She also wrote a super-popular book called The 5-Second Rule.
Now, I haven’t watched the TED Talk (I read books, folks!! lol) but I did happen to swipe Alexandra’s copy of this book off the kitchen counter before she had a chance to read it after she gave me the quick overview. (Thanks, Babes! 😘)
Basic idea: In any given moment (especially the ones that really matter—which are all of them—especially the ones you don’t think matter that much), we pretty much always know what we should do. But, as you may have noticed, we often fail to DO what we know we should do.
Ever happen to you? (Hah.)
Which kinds begs the question: What gets in the way?
Mel tells us (and leading philosophers and scientists agree) that we think too much. We check in on how we “feel” about doing whatever it is that needs to get done and, lo and behold, we go from inspired (albeit perhaps nervous) clarity to doing nothing in a matter of moments.
In less than 5 seconds to be precise.
Here’s a little more backstory then the Tool for Today.
Mel tells us that at 41, her life was falling apart. She was drinking too much, struggling in her marriage and with her finances. It was so bad she didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning—hitting snooze so many times that by the time she got out of bed the kids had missed the school bus.
Then one day she was watching TV and saw a commercial with the classic NASA pre-launch countdown: 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… BLASTOFF!
She said to herself, “That’s what I’m going to do tomorrow morning. “5… 4… 3… 2… 1… I’m out of bed!!”
She woke up the next morning, was tempted to hit snooze, remembered her idea, thought it was stupid, but then did the countdown and the blastoff.
“5… 4… 3… 2… 1… BLASTOFF!”
She immediately got out of bed. And, well, it changed her life.
And, since then, it’s changed a LOT of people’s lives.
As it turns out, what’s become known as “The 5 Second Rule” does an astonishingly elegant job at weaving together a TON of scientific research on habit formation, activation energy, locus of control, small wins and a bunch of other behavioral change ideas.
If you feel so inspired, the next time you find yourself pretty clear on what needs to get done but hesitating before doing it, give yourself a little countdown to blastoff.
5… 4… 3… 2… 1…