How The Five Second Rule Can Change Your Life

Mel Robbins is an American television host, author and motivational speaker. Her theory is that if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

Known as the Five Second Rule, this is a tool for hyper-intentionality and identifying life moments where there is an opportunity.


The Five Second Rule

In her book and TEDx Talks, Mel Robbins speaks about the road to being happier, turning thoughts into action and getting more out of life.

She points out that achieving goals is not as simple as ‘just do it.’ Because if it were, everyone would have everything they want.

Mel believes that the issue lies in the way our brains are wired. Basically, the idea is that our thoughts and feelings are at war.

There is a discourse between the things we know we should be doing vs what we feel like doing.


The Winning Feeling

It is always our feelings that win, which is why we’ll never pursue something we don’t feel like doing. The Five Second Rule is the way to break this cycle.

It means that when we have the urge to do something, we must get up and start doing it within five seconds of having that thought.

Because in that short space of time, our brain will talk us out of doing it.

There are many reasons for us to decide against pursuing something. It could be because we are simply lazy or tired.

If the idea is particularly grand, we could get scared. The thing about fear is that it’s not always about failing.

Of course, we fear the lack of achieving a goal and perhaps the public humiliation that comes with it.

However, we can also fear success because it would change everything. The bottom line is, there are many reasons why we may talk ourselves out of pursuing something that could change our lives.


Mel Robbin’s Advice on Success and Happiness

Today, Mel Robbin’s has one of the 20 most popular TEDx talks in the world. It’s been viewed almost 14 million times in more than 37 countries.

It has changed the lives of so many people, and it can change yours too.


The advice Mel gives stems from her own life experience. She owned a successful restaurant business with her husband that suddenly began to fail due to a few wrong decisions.

They were about to lose everything and Mel had trouble dealing with it. Even though every morning, she knew that she had to get up and go about her day, she kept snoozing her alarm over and over again.

She knew what she needed to do but she simply couldn’t do it. She developed the Five Second Rule to take action when she didn’t want to.

Mel learned that simply knowing what to do will never be enough. Even if you know exactly why you need to do it.

What you need to do is launch yourself into a state of action. If you simply sit around and wait for motivation, it will not come.

Lack of action will, unfortunately, keep you from moving forward.


Waking Up

There are several simple tips that Mel Robbins suggest everyone follows. According to her, the road to being happier starts with setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual and not hitting the snooze button.

In her TEDx talk she goes on to explain how turning off our brain’s autopilot and demolishing our comfort zones is key to a rewarding life.

Plus, any time we have an urge or idea, we need to act on it within five seconds before we talk ourselves out of it.

Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney

You can Mel’s work on YouTube, alongside these activist channels looking to change the world for the better.

YouTube As a Platform to Promote Education & Activism

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