Transform Inspiration into Action (The 5 Second Rule)

By Sonja Roche

Most of us crave to be and stay inspired. We want to have and hold a connection with the sense of how powerful we are as human beings. And we are quite awesome, don’t you think? There are so many brave people in this world who have achieved remarkable things through outstanding, inspired action.

When we hear or watch stories about “the brave” it often happens that we become uplifted in our spirit. Even for a moment the sense of what is possible is altered. These people remind us of how resourceful and strong we can be in working through challenging or surprising experiences. There is a lot of charm and delight in feeling that our dreams can become a reality.


Inspiration to Action

From time to time we experience an inner impulse or an idea that comes spontaneously to us, and often in an unexpected moment. We get that delightful feeling that if we follow through with action, this idea could indeed bring forth a wonderful change and improvement to our current life situation. The steps we need to take to realize this idea become a consideration and new opportunities and pathways are discovered during the process (1). It is all very exciting.

This “inspiration session” usually keeps us busy for a few moments until we re-focus on something else. In cases of spontaneous and subtle impulses, after our focus has shifted we tend to completely forget the inspirational period of time and simply continue on with our day like nothing happened.

Such a shame, isn’t it?

It seems as though a lot of us have convinced ourselves that we are ok with our life situation as it is. A lot of us might have settled for the “status quo” and we feel powerless in changing it. The important aspects of our life stay as they are for ages and we grow to be disempowered. It is no wonder why we don’t act upon the impulses of inspiration. In fact it is rare we do anything about them.

We usually ignore our inner sparks as we believe that pursuing them will not pay off.

According to Mel Robbins, the solution to this issue is fast action. She claims that from the moment we receive the inspirational impulse to the moment we decide to ignore it we have about- 5 seconds ( 2).

We have put together steps you can take in these five seconds that will help you manifest your inspiration and dignify it with solid action:


Inspiration & Involvement

Thinking about doing something and leaving it at this level of only in your head is quite a risky business. The danger is that you might simply and easily ignore your impulse and nothing will ever result. This is how you miss your chances for inspired action.

Follow the 5 Second Rule for transforming inspiration into action the next time you have an idea by telling it to the person next to you. As soon as you convert to a consciousness of your impulse, share it and involve another soul. If you are alone, no worries, you can always email someone.

Do not wait, your window of opportunity is short.


Make Super Small Steps

Most people make huge plans, get overwhelmed by them and give up soon after. When you find yourself overthinking about a task and being confused about what to do next, the best method of approaching this is to break down the task into extremely small steps that you can start working on in literally five seconds (3).

Is there a question you can ask someone? An email you can reply to that can start the “ball rolling”?

There is no need to spend time in your head overthinking when you can make a tiny step and go back into instant action.


Commit Fast

Lack of commitment is one cause for perfectly good inspiration being disrupted . Every time you get an idea and you immediately tell someone about it, your chances for action increase.

However, this often isn’t enough. Telling one person doesn’t truly commit you to follow up with action. What you can do in this case is to write it on your blog (if you don’t have one, why not start one), or can post on Facebook or Twitter. In doing so, 100-1000 people are notified about your wonderful idea and intentions. If you really want to take it a step further, you can put money on it or promise that you will do something drastic, like eat dog food in front of your friends, if you fail to accomplish what you promised.

Having people to hold you accountable is fantastic but remember the longer you think about committing the lesser your chances are for actually doing so (4).

Follow the 5 Second Rule and commit fast.


Support Yourself in Keeping the Commitment

Once loads of people know what you are up to. You act fast and involve others. You plan your small steps, you have the momentum, and you definitely have the commitment.

Your inspiration levels get absolutely fantastic. What’s next?

With all that stuff going on in your life you will need to support yourself to stay on track and keep going in the right direction. For this, all sorts of reminders can come in handy.

Have you ever considered putting a big sign somewhere where it can scream at you every time you pass? I am sure that if you do that you won’t dare to miss your completing your task. You can also use sticky notes; stick them all over your wall or computer. Phone reminders are another helpful alternative.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that you need to act quickly.


Pause Procrastination

If inspiration was a superhero, its worst enemy would definitely be Mr. Procrastination. He would look like an evil monkey and would use his wicked powers to stop people from doing meaningful activities. In order to prevent Mr. Procrastination from destroying our inspirational world, we as humans can do one simple thing: pause.

When the moment comes that you hear yourself thinking ”I’ll do it tomorrow,” this is the opportunity to pause for 5 seconds and let the moment pass. By stopping yourself and being still while turning your focus inwards, you get a chance to discover what is driving you to avoid the action.

Why would tomorrow be a better option? What discomforts are you trying to get rid of?

Pausing for five seconds when you feel like procrastinating can instantly get you back into action mode.

Not all things can be done in five seconds, so make sure to dedicate time to planning and managing all the commitments you made following the 5 Seconds Rule.

Many people like to do the quick and easy things but tend to skip this last step (5). To set yourself up for success you need to make time to plan and manage. It can be as little as ten minutes a day, but this extra time is vital. Include this in your routine; make it simple and sweet. You can have a notebook with all your inspired ideas, committed actions and small steps waiting for you to make them happen. Put a deadline on each and form it into a supportive plan.

When will you set aside time to do this?

You have 5 seconds to include it on your calendar.

Go,go-you are worth it.

(Read this next: 10 Ways to Stay Inspired While Facing Challenges)


Sonja Roche is a creature of love and her mission is to create and inspire meaningful connections within and between fellow human beings. As a psychologist, life coach, and personal development trainer she acts like "an open source system" lovingly disclosing and sharing her own journey in order to support the growth of others. Sonja lives in self-development like a fish lives in water. She goes high and beyond to unleash her greatest asset, her true, her powerful self and she believes you can do it too!

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April Alexis
April Alexis


Pat Lynch
Pat Lynch

This is a fantastic idea! I have a notebook at the ready!



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