3-2-1 and the 5-Minute Rule
A few days ago I listened to a talk of Hal Elrod. He talked about a concept he called the 5-minute rule. I found that the 5-minute rule is a perfect supplement to my own 3-2-1 rule. Both are straightforward but still very powerful rules you can quickly implement into your life, so I decided to share them with you here.
The 5-Minute Rule
In one of his talks, Hal Elrod introduced the five-minute rule. Hal was involved in a severe car accident where he died for a few minutes. When he found himself in intensive care with the worst possible injuries, he remembered the five-minute rule which he learned during his sales career.
Here is what the 5-minute rule says:
It is okay to be upset, angry, sad, or whatever negative emotion you are feeling. But it is only allowed to feel that way for maximum five minutes. So feel free to scream aloud but make sure to stop after 300 seconds.
After five minutes, you accept the reality as it is. You start giving all you can to improve the current situation. Hal had severe injuries. Instead of whining how bad his situation is, he decided to be the happiest guy in the hospital as he wasn’t going to change the current situation anyway.
The same can be applied to your life. If you feel stuck in a lousy situation, feel free to let out your negative emotions for five minutes. After five minutes are over, accept the situation and give all you can to reduce the harm of the circumstances.
I found that the 5-minute rule blends perfectly with my 3-2-1 rule. I started using the 3-2-1 rule after I read a similar concept in a book some years ago. If there is anything that upsets you, don’t immediately get angry. Instead, start counting down from 3 to 0. Loud or in your head: three, two, one, zero. While you are counting back, ask yourself if it is worth to feel upset, angry, mean or whatever you are about to feel. Usually, the answer is no, and you can resolve the situation calmly.
Here is a simple example; you are on the road, and another driver is challenging you into a race on the road. Instead of giving in, count from 3-0 and ask yourself if it is worth it. While you are counting – three, two, one, zero – ask yourself:
- Is it worth to accept this race even though I could die?
- Is it worth to accept this race even though the police may fine us?
- Is it worth to accept this race even though I may kill somebody?
You will quickly realize that it is not worth racing with a random guy on the street. Simply smile and keep the speed limit.
Implementing the 3-2-1 rule already avoided me a lot of headaches and countless arguments. Just ask yourself: Is it worth it?
Even though these are only two tiny exercises, I think if you implement them into your daily life, they can have a tremendous positive impact on you. Don’t let negativity win! Always think positive and remember that negativity is not worth it.