The 5 Second Rule

I read a recent book summary entitled The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. No, it’s not about how long food can be on the floor and still be safe to eat! The basic message of the book is that you have a 5 second window to act on an instinct or thought, or you brain will “kill it.” As I was reading it, I was able to easily relate to some of the elements that were discussed in the book.

(1) Instinct – Once you have an instinct to do something you know you should do, literally counting down in your head backwards from 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… you will have a better chance of taking action and pushing yourself to move.

(2) Courage – If you take action within 5 seconds, you will have more courage because there is not enough time to justify not doing it. This reminds me of the clip from the movie We Bought a Zoo; sometimes all you need is just 20 seconds of insane courage.

(3) Timing – You will stop waiting for the “right time,” because we all know the perfect or right time never seems to happen.

You may be thinking this is just self discipline. At some level it is, but try it. If this little tactic allows you to be more effective in reaching your goals, or doing what needs to be done, you will be better off for it. My challenge for you is to give it a chance for a couple of weeks. If it works, great. If not, it didn’t cost you much to try!


Jack Woelber, Interstates President