A matter of seconds
Anuradha Narang shows us how we can master our life through two techniques that are easily available to us, provided we are ready to try them
How will you feel if you were told that you could control your life by passing through a magical five-second window and a 90-second corridor? Sounds interesting! Doesn’t it?
Every person in this world is interested in magic and miracles. But do you know that a SECRET magical window and a door to peace and happiness is always thrown open by the Almighty, only if we get ready to take our lives in our own hands?
Let’s see what it is.
Have you ever thought why it is so hard to do small things that can improve our lives? Why don’t we show the courage to do something to achieve our goals? The point is, are we ready to get up and work on ourselves? If yes, then there are two rules to success and happiness:
The five-second rule: It is scientifically proven that if we have an idea and we want to actualise it, we must take action (make plans, decide resources, divide into subtasks) within five seconds. Because nature gives us only that much time, and after that, our mind intervenes and takes over THE REAL I (having unlimited potential) and does whatever it wishes to. Our mind is designed to stop us from doing anything that might hurt us or make us uncomfortable. It’s only motive is to help us survive. But, in order to be successful in any area of life, we have to do things that may be hard, difficult, or scary.
All the great things and the results that we want are only a decision away from us. And our job is to push ourselves. People who procrastinate less and take actions every day towards their goals are successful. Most of the failures are due to indecisiveness and not trying enough.
We all know that a morning walk is good for health and many want to start an exercise regimen, but only a few get up early in the morning and go for a walk. Most of us put the alarm on ‘snooze’ to wake up five or ten minutes later and find ourselves procrastinating till tomorrow, next week, next month, and so on. We find ourselves in the same condition every year. And that’s because it takes energy to get up early and the mind always tries to keep us safe inside our comfort zone and forces us to procrastinate. It is our job to trick the mind.
The easiest way to break this pattern is the five-second window.
You have to take action within five seconds before your mind comes in and forces you to procrastinate. Instead of being on autopilot mode all the time, be a decision maker. Start with small things, like being disciplined regarding diet, exercise, practise decision-making etc.
Follow these five steps to reach your goal:
If we stand up within five seconds and get ready, only then can we take action. Take ownership of your problems, solutions, and your own life. Because your life is what you make it.
The 90-second corridor rule: Have you ever pondered why we get hurt and carried away by the comments, arguments, opinions, and judgments and behaviour of others? It comes as a feeling of uneasiness or ‘not feeling good’ which lingers on for days, weeks, or months. A casual comment or a ‘by the way’ remark may trigger anger and irritation in us for many days. I am sure every person reading this can relate to it.
Have you ever thought why this is so? Why have we given others the power to annoy us, press our buttons and trigger us? Can we control this feeling of hurt in any way?
The answer is that it is absolutely possible. We feel hurt because of our reaction to a particular situation. And our reaction is related to the emotion produced within us. According to a study, emotions have a lifetime of only 90 seconds and within those 90 seconds, if we can manage to stay calm, the feeling passes and we become normal. But if we react in this corridor of 90 seconds, we get carried away and may extend this feeling to a whole day, week or sometimes, even a month. Any emotion of anger, guilt, shame, or fear can last only for 90 seconds. At any point in your life, if you remember that incident, it may trigger a feeling of uneasiness in you.
The phenomena of the 90-second rule was studied by Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, who says that after the emotion has flushed out, you decide if you want to set yourself free by coming out of the thought pattern or want to fall prey to ‘Sticky Thoughts’—the thoughts that stick to an event and keep us in rumination mode. Because if an emotion lingers on for more than 90 seconds, it is the person who is choosing to stay in that emotional loop by thinking again and again and getting entangled in the web of their own thoughts. But when we let that emotion flush out, we can analyse the whole situation calmly and respond accordingly. Only 90 seconds can prevent us from great suffering because it’s our reaction in those 90 seconds that can take us over.
So, in order to come out of this 90-second corridor, we must follow mindfulness and observe the feeling. If it serves a positive purpose, then go with it (e.g., love, zeal, enthusiasm, and empathy), and if it does not, then drop it right away. Observe the situation and act accordingly. If you can do something about it, then do it. If not, remove yourself from that situation. And if you cannot do that, then accept it as it is and let it go. Don’t take it personally.
Both the above rules are magical because the five-second rule allows us to take our materialistic lives in our own hands by taking action and the 90-second corridor rule ensures for a healthy, emotional life by teaching us to respond judiciously rather than jumping to a conclusion without prior thinking.
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