5 Minutes with “The 5 Second Rule”

by | Feb 12, 2018

Will Mel Robbins’ Book “Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage?”

“Do you feel dissatisfied with your life?” asked Mel Robbins during her TEDx Talk, “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over.” A third of Americans are walking around every day not really caring about their life, she says. They tell themselves over and over again that they can’t get what they want.

Well, that’s not true and you don’t need to feel that way. You just need the motivation to change little things to get the most out of your life.

Achieving happiness is what Mel’s book, “The 5 Second Rule,” is all about.

At Graphcom, our team participates in a monthly book club. Together, we gain new tools and perspectives so we can excel both professionally and personally. “The 5 Second Rule” is the best book I’ve read so far because it taught me how to make changes immediately, and I’m happier because of it.

The concept of the book is simple, but like Mel says, “It is simple, but not easy.”

We are hard-wired to doubt ourselves. Mel says our minds have two speeds: autopilot and emergency brake. Our brains give us impulses and productive thoughts to take action, but almost immediately we take those thoughts and begin to doubt. “Oh no, that won’t work,” we say, or “No, that’s too scary.” Suddenly, a thousand thoughts are telling us what we want to do cannot be done, so we pull the emergency break—and we pull it way too often.

The basis of the 5 Second Rule is to stop these negative, unproductive thoughts. When you get that great idea in your head, that life-changing idea that has to be brought to life, all you have to do is count backward—5, 4, 3, 2, 1—and then take action. Immediately, you need to do something: speak up at work in a meeting, write down that new sales idea, get up and walk across the room and say hi to the employee you’ve never met, and so on.

Mel’s devoted her whole life to helping people achieve their goals, and this book reminds you that it’s all about you. You’re the one with all the power to make a difference.

With this book, you can focus on what needs to be done. Mel explains that after we turn 18, we truly have to “parent ourselves.” We have a ton of things we don’t want to do but have to do anyway. We’ve become great procrastinators because we haven’t used the 5 Second Rule to take control of our lives and lead us into action.

Here’s my procrastination story. In the morning, my boyfriend and I would tease each other over how many times we’d hit the snooze button. I’d say, “Come on, just five more minutes!” I never wanted to get out of bed. Since we often drove to work in the same vehicle, I’d cause him to be late almost every time. Our mornings started out by rushing around and stressing out before we even got to work.

Using the 5 Second Rule immediately changed things.

Now, when the alarm goes off, I count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and get right out of bed. Mornings are more relaxed, and when I get to work I feel happier and ready for anything.

Often, we lack courage. It takes courage to speak up and ask for what you want and deserve. It takes courage to change. It takes courage to just live life. This book expresses how important it is to get past your fears and just move—without hesitation.

Mel says, “Fear is just a form of excitement.” It’s how we allow our bodies to react to fear that can produce a positive event. So, let’s get excited about our thoughts and use the 5 Second Rule for every challenge or opportunity. You never know, you might be the one who comes up with the next 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 brilliant idea that changes the world.


Have you tried the 5 Second Rule? What was the result? Share in the comments below.
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