N-F: - The 5 Second Rule

You Are One Decision Away from a Completely Different Life Inside this book,

I’m going to share everything that I’ve learned about change and the power of everyday courage. You’re going to love what you are about to learn. 

The coolest part will be when you start to use the Rule and see the results for yourself. You will not only wake up and realize just how much you’ve held yourself back. You will also awaken the power that’s been inside of you all along. 

As you read the stories inside these pages, you might even realize that you’ve used the #5SecondRule before. If you look back on your life and reflect on some of the most important moments, 

I guarantee that you’ve made a life-changing decision purely on instinct. In five seconds flat, you made, what I call, a “heart-first decision.” You ignored your fears and let your courage and your confidence speak for you. 

Five seconds of courage makes all the difference. Just ask Catherine. When she first learned about the #5SecondRule at her company’s executive leadership offsite, it made her realize she had used the Rule to make one of the most important decisions of her life—she just didn’t realize it at the time. In 1990, her sister Tracy was killed and Catherine traveled back home to help. 

That’s when “a 5 Second decision” changed not only her life “but so many others as well.” She decided to raise her sister’s “two little ones” who were “left behind” when Tracy died.

I love how she describes the decision as a “no brainer”—because when you act with courage, your brain is not involved. Your heart speaks first and you listen. The Rule will teach you how. Will it take some effort on your part to discover the power within you? Yes, it will. But as Marlowe said just a few pages ago, “It is absolutely incredible and awe-inspiring how easy things become” when you do. Doing the work to improve your life is simple, you can do it, and it’s work you want to do—because it’s the most important work that there is. 

It is the work of learning how to love and trust yourself enough to stop waiting and to start leaning into all the magic, opportunity, and joy that your life, work, and relationships have to offer. I’m so excited to hear about what happens when you start using the #5SecondRule. But I’m jumping ahead of the story. Before we can talk about all of the exciting ways that you can use the Rule, I need to take you back to 2009 and explain how this all started.

HOW I DISCOVERED THE 5 SECOND RULE This all started in 2009. 
I was 41 years old and facing some major problems with money, work, and in my marriage. As soon as I woke up each morning, all I felt was dread. Have you ever felt that way? It’s the worst. The alarm rings, and you just don’t feel like getting up and facing the day. Or, you lie awake at night with your head spinning as you worry about all of your problems. 

That was me. For months, I felt so overwhelmed by the problems I had that I could barely get out of bed. When the alarm rang at 6 a.m., I would lie there and think about the day ahead, the lien on the house, the negative account balance, my failed career, how much I resented my husband…and then I would hit the snooze button. Not once, but over and over again. In the beginning, it wasn’t a big deal, but as is the case with any bad habit, as time went on, it snowballed into a much bigger problem that impacted my entire day. 

By the time I finally got up, the kids had missed the bus and I felt like I was failing at life. I spent most of my days tired, running late, and feeling totally overwhelmed. 

I don’t even know how it started—I just remember feeling so defeated all the time. 

My professional life was in the gutter. Over the past 12 years, I had changed careers so many times that I was developing multiple personalities. After graduating from law school, I started my career as a public defender for the Legal Aid Criminal Defense Society in NYC. 

Then I met my husband Chris and we got married and moved to Boston so that he could pursue his MBA. In Boston, I worked crazy hours for a large law firm and was miserable all the time. When our daughter was born, I used my maternity leave to look for a new job and landed in the Boston startup scene. I worked for several tech startups during those years. It was fun and I learned a lot but I never felt like tech was the right career for me. I hired a coach to help me figure out “what to do with my life.” Working with a coach led me to want to become one. 

So, like a lot of people, I worked during the day, focused on the kids when I got home, and then I studied at night to get the certification I needed. Eventually, I launched a coaching business. I loved it, and I would probably still be doing it if the media had not called. 

My media career began as a fluke: Inc. magazine published an article featuring my coaching business and an executive at CNBC saw it and called. That one call led to lots of meetings. After months of tryouts, I landed a “development deal” with ABC and a call-in radio show on Sirius. Sounds fancy, but it wasn’t. 

I was surprised to learn that most development deals pay next to nothing and that radio pays even less than that. In reality, I was a mother of three driving back and forth to NYC, sleeping on friends’ couches in the city, coaching clients on the side to make the ends meet, leaning too much on friends and family to fill the childcare gaps, and doing whatever I could to make it all work. After several years scraping by in the media business, I got my “big break.” I was cast to host a reality show for FOX. 

I had visions of magically solving all of our financial problems by becoming a TV star. What a joke. We shot a few episodes of a show called Someone’s Gotta Go, and then the network tabled the show. In an instant, my media career hit a dead end. I only got paid if we were shooting. I found myself unemployed and locked into a contract for ten months that prevented me from pursuing another media job. By this point, Chris had finished his MBA and started a thin crust pizza restaurant with his best friend in the Boston area. In the beginning, things were going great. 

The first location was a home run, the company won Best of Boston™, multiple regional awards, and the pizza was fantastic. They opened up a second restaurant and, on the encouragement of a large grocery chain, a wholesale operation. On the outside, it looked like business was booming. But on the balance sheet, the wheels were starting to come off. They had expanded too quickly. 

The second restaurant failed and the wholesale business needed more cash to grow. Things got scary very fast. Like a lot of small business owners, we had poured our home equity line and life savings into the restaurant business and it was now disappearing before our eyes. We had no savings left and the home equity line was fully tapped out. 

Weeks went by without Chris getting paid. Liens started to hit our house. With me out of work and Chris’s business struggling, the financial pressure mounted; scary letters from attorneys seemed to arrive daily and checks constantly bounced. The collection calls were so relentless that we unplugged the phone. When my dad sent us money to cover the mortgage, I was both grateful and ashamed. In public, we tried to keep up appearances because so many friends and family members had invested in the restaurant business, which only made the pressure worse. 

Chris and his partner were working around-the-clock to save it. I tried to keep an upbeat fa├žade, but on the inside I was overwhelmed, embarrassed, and afraid. Our financial problems were tearing us apart. I blamed the restaurants and he blamed me for pursuing a career in the media business. In truth, we were both to blame. No matter how bad your life can seem, you can always make it worse. 

I did. I drank too much. Way too much. I was jealous of friends who didn’t have to work. I was bitchy and judgmental. Our problems seemed so big that I convinced myself there was nothing 

I could do. Meanwhile, in public, I just pretended everything was fine. In hindsight, I can see that is was just easier to feel sorry for myself and blame Chris and his struggling business than to take a look in the mirror and pull myself together. 

The best way to describe how I felt was “trapped.” I felt trapped by my life and the decisions I had made. I felt trapped by our money problems. And I felt trapped in a frustrating struggle with myself. I knew what I should or could be doing to make things better, but I couldn’t make myself do those things. They were small things: getting up on time, being nicer to Chris, getting support from friends, drinking less, and taking better care of myself. But knowing what you need to do isn’t enough to create a change. I would think about exercising, but I wouldn’t. 

I would consider calling a friend to talk, but I didn’t. I knew that if I tried to find a job outside of the media industry it would help, but I couldn’t motivate myself to look. 

I didn’t feel comfortable going back to coaching people because I felt like such a failure myself. I knew what I needed to do but I couldn’t make myself take action. And that’s the thing that makes changing so hard. Change requires you to do things that feel hard and scary. Change requires courage and confidence—and I was tapped out of both. What I did do was spend a lot of time thinking. Thinking made everything worse. 

The more I thought about the situation that we were in, the more afraid I felt. That’s what your mind does when you focus on problems—it magnifies them. The more I worried, the more uncertain and overwhelmed I became. The more I thought, the more paralyzed I felt. Every night, I’d have a few drinks to take the edge off. I’d climb in bed drunk or buzzed, close my eyes, and dream about a different life—one where I didn’t have to work and all of our problems had magically disappeared. 

The moment I woke up, I had to face reality: my life was a nightmare. I was 41, unemployed, in financial ruin, struggling with a drinking problem, and had zero confidence in my or my husband’s abilities to fix our problems. 

That’s where the snooze button came in. I hit it…two, three, or four times a morning. When I hit that snooze button it was the one moment every day where I actually felt like I was in control. It was an act of defiance. It was as if I were saying, “Oh yeah?! Take that, life! **** you! I’m not getting up right now, I’m going back to sleep. So, there!” By the time I finally got up, Chris had already left for the restaurants, the kids were in various states of dress, and the school bus was long gone. 

To say mornings were chaotic would be putting it politely. They were a train wreck. 

We were always late. I forgot lunches, backpacks, gym bags, and permission slips as we raced out the door. I felt ashamed by the number of balls I dropped every single day. Feeling that shame just put me on edge even more. And here’s the kicker: I knew what I needed to do to start my day right. I needed to get up on time, make breakfast, and get the kids on the bus. Then I needed to look for a job. It’s not like I had to climb Mount Everest. However, the fact that it was simple stuff actually made it worse. 

I had no legitimate excuse for why I couldn’t get it done. My self-confidence was in a death spiral. If I couldn’t even get up on time, how the heck could I have faith in myself to fix the bigger financial and marriage problems that Chris and I faced? Looking back, I can see that I was losing hope.

In my case, it was getting up on time. Lying in bed every night, I would make promises to myself that tomorrow I would change: Tomorrow, I will change. Tomorrow, I will wake up earlier. Tomorrow, I will have a better attitude and try a little harder. I will go to the gym. I’ll be nice to my husband. I’ll eat healthy. I won’t drink so much. 

Tomorrow I will be the future me! And with that vision in mind and a heart full of hope, I’d set my alarm for 6 a.m. and close my eyes. And the cycle would begin the very next morning. As soon as that alarm rang, I didn’t feel like the “future me.” I felt like the old me, and the old me wanted to keep sleeping. Yes, I thought about getting up, and then I would hesitate, roll toward the alarm, and hit the snooze button. Five seconds was all it took for me to talk myself out of it. 

The reason that I didn’t get out of bed was simple: 

I just didn’t feel like it. I would later learn that I was stuck in what researchers call a “habit loop.” I had hit the snooze button so many mornings in a row the behavior was now a closed-loop pattern encoded in my brain. Then one night, everything changed. 

I was about to turn off the TV and head to bed when a television commercial caught my attention. There on the screen was the image of a rocket launching. I could hear the famous final five-second countdown, 5- 4- 3- 2- 1, fire and smoke filled the screen, and the shuttle launched. 

I thought to myself, “That’s it, I’ll launch myself out of bed tomorrow…like a rocket. 

I’ll move so fast I won’t have time to talk myself out of it.” It was just an instinct. 
One that I could have easily dismissed. Luckily, I didn’t. I acted on it. The fact is, 
I wanted to solve our problems. I didn’t want to destroy my marriage or keep feeling like the world’s worst mom. I wanted to be financially secure. 

I wanted to feel happy and proud of myself again. And I Desperately Wanted to Change. I Just Didn’t Know How. And this is an important point in my story. This instinct to launch myself out of bed was my inner wisdom talking. Hearing it was a tipping point. Following its instructions was life-changing. Your brain and your body send you signals to wake up and to pay attention. This idea of launching myself out of bed is an example of that. Your instincts may seem stupid in the moment, but when you honor them with deliberate action, it can change your life. 

There’s more to this point about acting on your instincts than just the phrase “trust your gut.” New research from the University of Arizona, in partnership with Cornell and Duke, has shown that there’s a powerful connection between your brain and your instinct to act. When you set a goal, your brain opens up a task list. Whenever you are near things that can help you achieve those goals, your brain fires up your instincts to signal to get that goal completed. Let me give you an example. 

Let’s say you have a goal to get healthier. If you walk into a living room, nothing happens. If you walk past a gym, however, your prefrontal cortex lights up because you are near something related to getting healthier. As you pass the gym, you’ll feel like you should exercise. That’s an instinct reminding you of the goal. 

That’s your inner wisdom, and it’s important to pay attention to it, no matter how small or silly that instinct may seem. Subconsciously, my brain was signaling me to pay attention to this rocket launch on TV. In that five-second moment, my brain was sending me a very clear set of instructions: Pay attention to that rocket launch, Mel. Grab the idea. Believe in it. And do it. Don’t stop and think. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Launch yourself out of bed tomorrow, Mel. 

That’s one of the things I’ve learned using the #5SecondRule. When it comes to goals, dreams, and changing your life, your inner wisdom is a genius. Your goal-related impulses, urges, and instincts are there to guide you. You need to learn to bet on them. Because, as history proves, you’ll never know when your greatest inspiration will strike and where that discovery will lead you if you trust yourself enough to act on it. 

This is how some of the world’s most useful inventions were discovered. In 1826, John Walker discovered the match while he was using a stick to stir a pot of chemicals, and when he tried to scrape a gob off the end—it ignited. He followed his instinct to try to recreate it and this is how he discovered the match. In 1941, George de Mestral invented Velcro® after noticing how easily cockleburs attached to his dog’s fur. In 1974, Art Fry got the idea for the Post-It® Note because he needed a bookmark that would stay put on a page in his hymnal until Sunday’s church service, but that would not damage the pages when he removed it. 

That’s even how the Frappuccino was born. In 1992, an assistant manager at a Starbucks in Santa Monica noticed that sales dropped whenever it was hot outside. He had an instinct to make a frozen drink and he followed it, asking for a blender, tinkering with recipes, and giving a Vice President a sample. The first Frappucino rolled out in his store a year later.

When it comes to change, goals, and dreams, you have to bet on yourself. That bet starts with hearing the instinct to change and honoring that instinct with action. I feel so thankful that I listened to my dumb idea about launching myself out of bed like a rocket because everything in my life changed as a result of it. 

Here’s what happened: The next morning the alarm rang at 6 a.m. and the first thing I felt was dread. It was dark. It was cold. It was winter in Boston and I did not want to wake up. I thought about the rocket launch and I immediately felt like it was stupid. Then, I did something that I had never done before—I ignored how I felt. I didn’t think. I did what needed to be done Instead of hitting the snooze button, I started counting. Backwards. 5..4..3..2..1.. And then I stood up. That was the exact moment 

I discovered the #5SecondRule.

Over the years, I’ve received lots of questions about the
I wanted to start your introduction to using the Rule by answering some of the most frequently asked question I’ve received about this awesome tool.
What Exactly Is the #5SecondRule?
The Rule is a simple, research-backed metacognition tool that creates immediate and lasting behavior change.

Metacognition, by the way, is just a fancy word for any technique that allows you to beat your brain in order to accomplish your greater goals.
How Do I Use the Rule? Using the Rule is simple. Whenever you feel an instinct fire up to act on a goal or a commitment, or the moment you feel that yourself hesitate on doing something and you know you should do, use the Rule.
Start by counting backwards to yourself: 5- 4- 3- 2- 1.

The counting will help you focus on the goal or commitment and distract you from the worries, thoughts, and fears in your mind. As soon as you reach “1,” move.
That’s it. It’s so simple but let me hammer this home one more time. Anytime there’s something you know you should do, but you feel uncertain, afraid, or overwhelmed…just take control by counting backwards 5- 4- 3- 2- 1.

That’ll quiet your mind. Then, move when you get to “1.” Counting and moving are actions. By teaching yourself to take action when normally you’d stop yourself by thinking, you can create remarkable change. Counting backwards does a few important things simultaneously:

It distracts you from your worries, it focuses your attention on what you need to do, it prompts you to act, and it interrupts the habits of hesitating, overthinking, and holding yourself back. If you are wondering if the Rule works if you count forward 
1- 2- 3- 4- 5, instead of backwards
5- 4- 3- 2- 1, the answer is no—it doesn’t. Just ask Trent.

As Trent discovered, if you count up, you can keep counting. When you count backwards 5- 4- 3- 2…there is nowhere to go after you reach “1,” so it is a prompt to move. Why Is It Called the #5SecondRule? I get this question a lot. And I wish I had a better answer. I called it the “#5SecondRule” because that’s the first thing that popped into my mind the morning I first used it, and this name stuck.

Remember, I had seen a rocket launch the night before and thought to myself, “I’ll just launch myself out of bed—like a rocket!” The next morning, I counted backwards 5- 4- 3- 2- 1—because that’s what NASA does when it launches a spaceship. I started with 5 for no particular reason other than it felt like the right amount of time to give myself.

I’ve come to learn that there are a lot of other “5 second rules” in the world, like the one about eating food off the floor, the five-second shot clock in basketball, the game Ellen DeGeneres plays on her talk show, and the five-second test you can do to see if a sidewalk’s surface is too hot for your dog to walk on.

Had I known my Rule would spread around the world, I might have come up with a more original name. But in hindsight, all these #5SecondRules have something in common. They require you to physically move within a five-second window. Physical movement is the most important part of my Rule, too, because when you move your physiology changes and your mind follows. 

Perhaps the name is not only apropos—it’s actually perfect because it references other five-second windows in life, and that makes the Rule feel that much more familiar, universal, and true.

The Rule Sounds Like Nike’s Tagline “Just Do It”…
The difference between “Just Do It” and the #5SecondRule is simple. “Just Do It” is a concept—it’s what you need to do. The #5SecondRule is a tool—it’s how you make yourself do it.

There’s a reason why “Just Do It” is the most famous tagline in the world and resonates across all cultures. Do you know what makes the tagline so powerful? It’s the word “JUST.” The word JUST is in there because Nike recognizes something we’ve talked a lot about in this book—right before we act, we first stop and think. “Just Do It” acknowledges that we’re all struggling to push ourselves to be better and do better. We all hesitate and wrestle with our feelings before we jump in.
The word JUST tells us that we’re not alone.

Every single one of us has these small hesitations. It’s the moment right before you ask to join the pick-up game that’s already underway, the moment you contemplate whether to do a third set of reps, or when you start to question whether you’ll head out the door for a run in the pouring rain. The tagline acknowledges that you have excuses and fears and Nike is encouraging you to be bigger than them.

Come on…don’t think about it…JUST DO IT. I know you’re tired…JUST DO IT.
I know you are afraid…JUST DO IT. Nike’s tagline is pushing you to move past that doubt and get in the game. Nike knows that there’s greatness inside of you, and it’s on the other side of your excuses. It resonates profoundly because every single one of us, even an Olympic athlete, needs a PUSH.

And that’s where the #5SecondRule comes in; the Rule is how you push yourself when no coach, competitor, parent, screaming fan, or teammate is there to push you. With the Rule, you just 5- 4- 3- 2- 1 to push yourself.
Is There a Five-Second Window of Opportunity for Everyone?
Yes. There is a window for everyone between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing that instinct.

While your mind starts working against you in nanoseconds, the barrage of thoughts and excuses don’t seem to kick into full force and stop you for a few seconds.
The five-second window seems to work for everyone. That said, by all means play around with it to make it work for you.

Personally, I notice that the longer I wait between my initial impulse to act and physically moving, the louder that the excuses get, and the harder it
becomes to force myself to move. As Angela found, those five-second decisions “turned into 50 seconds and then 500 seconds when the fear was deeper.” She now treats the #5SecondRule as if her brain will “self-destruct” at zero:

If it works for you to shorten or lengthen the window, personalize the Rule to make it work for you. Matt, a good friend of my husband and myself, was training for his first Tough Mudder race.

He lives in New Jersey and he sent this text to my husband during the freezing cold winter. He had shrunk the window to three seconds because he noticed how fast his mind would go to work to stop him. “Tell your girlfriend Mel that the 5 second rule is working over here. I have it down to three seconds.

Why contemplate life’s complexities when you can be moving ahead after just 3 seconds. In 5 seconds I can make up at least 2 excuses in my mind.

In three seconds my mind has already pushed the first button on my phone to move the ball ahead. As I awoke this morning I mistakenly checked the thermometer
(that took 2 seconds, but in that third second I started to put on my right sneaker.” That is how the system in your brain works—the longer that you think about something, the lower your urge to act becomes.

We are amazing at fooling ourselves into staying exactly where we are.
As soon as that impulse to act kicks in, you start rationalizing it away.
That’s why you’ve got to move faster—so you can break free of your excuses before your mind traps you. What Can I Use It For?

Over the years, we’ve heard thousands of examples of how people are using the Rule to improve their life, relationships, happiness, and work. But every example falls into one of three distinct categories for how you can use it.

• You Can Use It to Change Your Behavior You can use the Rule to push yourself to create new habits, pull yourself away from destructive habits, and master the skills of self-monitoring and self-control so that you can be more intentional and effective in your relationships with yourself and others.

• You Can Use It to Act with Everyday Courage You can use the Rule to discover the courage you need to do things that are new, scary, or uncertain. The Rule will quiet your self-doubt and build confidence as you push yourself to pursue your passions, share your ideas at work, volunteer for projects that stretch you, create your art, and become a better leader.

* You Can Use It to Control Your Mind You can use the Rule to stop the barrage of negative thoughts and endless worries that weigh you down. You can also break the habit of anxiety and beat any fear. When you take control of your mind, you’ll be able to think about things that bring you joy instead of focusing on the negative. And that, in my opinion, is the most powerful way to use the Rule. Why Does Something So Simple Work?

The Rule works because it is so simple. There are all kinds of tricky ways your brain kills your urge to act. Some of my most favorite researchers, professors, and thinkers have written bestsellers and delivered epic

TED Talks detailing how our own minds betray us with a seemingly endless list of tricks including cognitive biases, the paradox of choice, the psychological immune system, and the spotlight effect. What all these great researchers have taught me is that the moment you want to change, break a habit, or do something hard or scary, your brain goes to work to stop you.

Basically, your mind tricks you into thinking things through. And the moment you get tricked into doing this, you’ll get trapped by your thoughts. Your mind has a million ways to talk you out of acting.

That’s the neurological reason why it’s so hard to change. As I mentioned in
Chapter One, change requires you to do things that are uncertain, scary, or new.
Your brain, by design, will not let you do such things. Your brain is afraid of things that feel uncertain, scary, or new, so it will do whatever it can to talk you out of doing those things. It is part of your hard-wiring, and this hesitation happens really fast.

That is why you have to act even faster to beat it. The Rule leverages and is an example of some powerful and proven principles in modern psychology: a bias toward action, internal locus of control, behavioral flexibility, the progress principle, starting rituals, the Golden Rule of Habits, authentic pride, deliberate action, “If-Then planning,” and activation energy.

Throughout this book, you’ll learn more about these principles as we go into greater detail about how you can use the Rule in specific areas of your life.

How Can One Rule Work On So Many Areas of My Life?

The #5SecondRule actually only works on one thing—you. You stop yourself from changing the exact same way every single time—you hesitate, then you overthink, and you lock yourself in mental jail.

That moment of hesitation is a killer. Hesitation sends a stress signal to your brain. It’s a red flag that signals something’s wrong—and your brain goes into protection mode. This is how we are wired to fail. Think about this for a minute. You don’t hesitate all the time.
For example, you don’t hesitate when you pour a cup of coffee in the morning.

You don’t hesitate when you put on your jeans. You don’t hesitate when you turn on the television. You don’t hesitate to call your best friend. You don’t think at all. You just have the instinct to call your friend, and you pick up the phone, and you call them. But when you hesitate just before making a sales call or texting someone back, it makes your brain think that something must be wrong.

The longer you think about that sales call, the less likely you’ll make it. Most of us don’t even realize how often we hesitate because we’ve done it so often that it’s become a habit. Here’s how Tim described it after using the Rule: “Honestly, I think the Rule is powerful simply because keeping it on the tip of your thoughts allows you to process and start on activities you would normally gloss over and ignore.

I also keep saying, “What the hell, I’m leaning into this.” So, it is powerful because it helps you break the formally embedded thought patterns about doing things and allows (me anyway) to safely ‘go for it’. Seriously, why was I afraid of doing some of the things I am now doing? It was never like anything I did or didn’t do was going to end the world.” But what you will soon learn is that moment of hesitation can also be used to your advantage.

Every time you catch yourself hesitating, it is a push moment! The five-second window is opened and it is time to 5- 4- 3- 2- 1 to push yourself forward and be bigger than your excuses.

Seeing the 5- 4- 3- 2- 1 countdown can serve as a vivid reminder of the Rule and its importance. Art hung the numbers on his office wall to keep him motivated and moving forward all day at work: Can the Rule Create Lasting Behavior Change Too? The Rule will beat the brain’s operating system to help you win the battle with resistance in the moment. But do you know what else? Over time, as you repeat the Rule, you destroy that system all together.

One thing most of us don’t realize is that patterns of thinking like worrying, self-doubt, and fear are all just habits—and you repeat these thought patterns without even realizing it. If everything you do to sabotage your happiness is a habit, that means you can follow the latest research to break the habits of:

Waiting Doubting Holding back Staying silent

Before I discovered the #5SecondRule, if you had asked me to give you examples of courage, I would have given you a list of history makers. I would never have said that courage is what it takes some days to get out of bed, speak to your boss, pick up the phone, or step on a scale.

I would have told you that courage is a word used to describe acts of huge bravery. Courageous people, in my view, were the Nobel Prize winners Malala Yousafzai, Leymah Gbowee, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, and Elie Wiesel.

I would have thought about Winston Churchill and Britain standing up to fight against Nazi Germany, Rosa Parks standing up for her right to keep her seat on the bus, and Muhammad Ali steadfast in his religious beliefs and refusing to fight in Vietnam.

I would have been reminded of Helen Keller, who triumphed over her own disabilities to advance the rights of others; of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who overcame shocking odds to rescue the crew of the Endurance; or of Galileo, who challenged the Orthodox Church to advance science. But after using the Rule for seven years and hearing from so many people around the world,

I have learned a very important certainty: Everyday life is full of moments that are scary, uncertain, and difficult. Facing these moments and unlocking the opportunity, magic, and joy in your life requires tremendous courage. Courage is precisely what the #5SecondRule gives you. The Rule gave Jose the courage to believe in his value and ask for a raise.

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