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posted: 1/19/2018 1:00 AM

Business Book Review "The 5 Second Rule"

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  • Vickie Astin

    Vickie Astin


Think of a rocket launch. Then hear the voice of mission control, counting "5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … lift off!"

That was the inspiration for Mel Robbins, best-selling author of "The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage."

With her career stalled, her marriage on the rocks and her finances in the tank, Robbins heard the countdown just as she was turning off the TV for the night and it changed her life.

Now, she's on a mission to help us change ours.

For the author, her biggest challenge was getting up in the morning, so she did the countdown before hitting the snooze button.

By using the technique, she mentally shifted gears, interrupting her excuses and justifications.

This "starting ritual" replaced her default thinking which was "Oh, just another five minutes …" The technique worked and a revolution was born.

Throughout the book Robbins cites brain science to back up this simple but powerful technique. Our brains are wired for safety, and the gremlins of fear, doubt and procrastination can hijack our minds and our commitments.

"Right before we're about to do something that feels difficult, scary or uncertain, we hesitate," the author writes, and that hesitation happens in less than five seconds.

"If you break this habit of hesitating and find the courage to 'take some kind of action,' you'll be astonished by how fast your life changes," she writes.

Peppered with social media testimonials from fans all over the world, the book unpacks why the 5 Second Rule works, how courage changes behavior and how to start using the Rule in our own lives to accomplish whatever we're up to, whether it's growing a business, losing weight or getting over a fear of flying.

For skeptics, I get it -- seems too good to be true, right?

But corporations and associations around the globe are clamoring for her message, and Ms. Robbins is a best-selling author and one of the most sought-after professional speakers in the business.

She must be doing something right.

• Vickie Austin is a business and career coach, professional speaker and author of "Circles of Gold: Honoring Your Network for Business and Career Success." She hosts "Biz Books Review" the third Tuesday of every month at the Wheaton Public Library. Visit her website at and connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter (@Vickie_Austin).