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The 5 Second Rule

Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

By Mel Robbins
12-minute read
Audio available
The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

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.

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

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.

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The 5 Second Rule

Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

By Mel Robbins
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
Synopsis

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.

Key idea 1 of 7

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.

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