The 5 Second Rule Book Summary - The 5 Second Rule Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

The 5 Second Rule summary

Mel Robbins

Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

4.3 (1326 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins offers a simple method to overcome procrastination, self-doubt, and fear, by counting down from 5 to take action. The book provides tools to change negative thought patterns and improve decision-making.

Table of Contents

    The 5 Second Rule
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    The five-second rule is a simple decision-making tool that can change your behavior.

    It was six in the morning on a dark winter’s day in Boston when the author was rudely awakened by the sound of her alarm clock.

    There were days when Mel Robbins greeted the morning with a smile, but this was not one of them. She was unemployed, burdened with money troubles and had a drinking problem. She’d also developed the habit of hitting the snooze button and delaying the day ahead for as long as possible.

    But this particular morning was different; instead of the snooze button, Robbins began her day by counting down from five.

    This is called the five-second rule, and it’s used to prevent acting on detrimental urges.

    So instead of rolling over and sleeping on, Robbins counted silently to herself, “five, four, three, two, one.” This simple act distracts you from your anxieties and redirects your attention to what you should be doing, instead of submitting to instantly gratifying urges. By continually doing this, you can break a negative cycle and create new and better habits.

    Robbins also used the five-second rule to stop avoiding exercise and to push herself outdoors for regular jogs. And when she felt like procrastinating on updating her résumé, it was, “five, four, three, two, one” ...and she got to work.

    This tool is especially useful if you’re the kind of person who sits around waiting for inspiration to strike.

    In 1954, psychologist Julian Rotter coined a concept known as the locus of control. It explains the feeling people perceive of outside forces controlling their lives, and that those who feel more in control tend to be more productive.

    We’re often told to keep an eye out for opportunities and to take them when they appear. But the better advice is to assert control over your own destiny and create opportunities yourself.

    Robbins calls this the power of the push and the five-second rule might just be the push you need.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The 5 Second Rule?

    Key ideas in The 5 Second Rule

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The 5 Second Rule about?

    The 5 Second Rule (2017) is a transformative guidebook to taking action, changing your behavior and living life with less fear and more courage. The tips contained within are memorable, easy to implement and instantly effective. Anyone can start using them today to take control of their life and move confidently toward a brighter tomorrow.

    The 5 Second Rule Review

    The 5 Second Rule (2017) by Mel Robbins is a book that explores a simple but powerful technique for overcoming procrastination and taking action. Here's why you should give it a read:

    • With its straightforward approach and practical tips, it empowers readers to take control of their lives and make positive changes.
    • By combining scientific research, personal stories, and motivational insights, the book provides a well-rounded perspective on the power of the 5-second rule.
    • Engaging and relatable, the book keeps boredom at bay, ensuring that readers stay engaged and motivated throughout their journey of self-improvement.

    Who should read The 5 Second Rule?

    • Worriers who feel stuck
    • Students and professionals struggling with procrastination
    • Anyone who needs a kick in the butt

    About the Author

    Mel Robbins is a television host and frequent commentator on CNN. She is also a motivational speaker and contributing editor for Success magazine. Her previous book was the best seller Stop Saying You’re Fine, which dealt with the psychology behind getting what you want.

    Categories with The 5 Second Rule

    Book summaries like The 5 Second Rule

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The 5 Second Rule FAQs 

    What is the main message of The 5 Second Rule?

    The main message of The 5 Second Rule is that taking immediate action can transform your life.

    How long does it take to read The 5 Second Rule?

    The reading time for The 5 Second Rule varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The 5 Second Rule a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The 5 Second Rule is worth reading as it provides practical tools to overcome self-doubt and achieve your goals.

    Who is the author of The 5 Second Rule?

    The author of The 5 Second Rule is Mel Robbins.

    What to read after The 5 Second Rule?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The 5 Second Rule, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins
    • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
    • Perfectly Confident by Don A. Moore
    • The Procrastination Cure by Damon Zahariades
    • The Courage Habit by Kate Swoboda
    • Goals! by Brian Tracy
    • The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
    • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma