“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.”
There are 3 major lessons from the book:
Lesson 1: The 5 Second Rule builds courage like compounding interest.
The difference between you and that person you know that does all those scary things seemingly un-phased is action. Most things really aren’t that difficult, we just end up getting inside our own heads so much that we’ll talk ourselves out of it. You, me, and that person that came to mind. We all do it.
But here’s the thing- just like the rule states; our courage builds and builds every time we act on it.
Small, but seemingly big, events like showing up to the gym- which I know most of you have either gotten through, are in the middle of trying to get through, or haven’t quite gotten there yet. My Advice to people in their first few months at our gym is “just show up”.
It’s simple, and it works.
Feel those feelings- get changed and get in the car. Feel nervous on the drive- and keep heading toward your destination. Pull into the parking lot and resist the urge to turn around. Open the door- “Heyyyyyy [your name]”.
Suddenly it’s not quite so bad anymore- like a muscle finally relaxing under massage.
Do this enough times and you become on of those people you watched in awe thinking “Damn, I want to be that.” Now others look to you for inspiration.
I wrote back in April 2017 about learned fear in a post called “The Squirrel on the Wire”
back when I was posting blogs to our site. It’s one of my favourite posts and I think it ties in here.
You can either learn courage or learn fear- but understand that whichever one you choose will compound over time and shape who you become.
Who do you want to be?
Lesson 2: You can stop waiting for “the right time”, because it’ll never come for three reasons.
There are two universal facts here: One, we all want to change our lives in one way or another and two, we spend most of our time waiting for that change to magically occur.
The three reasons “the right time” never comes:
- Change is always new.
- It always comes with uncertainty.
- It’s always scary.
In coaching individuals for nearly 10 years you can bet I’ve seen this one play out time after time.
My very least favourite thing people say is “I’m not fit enough to start CrossFit, let me just start something on my own and then we’ll circle back in 6 months.”
It’s only EVER happened once that people actually did circle back- Craig & Des- I’m so glad you did! What I’d like to say to that person is this-
“I understand. I get that you don’t feel ready- but you’re stepping into the hands of professionals. This is what we do for a living. We’ve worked with people who can’t even stand themselves back up when they squat down.
You may have an idea of what you’re doing on your own- but I promise you we’ll take you further than you will go on your own.”
Then I would clone the person- let them walk out, train their clone for the next 6 months into a confident, strong, original-copy-ass-kicking machine and have them meet up again in 6 months. And it wouldn’t be to say “I told you so” it would be “I’m still thinking about you, and I still want to help. When can you get started?”
Lesson 3: Feelings are just suggestions, which is why you should use psychological intervention to override them.
Mel refers to world-renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s work in a book called Descartes’ Error. He lays out results of his research and suggests that up to 95% of our decisions are ultimately decided by feelings, not facts. He calls us “feeling machines that think, not thinking machines that feel.”
In other words, most of the time we feel then act- NOT think, then act.
Try using this technique for the next 4 weeks. Never mind that you’ll long outlast the “new years resolution crowd” but I’m making a personal guarantee that you’ll make some form of tangible personal progress or development.
When faced with an impulse to act on a goal- follow Seneca’s “Do good, be good” advice.
Choose good behaviour and good feelings will follow.