The 5 second rule: That can change you

Are you afraid of failure? Do you lack self-confidence? Is there a point where you find no motivation around to stick to the goal? Are you postponing your daily resolutions? Are you trying to find comfort in sleeping an hour extra while finding no way out of the lame excuses? Do you have gratifying urges?


Dear friends, it happens at times when we are on the path of achieving something greater and we land up procrastinating along the way, which is not healthy. In doing so we lose the time which we could have invested in adding the value, we lose the opportunity to extract the potential and we lose the output we were supposed to reap.

Wouldn’t it be great if becoming a ‘greater you’ were as easy as counting down from five? Well, you’re lucky, because here you are going to discover how much you can accomplish by simply counting down from five.


So let’s explore

  1. How to use the five-second rule?
  2. When to apply it?



One winter morning in Boston, Mel Robbins was rudely awakened by the sound of her alarm clock. She was unemployed and burdened with money troubles and had developed the habit of hitting the snooze button and delaying the day ahead for as long as possible. But this particular morning instead of the snooze button, instead of rolling over and sleeping on, she counted silently to herself, “five, four, three, two, and one” and used it to stop avoiding herself from exercise and to push herself outdoors for jogs and update her résumé.

This simple act distracts you from your anxieties and by continually doing this you can break a negative cycle as you are waiting for an inspiration to strike.



On a cold December night, in 1955, Rosa Parks was sitting on a city bus and refused to stand up and give her seat to a white man. Even though it was a small act of defiance but was of a great courage in the fight for civil rights. Four days after Parks was arrested, people began to organize a boycott of segregated buses, and wanted Martin Luther to be the voice of their protest and he took up the nomination quickly even as he did not have time to think, which otherwise he would have missed.

Rosa Parks was a shy woman and Dr. King struggled with self-doubt. They encountered a moment when their instincts collided with their beliefs and goals and they felt the power of the push. Most of our instincts often tell us to play it safe and not be courageous. But the five-second rule can give us just enough time to open us up to life’s opportunities.


Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, was plagued with uncertainty after he and Steve Jobs were offered funding to start their own business in 1977. Wozniak wanted to hold off for a while as he was worried about quitting his day job until his friends convinced him to take the leap and Wozniak certainly reaped .hence instead of forever waiting for the right moment to arrive why not let the five-second rule be the tool that allows you to make the choices you’ve always wanted to make.


Professional athletes are extremely inspirational. Despite feeling too exhausted to continue, an athlete has the ability to separate from this feeling and continue to run or swim or cycle. Athletes know that feelings are only suggestions and sometimes it’s best to ignore those suggestions, especially when you’re trying to reach a goal.
You can put the five-second rule to work by having a goal-oriented logic rather than having decisions based upon feelings.So rather than “thinking and acting,” we should“feel and act”.




There’s an irony to modern technology like smartphones and tablets which were designed to make us more productive, yet they often end up distracting us, increasing our ability to procrastinate. According to Timothy Pychyl , a psychology professor at Carleton University, procrastination is a result of our powerful subconscious desire for instant gratification. Since procrastination offers an immediate and temporary relief from the stress of life, we’re constantly drawn to it.
To overcome the temptation of procrastination, use the five-second rule making it your new, healthier habit.



Take five seconds to peacefully count down from five so that you can reassert control when your mind is in the state of worry. As soon as you reach “one,” ask yourself these two questions: “What am I grateful for in this moment?” and “What do I want to remember?” Doing so will help you shift your focus away from the worry, uplifting towards positive aspects of life and to remind yourself of the big picture.




Anytime next you’re feeling nervous about something, such as taking up a new task, job interview or taking up an exam, don’t tell yourself to “calm down.” Instead, say, “I’m excited!” When you tell yourself that you’re excited, it provides a valid positive substitute that allows you to stay in control.

The five-second rule is a simple tool that can help you balance your “default” reactions. This relatively small act can add up to redefine what you are, how you feel and what you do with your life making it a boon

Published by

Officers IAS Academy

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