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Mel Robbins’ The 5-Second Rule Book Review Part 2

10 Mins read

CHAPTER 9 – Improve Your Health


Just thinking healthier will not make you healthier. Even meditation which is just a mental exercise requires you to DO IT. You must take action. Time will pass you by no matter what you are doing, so you might as well be doing activities that will push your life forward. Hyperventilating as you pedal is better than making excuses at home.

Stop Thinking, Start Doing

Why is getting healthy so hard? You already know the answer—your feelings. You feel deprived of unhealthy food, you consider how you feel about dieting for a hundred days or how you feel about working out daily. Stop thinking about how you feel. Your feelings don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you DO

Take courageous actions and change happens

Courage is what it takes to be healthy. It takes courage to start something, it takes courage to stick with it, and it definitely takes courage to share it with the world. The gap between the person you are now and the person you want to become can seem so big that it feels impossible to bridge that gap. Feeling this way is normal, but allowing those feelings to take over your mind is a form of self-abuse.

Improving your health is all about action.

You might not lose as much weight as others but you can push yourself to get to the dentist, to exercise, or go to the doctor for a test like a mammogram or prostate screening. When you push yourself, the life that you change will be your own.

If you fall off the wagon or “slip,” you can get back on track. Slipping is normal. There are days when you won’t feel like it. Remember, you can take control again. It takes just five seconds.


CHAPTER 10 – Increase Productivity


Two types of FOCUS to master productivity:

  • Ability to manage distractions to focus moment-to-moment on the task at hand.
  • The skill to focus on what’s truly most important to you so you don’t waste your day on stupid stuff.

Managing Distractions:

  • Decide that distractions are not good. Interruptions are the kiss of death for your productivity.
  • Remove distractions.

Own your mornings. Create a morning routine and follow it.

  • Get up when the alarm rings. Never hit snooze. Your body needs at least 90b to 110 minutes to return to awake mode.
  • Don’t check emails until you plan your day. Put yourself first. The moment you check email, read the news, or surf social media, someone else’s priorities jump in front of you. Plan your day and know your priorities.
  • Write your goals and be reminded throughout the day.
  • Plan your quitting time or the time you will stop working. Give your workday a deadline. These daily deadlines are important for our stamina and health as they give our brains the time to rest, recharge, and reset that they require.
  • Parkinson’s Law – Work expands to whatever time you give it.

Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare, begin.


CHAPTER 11 – End Procrastination


Productive Procrastination

If you are working on a creative project, and you don’t have a fixed deadline, it’s not procrastination if you let your work sit for a few weeks so you can let you mind wander. It’s the creative process. That extra time spent mental wandering during a creative process gives you the ability to come up with more creative, “divergent” ideas that enhance your project. Those fresh new ideas you have as you procrastinate productively will make your work even smarter.

Destructive Procrastination

It’s when we deliberately avoid the work we need to get done and know there will be negative consequences.

Procrastination is avoiding stress.

It is not a form of laziness at all. It is “a subconscious desire to feel good right now,” a coping mechanism so you can feel a little stress relief. Procrastination is like emotional eating for the mind. You are taking a mini stress-break from the bigger stress you feel overall.

How to beat procrastination

  • Forgive yourself.
  • Create a vision board or a mental image of your future self. The moment you feel yourself procrastinating, just ask yourself, What would the Future you do?
  • Get started. Take action anyway

The Progress Principle

The phenomenon that forward progress of any kind, including small wins, boosts our mood and increases our happiness and productivity level. Once you start, your mind will keep nudging you to finish.


CHAPTER 12 – Stop Worrying


Worry is an enormous waste of your precious and limited lifetime

It worries and fear hijack your mind and rob you of the magic and wonder in your life. Worry is a default setting that your mind goes to when you are not paying attention.
The key is catch yourself when you drift into worry and regain mental control by using the 5SR. Ask: “What am I grateful for in this moment? What do I want to remember?” It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.


CHAPTER 13 – End Anxiety

“Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

Anxiety is when your habit of worrying spirals out of control.

The key to beating anxiety is understanding it. If you can catch it right as it kicks in and reframe it, you’ll stabilize your thoughts before your mind escalates it into full blown panic.

Normal Panic

When “near miss:” happens like almost getting into car crash. When your mind has an explanation for why your body just freaked out, it won’t escalate the anxiety. Your mind will allow your body to calm down because it knows the “danger” has passed.

Panic Attack

That same “near miss” sensation rushes your mind and body, without any warning and with no preceding event. If your mind can’t find a suitable explanation, your brain will make the anxiety worse so that you will want to physically run away from the situation and leave the room.

When you feel anxious, you are in a state of physical agitation. When you tell a person to calm down, you are asking someone to go from 60 mph to 0 mph. It’s like trying to stop a freight train by throwing a boulder in front of it; it’ll jump the tracks. Use the 5SR and reframe the anxiety so your brain does not escalate it.

Reframing Strategy / Say you’re excited

View fear as excitement because physiologically anxiety and excitement are the exact same thing. It’s much easier to convince your brain that all those nervous feelings are just excitement rather than to try to calm yourself down.

Telling yourself “I’m excited”—it doesn’t actually lower the feelings surging through your body. It just gives your mind an explanation that empowers you.


Chapter 14 – Beat Fear


Create an anchor thought to divert your thoughts from fear to excitement and
train your mind to default to the positive.

That thought keeps you grounded, present, and powerful. When you enter a conversation managing a fear, you can’t be your best because part of your mind is busy trying to manage that fear in real-time. When you have an anchor thought, it allows you to disappear the fear the moment that you notice your mind drift to it. Fear robs you of joy, opportunity, and magic every single day. It doesn’t have to be that way. In five seconds flat, you can take control. You can beat fear.”


Chapter 15 – Building Real Confidence


Confidence is a skill, not a personality trait.

It means that you believe in yourself, your ideas, and your capabilities and it is built through acts of everyday courage. It is created by the small things you do every single day that build trust in yourself.

Small things are not small at all.

They are the most important things of all. And they add up. Pushing yourself to 5-4-3-2-1 on the “small things” gives you confidence to do the “big scheme of things.”

A good life is made up of small steps—“making tough decisions,” “being able to say no,” even “getting out of bed and taking the dogs out” just because you said you would—they may be little steps in “learning to trust” yourself, but they are the most “exhilarating” moves that you can make for your confidence.”

Everyday courage.

The first time you do anything, it’s going to feel difficult and maybe a little scary. You’re going to need a little courage. We are all capable of “acting out of character” when it serves an important purpose. The most important purpose is improving your life in ways that make you come alive and feel happy and fulfilled.

Daily courageous actions create a ripple effect that changes your life. These are little steps but the payoff is everything that you seek: confidence, control, and a sense of pride that feels damn good. Assert yourself and practice acts of everyday courage using the #5SecondRule. Those acts may not seem “earth-shattering,” but they will shatter self-doubt over time.


Chapter 16 – Pursuing Passion


Finding your passion is an active process.

Explore until you bump into it.

  • Your curiosity is how your instincts get you to pay attention to what your heart really cares about. If you can’t stop thinking about something, make something your new hobby. Also, pay close attention to envy. If you find yourself jealous of someone else, explore that feeling.
  • Push yourself to take simple steps to explore that subject.

Build momentum.

It will start as just an instinct. It always does. First, you take a class. A class leads to a certification. A certification leads to conversations. Conversations lead to opportunities. Small opportunities lead to larger ones. Maybe you’ll want to share something that you’re learning with people at work, so you use the Rule to push yourself to do it. That’s when momentum kicks in.

As your exploration picks up momentum, you’ll move into the next phase—actually pursuing your passion full-time.

The Courage to commit

You need to ask yourself the Heart First question, “Am I ready to commit to this?” instead of the Feeling First question, “Do I feel ready to commit to this?” You’ll never feel ready. The moment you answer yes to the question “Am I ready to commit to this?” you’ll need to use the Rule to give yourself that final push.”

Have faith.

“The whole universe conspires to help you when you follow your heart”

The answers are inside of you if you have the courage to listen. You are like some other people and like no other person. You have something remarkable to share with the world. It starts with listening to what’s inside of you and ends with the courage to go where it leads. Follow it.


Chapter 15 – Building Real Confidence


Say it. Leave nothing important unsaid.

Intimacy takes courage. Risking getting emotional or upsetting someone so that you can express yourself is scary, but the result is magical.

Waiting for the right time to get real in your relationships is a fool’s errand. There is no right time to have the conversation, ask the hard questions, say “I love you,” or take the time to truly listen. There is only right now.

Sometimes there is no next time. When your heart speaks—say it.

Truth creates real connection.

The truth is the shortest distance between two people and it may very well save your relationship. Silence creates distance. Truth creates real connection


The Power of You

You can move mountains. Whatever is happening right now, this is it. This is your life. And it’s not going to begin again. You can’t change the past, but in five seconds you can change your future.

That’s the power of everyday courage. When your heart speaks, honor it, 5-4-3-2-1 and move. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on all that you are meant to become, live on autopilot and swim right past all the magic, opportunity, and joy that your life has to offer.

One moment of courage can change your day. One day can change your life. And your life can change the world.

Necta’s PERSONAL THOUGHTS


Very good insights from these last chapters!

Mel Robbins says we procrastinate in life to de-stress. We retreat to our comfort zone because taking action will cause us any form of stress, pain or discomfort. We come up with all these excuses why now, why today is not the right time. We’re either too busy, too stressed, too old, too scared, too inexperienced to do stuff or other times, we’re just really not feeling like doing them. And so we say to ourselves “not today.”

In the Philippines, we call this Mañana Habit synonymous from the Filipino words “Mamaya na” which means “later.” It’s putting off tasks that can be done now when we think we still have plenty of time to do them later. It’s a very common trait for many and sadly, some of us glorify the act of getting things done at the very last minute. We brag about studying only on the day of the exam or partying on a work night. We think proudly of all-nighter projects like catchupathons, cramming on the brink of the deadlines. “Sleep is for the weak,” we say as if being sleep-deprived is an impressive feat. We laugh off failures from procrastinating. We feel better knowing it’s not just us who are in this situation, we feel relieved that others have failed and procrastinated too.

Some of us think highly of procrastination as if it’s a skill when it is not; it’s self-defeating and counterproductive. Every time we procrastinate, we are setting ourselves up to fail on the big things in life. That’s like digging our own grave. Remember, the butterfly effect —our smallest actions has the greatest effect over time. If we procrastinate on one thing, even the smallest mundane task we have like waking up on time, we’ll bring that habit on the biggest and most pivotal opportunities we’ll get in life. Just like the great example from the book of snoozing our alarms, the price of that extra 5 or 10 minutes of sleep could cost our attendance at work and eventually the job we have.

So it’s really important that we beat procrastination and this 5-second rule is a great start to overcome this bad habit. No study is required nor any mentors needed. It all starts with us. Us making the move. Us taking that first step. As Mel Robbins taught us from the book, a task does not get completed unless we actually begin working on it. A goal is not achieved until we take action and start doing what we need to do. To complete things, we have to actually begin. Life rewards action. Without it, nothing can be achieved. It’s really just that one self-push to get started. “One moment of courage can change your day. One day can change your life. And your life can change the world.” That 5-second pain of discipline will make all the difference. Let’s rather be in pain now and be successful later than be comfortable now and be full of regrets tomorrow. There is no perfect time, there is only today. 5-4-3-2-1, Let’s do it now!

Daily courageous actions create a ripple effect that change your life. These are little steps but the payoff is everything that you seek: confidence, control, and a sense of pride that feels damn good. Assert yourself and practice acts of everyday courage using the #5SecondRule. Those acts may not seem “earth shattering,” but they will shatter self-doubt over time.

Snooze, you lose.
To win, begin.

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About author
A Mass Communication graduate, Necta wrote digital content for over 3 years across a number of industries before joining NaXum. She is now enriching lives as the President of Operations of one of the greatest referral marketing system providers.
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