Mel Robbins’s The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage (2017) argues that much of what holds you back in life has roots in those few precious moments between when you have an idea and when your brain gets in the way of acting on that idea.
The 5-second rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. …. Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.
Robbins asserts that you have five seconds to act on your ideas before you run the risk of subconsciously convincing yourself not to. Stay alert for those decisive moments. Each time, consider the benefits and liabilities of doing versus deferring.
When you internalize a do-it-now mindset, you’ll be dragging your feet less: “There’s one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.”
There’s some wisdom here: don’t wait for motivation, high energy, or a sense of focus before taking action. Create motivation by taking action. Once initiated, action tends to gather momentum—tasks become increasingly easy to sustain.
Idea for Impact: When you catch yourself thinking you’ll do something later, take it as a nudge to do it now. Take action before procrastination sets in. Action motivates.