Recently I came across motivational speaker Mel Robbins. Mostly I skip watching motivation garbage but her 5 Second Rule made me curious.

The 5 Second Rule. If you have an idea or smart thought, you must physically move towards execution of that idea, otherwise your brain will kill the idea.

How many times did you get an idea what you need to do (from small to life-changing tasks) but you didn’t move towards execution of your thoughts? Many times. What happens next? Your brain kill the idea by generating all possible excuses and wrong outcomes. Your brain is designed to keep you safe and new ideas may be harmful for your survival (at least instincts make you think in this way).

The next time when you get an idea, don’t hesitate. Count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and physically move towards executing your idea. If you don’t take action, you will stay stagnant.

Counting backwards make you focus on counting instead of searching excuses why you shouldn’t fulfill the task. When you reach “1” move physically.

The moment you have an instinct to do something you must push yourself to move.

There science behind 5 Second Rule (at least according to Mel Robbins). This rule is a form of metacognition that helps us to trick brain to do more things than live on autopilot (approx 40% of the day spent on autopilot). We are masters of self sabotage and reliance on not the most productive habits. We are doing same things day after day just because we know how to do that, we commute by the same road just because we know that road well, we hang out with same boring people because we are scared to speak to that hot stranger, etc. Everything is boring but safe.

We feel that we don’t have control over our life and ability to achieve more in life. This happens because of prefrontal cortex (part of brain responsible for decision making and planning). By using 5 Second Rule you make yourself believe that you have control over your life. By trying more things in life that are out of your comfort zone you create “internal locus of control” (your strong belief that you have control over yourself).

According to the principle of momentum, the initial amount of energy needed to start start doing something (“activation energy”) is significantly higher than the amount of energy needed to keep you doing that task. The Progress Principle will build up your confidence and positive feedback loop will make your happier about your achievements.

Try the 5 Second Rule and share your experience in comment section.

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