We’re approaching my favorite date—March 4th.
I love that this date is also a verb offering clear instruction: take a step forward. With that, it commands everyone to be assertive and by extension, to feel empowered.
Simply said, it’s a life-affirming day.
This directive is particularly potent at this time as pandemic life has made many of us feel halted in one way or another.
While each person should "march forth” in his/her own way (depending on where in life they may feel inert), all of us face the same obstacle to heeding the call—our own damn mind!
Certainly, our brain allows us to compute the message hidden in the wordplay of March 4th, but it doesn’t invest in it…that’s the mind’s job.
To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, the human brain and the mind are totally different animals (Link to podcast featuring Seinfeld). The brain can be likened to a puppy in that it is trainable through repetition and reward. The mind, however, is far less cute and trainable; it’s more like an untamed lion.
You probably know from your own experience that the mind has…well, a mind of its own.
What’s more, its default is to latch onto any hint of the aforementioned halting feeling…and cling to it like a barnacle on a sunken ship.
This tendency of the mind makes marching forth extremely difficult. What’s a person to do then when they are inspired by something like the motivating message, “March Forth?”
According to Mel Robbins (melrobbins.com), author and motivational speaker, we can override how our mind is wired to automatically find reasons/excuses to halt instead of move forward when an idea emerges.
But we have only five seconds to do it.
Here’s how her “5 Second Rule” works to close the gap between thinking about what needs to be done, and actually doing it.
Let’s say that after reading this blog you wanted to listen to the podcast with Jerry Seinfeld noted above.
Your mind will acknowledge that desire by either moving on to another thought, and/or quickly firing off reasons why it can’t happen, such as:
“I don’t have time.”
“I’ve heard all of Jerry’s material before.”
“I already have so much content to get through.”
Yada yada yada.
And before you know it (in five seconds actually), the inspiration has been squelched and your mind has claimed victory over your endeavor to tune into a great piece of media.
However, you have a MUCH greater chance of listening to this interview with Jerry IF you take at least one step towards making it happen WITHIN FIVE SECONDS.
Let’s be clear—this doesn’t mean you must start listening to the podcast immediately. Rather, you would take just a small action that would help ensure that you tune into it when you can.
For instance, you could:
In a world that can make us feel like we have no control, it’s pretty awesome that we can control the untamed lion in our head as long as we distract it from the halting tendency, in under five seconds.
Talk about feeling empowered…by marching forth in five seconds, your ideas will no longer corrode with barnacles and get deep-sixed!
Inspirational card created by Beth Furman