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5 Seconds, 5 Nuggets to Transform Your Life

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September 15, 2020 | Jennifer Namazi

5 Seconds, 5 Nuggets to Transform Your Life

Is it possible to dramatically change your life in just 5 seconds?

The short answer is yes! I’ll get to how in just a moment.

The live portion of #NASPPVirtual is a wrap. If you joined us for the closing keynote by Mel Robbins, you know about the transformative nuggets that she shared. Her insights were SO good that I watched the presentation three times, just to make sure I didn’t let any slip by.

Mel was inspirational and practical all at once. Her suggestions can be implemented immediately. What she had to say was so worthwhile, I feel compelled to share with our audience. I’ll summarize, but know that the BEST way to hear these tips is from Mel directly.

Her session is available to #NASPPVirtual attendees on-demand through the end of September (see the last paragraph if you haven’t yet registered). Now, on to how to change your life in 5 seconds (and other insights).

Nugget 1: Working and thinking differently will open new doors

I’ve heard from many of you about your adaptations and struggles in doing your jobs during these uncertain times. The unknowns of this in-between world we are living in can make it hard to thrive. 

The reality is that this moment in time is forcing us all to think differently, to work differently. Mel reminds us that learning how to do things differently will open new doors to opportunity and creativity. There are challenges right now that WILL serve to make you a better version of yourself. Embrace the concept of doing things differently.

Nugget 2: Your entire life takes place within a series of 5 second windows

Huh? Say what? I promise that this is not too simple to be true.

Mel wrote the bestselling book “The 5 Second Rule” about a life-changing tool she created. The story of the ah-ha moment that inspired the tool is best heard in her own words. She describes the tool as this:


“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.”

Breaking the rule down, there is a 5 second window that exists between the courage, confidence and impulse to act and the uncertainty and self-doubt that creep in and derail things. Think of the process of getting out of bed in the morning: the alarm goes off, you hear it, you pause, and you decide to either get up or hit snooze. That’s the 5 second window.

Another example for those of us introverts: you’re in a meeting and you have a great idea. You are nervous about speaking up and pause. That “pause” usually lasts about 5 seconds, after which you retreat and clam up without speaking a word. Poof, the idea is gone and never shared.

The solution is using the 5 second gap to take action, voila - this is the 5 second rule. Instead of a blank pause that leads to inaction, seize the moment, count down 5-4-3-2-1 and launch yourself into motion. A series of such actions creates momentum and ultimately progress towards our goals and desires. This can apply to ANY area of your life.

Nugget 3: YOU are responsible for managing your visibility within your organization

A member asked Mel for ideas about how to help management see the value stock administrators bring to the organization. This is a question that resonates with many in our community. With so much remote work taking place, it’s easier than ever to feel out of sight, out of mind.

Mel says to assume that management DOESN’T know what you’re working on at any given moment. They are busy too – probably just barely making it through the day like so many of us. You are responsible for marketing the work that you are doing.

In brainstorming about how to clue in management to the value you’re creating, consider the following three questions:

  1. What problems are you solving?

  2. What innovations are you bringing into your work?

  3. How are you packaging up all you are doing?

Answer these questions, and then find a way to elevate the presentation of your work.

A great example is a situation where employees are asking many questions. You create an FAQ to address the questions, then circulate the FAQ to your leadership. You’ve solved the problem in an innovative way, and you’ve packaged up your creation in an email to share with your leaders. Management gets to see the value you’ve added.

Nugget 4: You should never leave a meeting without speaking

Attention all introverts: this one is for you. Speaking up can be hard at times, especially when your natural tendency is to internalize. Mel points out that staying silent is not a neutral existence. Silence often leads to a negative perception that the person doesn’t have anything valuable to say.

This is a great opportunity to implement the 5 second rule. Challenge yourself to use the moment of pause between your idea and a retreat to silence to propel yourself to speak. Count down 5-4-3-2-1 SPEAK.

Nugget 5: Be maniacal about your morning routine

This nugget came from a member’s question about how to keep the day’s priorities from derailing. Mel has a point-blank answer: in today’s environment, you can’t prevent derailment.

Many of you are juggling A LOT. Mental bandwidth for multi-tasking is at capacity. Realize that it’s okay to lower your expectations about what you can do.

One tip that Mel offers in keeping SOME momentum towards priorities is to be absolutely maniacal about your morning routine.

  1. Get up

  2. Move your body

  3. Move your mind

  4. Establish ONE priority that you need to focus on today

  5. Do something in the first hour of your day to make progress towards that one priority. It can be something little, it can be simple. This is about progress.

Using your morning routine to set yourself up for success and focus on a SINGLE priority will help minimize derailment of your most critical task for the day.

Final Thoughts

After hearing so many stories of daily challenges, I know the timing of Mel’s keynote couldn’t be better. We all can use inspiration, something to orient our focus towards the things that can help us adapt to our changed circumstances and have bright hopes for the future.

Helping our community stay strong and find new ways to innovate in our work is just as important as staying abreast of the latest regulations or best practices.

Before you leave this blog, here's the takeaway: brainstorm one way you can use the 5 second rule TODAY. 5-4-3-2-1 GO!



It’s still #StockPlanSeptember and the answers and strategies related to your stock plan questions and concerns are bound to be addressed in our MANY conference sessions. If you missed Mel’s keynote live, don’t pass up the opportunity to hear her session on demand – it will surely provide you inspiration, and give new perspective into how you can move towards change in a matter of seconds.

If you were unable to attend the live portion of #NASPPVirtual, registration (and access to sessions for registered attendees) is still available through September 30th. The feedback from our hundreds of attendees has been incredible – don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Mel and our dozens of other sessions during #StockPlanSeptember. 


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