressful worries and endless responsibilities that stifle your
originality and steal your energy. Lusting after unimportant pursuits and hungry for the instant fulfillment of trivial desires, often driven by a technology that enslaves us instead of liberating us. Living the same week a few thousand times and calling it a life. I need to tell you that too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty. So, I do get you. You hoped things would be different. More interesting. More exciting. More fulfilling, special and magical.”
The Spellbinder’s voice trembled as he spoke these last words. He struggled to breathe for an instant. A look of concern caused his brow to crinkle. He sat down on a cream-colored chair that had been carefully placed at the side of the stage by one of his assistants.
“And, yes, I am aware that there are also many in this room who are currently leading lives you love. You’re an epic success in the world, fully on your game and enriching your families and communities with an electricity that borders on otherworldly. Nice work. Bravo. And, yet, you too have experienced seasons where you’ve been lost in the frigid and dangerous valley of darkness.
You, too, have known the collapse of your creative magnificence as well as your productive eminence into a tiny circle of comfortableness, fearfulness, and numbness that betrayed the mansions of mastery and reservoirs of bravery inside of you. You, too, have been disappointed by the barren winters of a life weakly lived. You, too, have been denied many of your most inspired childhood dreams. You, too, have been hurt by people you trusted. You, too, have had your ideals destroyed. You, too, have had your innocent heart devastated, leaving your life decimated, like a ruined country after ambitious foreign invaders infiltrated it.”
The cavernous conference hall was severely still.
“No matter where you are on the pathway of your life, please don’t let the pain of an imperfect past hinder the glory of your fabulous future. You are so much more powerful than you may currently understand. Splendid victories— and outright blessings—are coming your way. And you’re exactly where you need to be to receive the growth necessary for you to lead the unusually
productive, extremely prodigious and exceptionally influential life that you’ve earned through your harshest trials. Nothing is wrong at this moment, even if it feels like everything’s falling apart. If you sense your life’s a mess right now, this is simply because your fears are just a little stronger than your faith. With practice, you can turn down the volume of the voice of your scared self. And
increase the tone of your most triumphant side. The truth is that every challenging event you’ve experienced, each toxic person that you’ve encountered and all the trials you’ve endured have been perfect preparation to make you into the person that you now are. You needed these lessons to activate the treasures, talents and powers that are now awakening within you. Nothing was an accident. Zero was a waste. You’re definitely exactly where you need to be to begin the life of your most supreme desires. One that can make you an empire-builder along with a world-changer. And perhaps even a history-maker.”
“This all sounds easy but it’s a lot harder in reality,” shouted a man in a red baseball cap, seated in the fifth row. He sported a gray t-shirt and ripped jeans, the type you can buy torn at your local shopping mall. Though this outburst could have seemed disrespectful, the pitch of the participant’s voice and his body language displayed genuine admiration for The Spellbinder.
“I agree with you, you wonderful human being,” responded The Spellbinder, his grace influencing all participants and his voice sounding somewhat stronger, as he stood up from his chair. “Ideas are worth nothing unless backed by an application. The smallest of implementations is always worth more than the grandest of intentions. And if being an amazing person and developing a
legendary life was easy, everyone would be doing it. Know what I mean?”
“Sure, dude,” replied the man in the red cap as he rubbed his lower lip with a finger.
“Society has sold us a series of mistruths,” The Spellbinder continued. “That pleasure is preferable to the terrifying yet majestic fact that all possibility requires hard work, regular reinvention and a dedication as deep as the sea to leaving our harbors of safety, daily. I believe that the seduction of complacency and an easy life is one hundred times more brutal, ultimately, than a life where
you go all in and take an unconquerable stand for your brightest dreams. Worldclass begins where your comfort zone ends is a rule the successful, the influential and the happiest always remember.”
The man nodded. Groups of people in the audience were doing the same.
“From a young age, we are programmed into thinking that moving through life loyal to the values of mastery, ingenuity and decency should need little effort. And so, if the road gets tough and requires some patience, we think we’re on the wrong path,” commented The Spellbinder as he grasped an arm of the wooden chair and folded his thin frame into the seat again.
“We’ve encouraged a culture of soft, weak and delicate people who can’t keep promises, who bail on commitments and who quit on their aspirations the moment the smallest obstacle shows up.”
The orator then sighed loudly.
“Hard is good. Real greatness and the realization of your inherent genius is meant to be a difficult sport. Only those devoted enough to go to the fiery edges of their highest limits will expand them. And the suffering that happens along the journey of materializing your special powers, strongest abilities and most inspiring ambitions is one of the largest sources of human satisfaction. A major
key to happiness—and internal peace—is knowing you’ve done whatever it took to earn your rewards and passionately invested the effortful audacity to become your best. Jazz legend Miles Davis stretched himself ferociously past the normal his field knew to fully exploit his magnificent potential. Michelangelo sacrificed enormously mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually as he produced his awesome art. Rosa Parks, a simple seamstress with outstanding courage, endured blunt humiliation when she was arrested for not giving up her seat on a segregated bus, igniting the civil rights movement. Charles Darwin demonstrated the kind of resolve that virtuosity demands by studying barnacles—yes, barnacles—for eight long years as he formulated his famed Theory of Evolution. This kind of dedication to the optimization of expertise would now be labeled as ‘crazy’ by the majority in our modern world that spends huge amounts of their irreplaceable lifetime watching streams of selfies, the breakfasts of virtual friends and violent video games,” noted The Spellbinder as he peered around the hall as if committed to looking each of the attendees straight in the eye.
“Stephen King worked as a high school writing teacher and in an industrial laundry before selling Carrie, the novel that made him famous,” the aging presenter continued. “Oh, and please know that King was so discouraged by the rejections and denials that he threw the manuscript he wrote in his rundown trailer into the garbage, surrendering to the struggle. It was only when his wife,
Tabitha, discovered the work while her husband was away, wiped off his cigarette ashes, read the book and then told its author that it was brilliant that King submitted it for publication. Even then, his advance for hardcover rights was a paltry twenty-five hundred dollars.”
“Are you serious?” murmured a woman seated near the stage. She wore a lush green hat with a big scarlet feather sticking out of it and was clearly content with marching to her own drumbeat.
“I am,” said The Spellbinder. “And while Vincent van Gogh created nine hundred paintings and over one thousand drawings in his lifetime, his celebrity started after his death. His drive to produce wasn’t inspired by the ego fuel of popular applause but by a wiser instinct that enticed him to see just how much of his creative power he could unlock, no matter how much hardship he had to endure. Becoming legendary is never easy. But I’d prefer that journey to the heartbreak of being stuck in ordinary that so many potentially heroic people deal with constantly,” articulated The Spellbinder firmly.
“Anyway, let me simply say that the place where your greatest discomfort lies is also the spot where your largest opportunity lives. The beliefs that disturb you, the feelings that threaten you, the projects that unnerve you, and the unfoldments of your talents that the insecure part of you is resisting are precisely where you need to go to. Lean deeply toward these doorways into your bigness as a creative producer, seeker of personal freedom and possibilitarian. And then embrace these beliefs, feelings, and projects quickly instead of structuring your life in a way that’s designed to dismiss them. Walking into the very things that scare you is how you reclaim your forgotten power. And how you get back the innocence and awe you lost after childhood.”
Suddenly, The Spellbinder started to cough. Mildly at first. Then violently, like he’d been possessed by a demon hell-bent on revenge.
In the wings, a man in a black suit with an aggressive crew cut spoke into a mouthpiece tucked discreetly into his shirt cuff. The lights began to flicker, then dim. A few audience members who were located near the platform stood, unsure of what to do.
A uniquely pretty woman with her hair in a crisp bun, a clenched smile, and a tight black dress with an embroidered white collar rushed up the metal staircase that The Spellbinder had ascended at the beginning of his talk. She carried a phone in one hand and a well-worn notebook in another. Her red high heels made a “click clack, click-clack” sound as she raced toward her employer.
Yet, the woman was too late.
The Spellbinder crumpled to the floor like a punch-drunk boxer with a large heart but weak skills in the final round of a once-glorious career that he should have ended many years earlier. The old presenter lay still. A tiny river of blood escaped from a cut to his head, sustained on his fall. His glasses sat next to him. The handkerchief was still in his hand. His once-sparkling eyes remained closed.