“Motivation” is that word that seems magical and that changes everything. In fact, motivation is not always a good idea and you need “other things” to do well. To better understand this, you should first know that there are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Maybe your coach is pushing you to change, and that’s extrinsic. The motivation intrinsic is therefore your own willpower. Willpower sometimes fails and extrinsic motivation, too … especially when the former is in short supply.

Why motivation is not always enough

When it comes to changing your life, you need to understand the science behind intrinsic motivation, the part of motivation that we’ve all misunderstood that doesn’t always work. When you think about what change requires, you need to do things that are different, uncertain, or new. But here’s the rub, you will never feel prepared or motivated to do things that scare you , are irritating, or difficult; And if you can accept that as reality, now you have the secret to change.

Knowing that you can’t “feel like it” and still can push yourself to create change is empowering.  It is also the first step to doing the things you don’t want to do, but know that you should do it anyway. Think of it this way: successful people are not accomplishing great things simply because they are motivated;  They are creating change and making life happen because they make a conscious decision to show up and work each day.

You decide that change and thus expand your life

We all know that this is easier said than done … So how do people do it? We have the power within us, whether you call it your instincts , heart-based decisions, or inner wisdom, to inspire change. But how do you know if the decision you are making is based on your inner wisdom or your fear?

Fear makes the decision feel restrictive: it will shrink your world. That is why he recommends that when you make a decision that you have to make, you have to forget about whether you feel motivated or not. Instead you have to ask yourself: Does the decision make my life better or worse?

If it improves it, then it is a good decision. Sure, a decision can be scary or uncomfortable, but if the action that follows expands your life and harnesses your potential, it is the right decision. It is only after making the decision that you can plan the change to do it responsibly.

You only need 5 seconds to change your life

Often we are frozen in the moments of decision: do I go to the gym or do I stay on the couch? Do I stay in this relationship or do I break it? Am I looking for a new job or should I stay with my current one? It is normal to feel fear or self-doubt when making decisions.  But allowing those things to stop you is a choice that you make.

Your whole life is defined by what you do in the gap between your initial question and your decision to act (or not). That gap is about five seconds. There is a five second time period or gap between moments of inspiration and the fear that stops it, there is also a five second gap between confidence and doubt. This five-second gap is where we expand or recede. When you realize that you can close that gap by making five-second decisions that expand your life, now you have the secret to harnessing your potential and changing your life .

You just have to try it

Think of an area in your life where you are struggling to change or a habit that you want to improve. Now you will have to break it down into a smaller concept and answer this question: What is the 5 second decision that you can make every day that will help you improve on that habit?

That five-second decision happens when you don’t give in to the doubt you experience while trying to act.  In other words, the moment you feel self-doubt invade your thoughts, count down from five and then jump into action. Now you have the basis of the five second rule.


For example, if you want to start exercising in the morning instead of hitting the alarm a third time, count down from five o’clock and get up. Don’t take the time to make excuses and create doubts.  Count down from five and take action.

Or if you have trouble setting limits, use the 5 minute rule to learn how to say “No”. Imagine that a fellow work often gives you your job to do.  If you please people, you will likely allow them to keep doing this by saying “yes.” To stop this you will have to establish the 5 second rule. The next time your partner approaches you, take a deep breath and count for 5 to 1 and then say “no.” Not reacting right away breaks your habit of saying “yes” to this person and allows them to make a five-second decision that can change their life.

Or maybe you want to start working on a project that you are passionate about, but you always make excuses when you come home tired from work. If it really is a priority for you, as soon as you get home, sit down in front of your project for a 5 to 1 count and get started.

Always count from 5 to 1

Here’s the trick you can’t forget: you have to count backwards. When you count down, you engage with your prefrontal cortex, which helps you overcome excuses. Now you’ve taken a step to override all those habits that have kept you stuck in the first place.

It sounds simple, and possibly too good to be true, but it works. If you can come up with a five-second decision each day that is balanced with that new habit, you will take action and that will lead to success

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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