As the name suggests, in the book The 5-Second Rule, the world-famous speaker and bestselling author Mel Robbins presents the simplest method that you can use to control your brain. Not only this, but this tool will also help you avoid laziness and procrastination hence enhancing your productivity. She discovered this little counting trick while watching a commercial on TV that showed a rocket launch. 5…4…3…2…1 – go! And the next morning, everything changed for her, when she decided to launch out of bed just like a rocket. That’s how great ideas take birth!

What does the rule say?

Before starting any work which you are planning to do, just count backward 5…4…3…2….1 and just start doing that work. As simple as that.

When you count backward, you mentally shift the gears in your mind. You interrupt your default thinking and do what psychologists call “assert control.” The counting distracts you from your excuses and focuses your mind on moving in a new direction. 

Lessons I learned from the book:

1. Take action

You can’t get healthier just because you want to get healthier. You need to take action for this first.

If you want to act for a goal you must physically move within 5 sec, or your brain will kill the idea. That’s how the brain works. You won’t notice when your plan of doing that work vanishes, and you start thinking about something else. So, it’s necessary to take action in the starting 5 seconds.

When you take action by physically moving instead of stopping to think, your physiology changes and your mind falls in line. The 5 Sec Rule is a “starting ritual” that activates the prefrontal cortex, helping to change your behavior on a productive note.

2. Remove internal conflict

Want to wake up? Use this rule.

Are you planning to cook something for snacks? Use this.

Counting helps you to focus on the goals or commitments and distracts your mind from coming up with an excuse. Take the example of the above case. If you don’t start cooking yourself soon, in no time your brain will convince you to order something online rather than cook yourself.

That’s how important this rule becomes for us in our day-to-day life.

3. There is no right time ever

If you ever look for the right time it may never come. So you have to just start first at this moment. You can’t just wait to lose weight by planning only, without taking any action. Sometimes there is no next time, no second chance, or no time out. It’s now or never.

Start counting and start getting ready to go. Then only you can execute your plans successfully.

Using this Rule strengthens your belief that you do have the ability to control your own fate, rather than just waiting for things to happen on their own. The Rule doesn’t make things easy; it makes them happen. That’s why it’s described as a tool.

4. Do it now!

Don’t just read this post. Do something! If you are planning to do something, do it now as it’s the best time to use it. Your mind will come up with hundreds of excuses why you cannot or should not do a particular work. So why not use this method and get a massive head start on your life?

Say 5-4-3-2-1 and start.

(Note that you don’t have to apply this rule while making destructive decisions and engaging in harmful behavior. NO! It should not be something like this, that I have read now the 5-SECONDS RULE, so let’s end my life by counting backward! NO, NO!)

What can you use this rule for?

  • To create new healthy habits by pulling yourself away from destructive habits.
  • To master the skills of self-monitoring and self-control.
  • To get out of your comfort zones by pushing yourself a little.
  • To keep you busy, productive, and focused only on the present moment, by avoiding unnecessary worries or overthinking.
  • To discover the courage hidden inside you by doing the things that are new, scary, or uncertain.
  • To be more confident.

What to read more about this topic, we highly recommend this book!

(Purchase through above affiliate link helps us to deliver more quality content to you.)

Bottom line

This backward counting of 5-4-3-2-1 is the simplest thing that can prevent your mind from working against you. All it takes is just 5 seconds. That’s all. In almost every situation there is an application to this rule. Be it making a simple decision to clean your bed or study table, be it sticking to your plans, or ending your self-doubts; you can rely on this rule. It works every single time we use it.

So what are you waiting for? Why not try it yourself?


Good luck!

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