Be Wise, Early Rise

I gave the keynote address for the leadership team of the telephone banking division of CIBC yesterday. Impressive team. CIBC is one of Canada’s leading banks and the audience was full of energy, passion and intelligence. I shared my ideas on building a high-performance culture, developing deeper relationships and showing genuine leadership. Then I offered some insights on personal leadership – beginning with the imperative of getting up early if one wants to get to world-class as a human being. The room fell silent. Thought I lost them.

After my presentation, I had the joy of signing copies of “Leadership Wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” that CIBC had purchased for each participant. Amazing how many people asked me what they needed to do to build the early rising habit. “I want to get a lot more from life” one manager said. “I loved your point about taking a Holy Hour each morning – 60 minutes to feed your mind and nourish my soul,” said another.

It’s so easy to forget that you cannot do good until you feel good. Organizational leadership begins with self-leadership. Getting up early to do your inner work, to sculpt your character, to sharpen your life’s philosophy or to review your goals is not a waste of time. That Holy Hour infuses every remaining minute of your day with a perspective that elevates each area of your life. It’ll transform you. Make you better as a leader. As a parent. As a human being.

Here are 5 practical tactics to help you get up early (5am is nice):

#1. Don’t eat after 7pm. You will sleep more deeply as well as more sweetly. It’s the quality not the quantity of sleep that’s most important.

#2. Don’t lounge in bed after your alarm clock goes off. Jump out of bed and start your day. The more time you lie in bed after the alarm clock goes off, the greater the likelihood that the chatter of your mind will say something like “stay in bed. Sleep a bit more. You deserve it.”

#3. Get into world-class physical condition. When I am in excellent physical shape – working out 5 to 6 times a week and eating ultra-well, I jump out of bed at 5am or even 4am with ease. Being superbly fit is a brilliant move.

#4. Set BHAGs. Jim Collins coined the term “BHAGs”, meaning Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Goals breathe life and energy into your days. Goals inspire you and give you something to get out of bed for each morning. Taking out your journal and articulating 10, 5, 3 and 1 year goals for the core dimensions of your life will focus your mind and drive tremendous results. It will light a fire in your belly and flood you with passion.

#5. Set your alarm clock 30 minutes early. I shared this point at a recent The Awakening Best Self Weekend where people had come from all around the world to learn how to break through their fears and live their greatest lives. I just got an email from one participant from Spain. This little trick has changed her life. She thinks she’s getting up at 6am. By the time she’s up and out of bed, she realizes it’s only 5:30am. She uses the newfound time to meditate or read or exercise. Her business is more successful than ever. Her family life is at its best. And she’s happier than she’s been in years.

Get up early. I dare you to do it for a few weeks. Your life is too precious a thing to waste. You know you were meant for your own unique form of greatness. You know you can do more, have more and be more. You know that you can be bigger than you currently are. So join The 5 O’Clock Club. Win The Battle of The Bed. Put mind over mattress. Get up early.  And as Benjamin Franklin once noted: “there will be plenty of time to sleep when you are dead.” Smart guy.

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9 Responses to “Be Wise, Early Rise”

  1. Pradeep says:

    I could not sleep before 2 am, I remain awake all time.
    Then how to weak up at 5 am. Please help.

  2. Etienne says:

    Dear Robin,

    I was one of the 5am club members, but i’ve got my first fail this morning. Since 2nd of Feb, the minute I watched your youtube videos, I wake up at 5am or 5.15am every morning, but this morning not. I feel sleep deprived almost every day since Feb 2. I tought this was just about having my body adapting, but much of my usual schedule has to be adapted too. As an exemple, yesterday night, my wife and my daughter went back home at 10.30 pm. It’s not possible for me to sleep before my kids and wife are at bed. I know, it’s stupid…

    But! I’ve accomplished so much between 5 and 6.30 am during the last month that I will stick to this habit, at least for one more month. During my second month, I also want to start exercising for the first 30 minutes. I did exercised few times in the last month, but now it’s time to improve my morning routine. Other challenges their… I’ve got to be very quiet in the morning. If not, the kids are waking up and my private moment is done…

    Thank you so much anyway for opening my eyes. I’ve got to work on some strategies to enhance my capability to follow your advices, but for now, I stick to the plan !

    Best regards,

  3. Coach Jack Johnson says:

    This is a bunch of garbage. You should be ashamed of promoting such filth to line your pocket book with gold. You make me sick.

  4. Makaranga Machumu says:

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you so much for this constructive lesson that has made me to take it as my daily habit. I believe through this my life is going to change positively. Thank you and stay blessed!

  5. pot of gold gold exchange says:

    Woah this site is excellent i like understanding your articles. Remain inside the great! You comprehend, many folks are looking all around because of this details, you can encourage them to greatly. Woah this site is excellent i like understanding your articles. Remain inside the great! You comprehend, many folks are looking all around because of this details, you can encourage them to greatly.

  6. Chinta Sangeetha says:

    HI how do I join this 5am club? I would love to join. I want to wake up early everyday. Please help

  7. Yasmeen says:

    I want to read the first article you wrote.

    It’s good if there is archive to all aticles,

  8. Itˇs actually a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Abbas says:

    Imam Ali (The successor of Prophet Mohammed)) 1300 years ago Said :
    Wake up early [in the morning] for there is blessing in early rising; and consult each other, for success is in consultation.
    From app-
    Ghorar al-Hikam.

    In the religion of islam it is obligatory (wajib) upon every muslim to wake up at 5 a.m and after his morning prayer it is recommended (mustahaab) that he stays awake till sunrise
    Seeking knowledge is the best act he can do as Prophet Mohammed ( s ) said- ‘The day in which you do not learn something new is a waste.’

    May God protect n bless Robin Sharma.

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