The Five Second Rule


A couple of times in the last few days, I’ve gotten some pretty cool topics to write about on this blog. However, I got distracted every single time. I have an assignment. Oh, I must read these chapters NOW. Papers to grade. And the best one, “I’m going to sleep for a bit and then get up and work”. Guess what time I woke up? Next morning (of course).

Just like me perhaps you have experienced those times when something good comes your way and suddenly you hesitate. These are what I call  “Pause and Kill it” moments. An opportunity presents itself, a great idea pops into your head, an introspective thought that could propel you into a new and better place, a plethora of things but somehow you take a pause and stop. And forget. Or get passed over. And the moment or opportunity gets lost, oftentimes, forever.

It has happened to me a few times. And it sucks.

Snooze and you lose. Yes.

There is something in us, (I don’t know what it is), that causes us to pause when we are on the brink of a breakthrough. Perhaps it is self-sabotage, but it could be just a survival instinct that prevents us from moving into the unknown, even if its simply jotting down an idea that could open the door to great things.

So how do you get beyond this tendency to ‘pause and kill it’?

We all know the phrase Carpe Diem – seize the day or in this case, the moment. And it is simply that. We have to get up and go do whatever it is that calls us the moment it does. If it’s a creative thought, write it down if you can’t do it immediately (for these things sometimes involve a process); engage in that process that will cause you to move towards that which has been calling you, waiting for you. This doesn’t guarantee success, but you surely will be better for the experience because now you know. It could be that audition, or that important phone call or the desire to write the first few paragraphs of that novel you have been thinking about; maybe it’s that the melody for a song that has been echoing in your mind – whatever that thing is, you will never know what could have been unless you get moving.

Not knowing is worse than trying and failing. You’ll always be wondering ‘What if’, and that can cause us to become stuck. Stuck in a moment that has passed, or has died. For with the pause comes death of the dream. You may think that you paused for just this time, made an excuse just this once but then it becomes a habit. You keep putting it off for one reason or another until it’s forgotten, swept away with the tide of complacency and normality.

Here is what you should do: each time the opportunity presents itself for you do something that will propel you to a new and better place, move in the first five seconds or so. Once that time passes, you will have lost the moment. You could try, but it’s hard to get it back and it certainly won’t be as good as the first. In that moment, the universe is perfectly aligned to receive from you in exactly this way.

Right now is always a great time to move, to do SOMETHING. What are you waiting for? Go on, grab a hold of your destiny. The world awaits you.