“Motivation is garbage” Mel Robbins
What Mel is trying to say from the above quote is that motivation is good to inspire you and get going initially. However you can’t rely on it in the long run. It will eventually wear off and then you’ll need another fix. Life is not going to pause for you until you have the motivation or feel like doing something.
If you aren’t already aware, Mel Robbins wrote a new book called “The 5 second rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” I first heard about her and her book during an interview she did with Tom Bilyeu, founder of Inside Quest.
I immediately downloaded the audiobook. The message hit me to my core. Light bulbs were going off after each chapter. I have listened to the entire audiobook 3 times, it’s that powerful.
For some time I’ve had a hunch that motivation was over rated. Check out my post “Why Motivation Doesn’t Work”. The way she articulated this concept helped me understand it at a deeper level.
So who is Mel Robbins? She is a CNN commentator, sought after speaker, author (obviously), among so many other things. Basically, she’s the definition of a super woman. Her new book promises to change your life in 5 seconds.
Like many other “self-improvement” books it vows to help you lose weight, improve your health, boost your confidence and productivity, and so many other things.
The difference, however, is that this book isn’t about motivation it isn’t about inspiring you. It’s about action. Which is the only thing that will ever reap results.
This book is for you if you know what you should be doing but somehow you can’t get yourself to do it. You know what morning rituals, setting goals, and affirmations can do for you but you have yet to implement those strategies.
So here is the premise of this rule. The longer you wait to do something the less likely you are to do it. Therefore
“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must count 5,4,3,2,1 and physically move or your brain will stop you”.
In other words from the moment you have a thought of doing something or saying something to someone you have 5 seconds to take action before you talk yourself out of it.
There are countless studies proving why this works. She goes over them in her book. For now just know that it works because counting backwards is not something you normally do.
After 1 there is nothing else to do but move. Since you aren’t used to counting backwards your default thought patterns are interrupted. Counting backwards distracts you from excuses, overthinking, and worrying.
So next time you feel like speaking up in a meeting, complimenting someone, asking for help, writing a book, making a video begin counting 5,4,3,2,1 and move. The most important part is to move or it won’t work.
The thing is to get going and begin to build momentum. Once you’re in motion you tend to stay in motion. If you’re waiting until you feel like doing something you will never do it. The 5 second rule is about not feeling like it, but doing it anyway.
It’s like when you go to the pool. Initially it’s hard to get in the cold water but you do it anyway. Eventually your body becomes accustomed to the cold water. You find yourself having fun after all. It’s the same thing with all other areas of life.
Everyone feels afraid in the beginning but you can still take action. The 5 second rule is the perfect tool to help you build courage, the ability to do something difficult or outside your comfort zone. It helps you brake bad habits. That’s all procrastination and hesitation is, the habit of avoidance.
This tool is like a starting ritual. If you’ve read “The Habit Loop” then you’ve heard this term before. The first time I ever came across this concept was when my youngest was about a year old.
Normally babies start sleeping through the night at about 3-5 months. I know all babies are different but he was a year old and still waking up every single night.
I was so ready for a full night’s sleep. The doctor recommended a starting ritual. Which is basically a series of events or a routine that lead up to bed time. This would help Benjamin come to expect bedtime.
So we would go for a short walk, then it was bath time, and finally I would read him a bedtime story. After going through this routine every single night he came to know what to expect. His body became used to “bedtime after a story”.
In the same way the 5 second rule can be used as a starting ritual to break bad habits. The moment you feel yourself hesitating begin counting immediately 5,4,3,2,1 and move.
You know you need to get off social media and work on your business. 5,4,3,2,1 and turn off the phone.
You want to deep clean your home before mother-in-law arrives, but you’re lacking the motivation 5,4,3,2,1 and move.
You said you would get up early in the morning to exercise. Now that the alarm is going off. Your brain fires off the mental chatter “I don’t really feel like it, I’ll sleep just 20 more minutes, how about I start tomorrow”. 5,4,3,2,1 and move.
You won’t have to use this method forever. Just like Benjamin did not need the bed time ritual forever. It’s just while you brake the negative habit of procrastination, overeating, hesitation or whatever other habit you wish to change.
Overtime you will definitely start to see your life change. Small decisions add up over time. Every time you don’t feel like writing a chapter 5,4,3,2,1 and do it anyway. Eventually you’ll have a whole book. It’s called the compound effect.
Remember you are only one decision away from a completely different life. 5,4,3,2,1 and just do it! Make sure to check out Mel’s book. It’s full of real life situations, success stories, and countless studies that prove how and why this works.
How will you be using this tool to improve your life? Comment below and let me know. Share this post with any of your friends who will find this post helpful.