The Fantastic Life

What’s Your 4AM?


Everyone has dreams.  Everyone. Some just dream and then snap out of it, returning to their reality.  Others spend time working towards their dream, but ultimately give up when the going gets hard.

And then there are those few, that live the dream.   They are the ones who truly grab the brass ring.  That is how I have lived my life.  In everything I want to do I am: determined, resilient, and want to go the extra mile. That’s why I’m up every morning, even weekends, at 4 AM. Because I know it’s that extra time that helps me push further.

We know it to be true. Of course we do.  But why do we stop or don’t even try?  There are tons of reasons.

Here are three great ways to keep going from Kolbe Bryant:

  • Learn to love the process – commit to the system!
  • Embrace the grind – it won’t be easy. Learn to make the grind your accomplice.
  • Turn setbacks into motivational drive – the path is never a straight line so know that setbacks will happen, but you will continue.

Are you willing to do what others aren’t?  What’s your 4 am?

Rule #8 from my book The Fantastic Life: The 2% Rule
If 2% more effort was all that stood between you and your dream, would you go for it? Or would you give up? Get up earlier, put in those extra hours. Get 2% ahead every day, and see what a difference it makes.  


Because of 4 AM

By: Brett Hagler

July 27, 2016

Kobe Bryant recently shared an all-time great mindset, manifested into a subtle quote that not many people noticed. It’s been three weeks and I can’t get it out of my head, so I wanted to share. You can take it literally or (mostly) metaphorically – both work and can be applied to the dream you’re chasing.

The quote came from Kobe when he was on stage accepting the ‘Icon Award’ at the ESPYS. He was addressing fellow athletes:

“We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability,” Bryant said. “We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days. 
We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger.”

There are thousands of athletes that had similar or even better talent than Kobe. Just like there are thousands of executives, leaders, sales managers, artists, musicians, writers, etc. that have the same and more talent than you and me.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t come down to who has the most talent or intelligence. It comes down to who is willing to make the choices that others are not willing to make. 

Who is willing to shoot baskets in the dark when everyone else is sleeping? Who is willing to prepare more for an interview? Who is willing to practice their speech 10X more than anyone else? All are choices we make.

The Dream
If the dream is small, there’s no point to do things that others won’t if your end goal is not something “extra-ordinary.” There’s just no reason for the “4AMs.” Which is totally cool and fine!

But if the dream is big… the game changes.

The 4AMs and two-a-days become intentional choices. The hard things over the easy, comfortable things become routine. The discipline to put off instant gratification is the standard process. People will say “you’re obsessed, you’re not normal!” and they’re right because it’s not a normal journey. A big dream is something extraordinary: very different from what is normal or customary.

And over time, as I’m beginning to realize more and more, the choice to take this journey is ultimately the reward.

What’s your 4AM?
This quote is not saying everyone should get up at 4AM or do five-a-days. It’s metaphoric. The idea is that if you have a big dream, then you have to fall in love with doing things that others won’t to accomplish what others can’t.


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