I’ve just finished listening to “The 5 second rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage” by Mel Robbins and I said to myself: why not put the learning into practice? How? By writing my first blog post about this book. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go!


That’s exactly what Mel’s book is about: how counting backward from 5 to 1 can help you achieve more in your everyday life. You just have to start counting and, when you get to 1, you have to do that thing you want to do: make the sales call, ask the girl out, call your mom, start writing your first paragraph, get out of bed in the morning and more.


It’s a really simple, but powerful idea. It’s funny how sometimes the simplest things in life are so hard to do. Like relaxing or getting off Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Youtube to start working on that project you’re constantly snoozing.


That’s the only thing you’ll learn from the book. You might as well go on with your day if you’re a productivity geek. Really. The 5 second rule is so trivial that you might argue it’s not even worth reading a whole book on the subject. That was my thought exactly when I started listening to it and even after I’ve finished the first chapter. You might think (and you would be almost right) that the rule is similar to Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign or Shia LaBeouf’s viral video, but if you think about it for a second you will see there are some subtle, but important differences and some research behind it.


So, if you want to get the full experience, you will have to read/listen to the book. And it’s worth it. Let me tell you why.


Why you should read “The 5 Second Rule”

Firstly, I love the simplicity of the 5 second rule. I love it when a book is so clear and concise that I have at least 1 big takeaway after reading it. This is because I’ve read quite a few books over the years that didn’t even provide that small win.


Secondly, if you don’t read the book you won’t apply the 5 second rule in your daily life because it won’t make much sense. The idea sounds stupid and too simple. But, if you read the book you’ll get the reasons why this rule works so well, the science behind it and the social proof to make you want to try it yourself. The book includes dozens of powerful stories of everyday people that had big and small personal wins using the rule.


Besides the actual content, I loved the way Mel narrates the book. A lot of audiobooks are not narrated by the authors and that’s disappointing but understandable. But not Mel. By doing this, she makes the book way more personal. It’s like she’s in the same room as you. She’s authentic, passionate. She puts that wonderful personality to work so that you feel like you’re listening to a friend telling you a compelling story.


Mel plays with dramatic pauses and repetitions to emphasize certain information, uses emotions to make a point and you can have even her shed tears while talking about emotional stories. She reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell style of writing and narrating books.


To get the gist of it, here’s the Youtube video of the 5 second rule that made me want to read the book in the first place. 

How I’ve applied The 5 Second Rule

Of course, I’ve applied the rule by pushing myself to write this blog post. So, one small win for me already 🏆.


The second one was while I was halfway through the book. Because I caught myself hitting that snooze button quite a few times in the past few months, I’ve decided to use one of Mel’s ideas: changing the wake-up music of my alarm clock to the sound of a NASA countdown. So, I’ve searched for a few samples online, and voila! Here is a version I’ve edited and started using in the past few days. Feel free to download it if it feels like a good idea.



However, this did not work for me. At least not yet. I’ve still pushed the snooze button a few times since. That could be because I’ve chosen a 10-second countdown instead of a 5 second one or because the sound is a bit annoying in the morning, but I believe the reasons are more complex. One of them is that I’m now on a sabbatical and I don’t have strict deadlines for the projects I’m currently working on. So I have no real reason to wake up early some days. I can work whenever I want, from anywhere I want. Alarms are not that important for me for at least for a couple more months.


Also, I believe alarms need to be coupled with a purpose or a plan or something you like that makes you jump out of bed. Ever noticed that you don’t press the snooze button when you have to catch a plane, if you’re going on a trip with your friends that morning or anytime you’re doing something that gets you excited? I truly believe that we all need to look inside ourselves and discover what makes us tick, what makes us truly happy and excited to get up in the morning. Once you have that, hitting the snooze button will not be an issue anymore ⏰.

Here’s an Amazon link where you can order to book or buy the Kindle or Audiobook version.

P.S.: I’m planning to write about the best books I’ve read and will read. Why? Because it helps me organize my thoughts about what I’ve just read, it helps me take in the information, helps me come up with new product/marketing/startup/life ideas and because I’m often asked for book recommendations by friends and people I meet at events.