Lewis Howes: Use This 5-Second Life Hack to Make Your Biggest Decisions

One of my favorite things about being a speaker is being about to meet and collaborate with some really incredible people. I first met Lewis Howes, a best-selling author, incredible motivator, and all-around awesome person, a few months ago. I had an incredible experience talking with him on his podcast, School of Greatness, and this week had the chance to interview him at SUCCESS Live (stay tuned, the video should be posted soon!).

When I saw that he had written an article about the 5 Second Rule, I was so humbled and moved. Lewis, you’re one of my personal development heroes, and I’m so happy that the 5 Second Rule has been able to have a positive impact on your life.

So, here is the article, originally posted on SUCCESS.com, and written by the awesome Lewis Howes:

There’s a favorite quote of mine that I’ve been thinking about lately. It is so simple, so true, and so brutally honest: “If more info were the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

Search your feelings, my friend, and you know this to be true. The internet gives us literally any information we could possibly need to achieve our goals, but my guess is you’re probably not a billionaire or a model. So how can we have all the information we need but still struggle to reach our goals?

I had a guest on The School of Greatness recently who gave me a pretty incredible answer: “It’s because we don’t make decisions with our goals. We make decisions with our feelings. Ninety-five percent of the time, we make our decisions based on how we feel in the moment, not based on what we know is right.”

That eureka moment is brought to you by Mel Robbins. She is the most-booked female speaker on the planet, a CNN commentator, and a best-selling author. And on my podcast, she shared a simple neurobiological hack that we can all use to make the decisions we know we should. She calls it the “5 Second Rule.”

Related: The Science Behind the 5 Second Rule

Here’s how it works: Let’s say we’re faced with a decision that we know will move us in the direction of our goals. That decision presents us with a five-second window. It starts from the moment we know we should act to the moment we lose the will to do so. If we can stop ourselves in those five seconds, then we can act based on logic rather than feelings. We can make the decision we know we should rather than the one that’s convenient.

So how do we take advantage of that five-second window? We count down from 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

That’s it. That’s the hack.

I had the same reaction you did when Mel told me this. No way, I thought. That’s too simple, there’s no way that works. Then she explained the neuroscience to me, and it clicked. “Counting is an action,” she said. “Counting backward takes concentration. So, when you count down, you actually awaken your prefrontal cortex and give yourself the power to drive forward. Because now you’re not on autopilot. You’re in control.”

Powerful stuff, right? This simple neurobiological hack gives us control over our minds, over our decisions and therefore, over our lives.

If you want to hear more from Mel, then get ready to laugh, cry and learn in Episode 452 of The School of Greatness. But before you do, commit to using the 5 Second Rule for the next couple of days. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Related: It Only Takes 5 Seconds to Change Your Life

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