The 5-Second Rule to Stop Procrastination and Take Action Now

Psychologist Mel Robbins was lazy and procrastinated in college, and even received warnings of withdrawal several times because he missed his academic papers.

In order to graduate smoothly, Mel decided to go to the library at 6 o’clock every day to rewrite the thesis.

However, whenever the alarm clock rings, all kinds of reasons for not getting out of bed always come to her mind:

Insomnia last night, poor health, and other things in the morning…

Until one day, she saw the broadcast video of the rocket launch. When the announcer counted from 5 to 1, the rocket immediately ignited and lifted off.

When the alarm rang again the next morning, Mel also tried to count down to 5 seconds in his mind, and got up immediately when he counted to 1.

With this method, she successfully overcame the problem of staying in bed and successfully finished writing the thesis within the stipulated deadline.

After graduation, she applied this method to all aspects of her life. As a result, she was promoted to a professor within 5 years and wrote 3 best-selling books around the world.

This is the origin of the “5-second rule”.

As Mel said in his TED talk:

“If you can decide to start in five seconds, you can be anyone you want to be.”

When you encounter something you want to do, don’t hesitate, take decisive action after counting down for 5 seconds, and you will find that your life will be very different.

Writer Liu Run said:

“There is a ‘do it’ gap between thinking and getting it.”

And it is this gap that separates all living beings.

People who think but don’t do it always subconsciously think that there is still a lot of time in the future.

Little did he know that the best opportunity was lost in the delay of every minute and every second.

Gray, who invented the telephone on the same day as Bell, said “wait a little longer” when faced with the urging of friends in the patent office;

In the end, he applied for a patent one day later than Bell, and missed the title of “the greatest inventor of the 20th century”.

After Grouchy heard the charge of the Waterloo battlefield, he said “wait a little longer” when facing his subordinates who urged troops to rescue;

In the end, he ruined the entire battle led by Napoleon and became a sinner of France.

Writer Li Shanglong said:

“Now is everything, now is forever.”

Those who can truly grasp the future first grasp the present.

General Motors CEO Jack Welch mentioned such a story in his autobiography.

Jack was in the hallway and overheard two colleagues complaining about the company’s billing process.

One of them said:

“Such a large company doesn’t even have an independent financial system. It’s just too bad.”

The other person just wanted to agree, but when he saw Jack, he was shocked and immediately bowed his head to apologize to him.

After Jack asked about their names and their departments, he returned to his office without saying a word.

A week later, when the two employees were worried about being fired, they suddenly received an email from Jack himself:

“The financial system is online, welcome to use and put forward your suggestions.”

It turned out that after hearing the employees’ complaints, Jack immediately called the technical team for a discussion, and started the development of the financial system that afternoon.

Looking back on Jack’s 20-year career, whether it is the reaction to the market or the change of technology, he can always take action almost on the same day after making a correct judgment.

Thanks to this, GM once seized the market opportunity and counterattacked from the brink of bankruptcy to become an industry giant with a market value of over 400 billion US dollars.

Musk once said:

“No matter how brilliant an idea is, among the billions of people in the world, tens of thousands of people can think of it.

You can only get ahead of them if you think about it and do it. ”

Don’t underestimate the damage of waiting, and don’t overestimate the patience of time.

The less hesitation before taking action, the sooner you can get closer to the life you want.

There is a legendary story in the Bible.

People rushing to the holy land were blocked by a dead sea.

The blood-colored sea is full of dead bodies, the mid-air is dark and confused, and there are ghosts moaning from time to time, and it seems impossible to move forward.

And when Moses stepped on the surface of the sea, the sky was clear and the air was clear in an instant, and the Dead Sea automatically parted to both sides, revealing an unimpeded road.

Life is often like this: when you hesitate, you only feel that there are thorns;

When you take a step forward, you will find that everything you do is smooth.

Stanford University has found in research that the human brain likes to maintain a steady state.

When the situation becomes uncertain, the brain will deliberately amplify the risk of action and prevent us from making changes.

But as long as you take the first step, you will find that things that were originally difficult can actually be done with ease.

The former Soviet scientist Lyubishev once set a rule: time everything he does.

Whenever the timer starts, the timer seems to remind him that the time is desperately passing, and you haven’t done anything yet.

So, Lyubishev had to force himself to abandon all distracting thoughts and take immediate action.

In his 56-year “time diary”, even the time spent in a daze is clearly recorded.

Only the matter of “hesitation” never appeared.

For seemingly extremely difficult things, Lyubishev always did it first, and then encountered difficulties in action and solved them.

With such executive power, Lyubishev has made great achievements in many fields such as mathematics, biology, and philosophy.

He has published more than 70 monographs in his lifetime, with a cumulative word count of over 10 million.

In the Oscar best “Green Book”, there is a classic line:

“Too many people who are disappointed in life dare not take the first step.”

Behind the failure to ask for is often not lack of ability, but hesitation about the beginning and worry about the end.

Such emotions are not only useless, but also make you constantly consume yourself and fall into emotional internal friction.

The difference between people is nothing more than that some people are afraid to move forward in the face of the end of the world, while others have stepped out of the shadows.

In front of Westminster Abbey, England, there is a thought-provoking epitaph:

“When I was young, I dreamed of changing the world, but in my old age, I couldn’t even do anything for my own family.

In the end, I lay in my hospital bed and realized that if I changed myself first, I could change my family;

With the help of my family, I may do something for the country, maybe I can really change the world. ”

This reminds me of the famous wrestler Ja Kalonen.

In 1988, Ja Kalonen was seriously injured in the game and was paralyzed in bed.

After the injury, Ya Kalonen refused to treat for a long time, because he was afraid that the incomplete rehabilitation plan would make him never return to the game.

He consulted dozens of well-known doctors and collected nearly a hundred rehabilitation programs.

A month later, Ya Kalonin still hadn’t started rehabilitation, but was on the verge of collapse in the entanglement.

Until the mother who took care of him was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Ja Kalonen no longer obsessed with returning to the game, but reduced the goal to a quick recovery of self-care ability.

After rehabilitation, he was soon able to move freely with the help of crutches. At this time, he said to himself:

“Maybe I can go one step further and ditch the crutches too.”

In this way, every time he makes a little progress, he will set goals for the next stage, and always keep himself on the road to recovery.

Three years later, Ya Kalonen participated in the wrestling competition, which was 9 months earlier than the recovery time estimated by the original best plan.

Sometimes, we are too obsessed with the perfection of the result, afraid of possible disappointment, and refuse to start everything.

A truly powerful person never waits until all conditions are ripe before taking action.

“If you want to form a river, you must first join a small stream; if you want to travel a thousand miles, you must first accumulate steps.”

As Bacon said to his pupils:

“If there is ever a best practice, it is ‘start now’!

Start with what you can do without delay. ”

To think is a question; to do is to have an answer.

When you no longer worry about gains and losses, every gleam of light you pick up in your actions will converge into the highlight of your life at an unexpected time.

Mel once explained the “5-second rule”:

“Act immediately after counting down to 5 seconds, which means not giving time to react to emotions such as fear, hesitation, and inertia.

Only when we free ourselves from these negative emotions can we truly become our own masters. “

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