The other day I came across an article which, if you get passed the title, has some wonderful advice. It talks about the 5×5 rule – “If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes upset about it.” What a great tool to help reign in the negativity of our minds. This phrase along with my “If this is the last 5 minutes of your life, is this what you want to be experiencing?” can be great guides to keep you from being caught in the world of worry.
Think about the devastating things that have hurt you in the past. The breakup with your first love. The C- on your college paper. That perfect home that didn’t become yours. What significance do they have in your life now? Notice how a tragedy in the moment becomes meaningless in your future. The article talks about how this rule can help you find perspective, change your reaction, release the unimportant, and just make you a bit happier. Add in the power to decide and choose what you experience, and you are on a path to a better life.
One of the interesting points the article makes is that this rule also helps you recognize actual problems. Obviously, if the problem will not be seen as a problem in 5 years, let it go. But what if it would be? This thought is where I went as well. What if you get a felony? What if your divorce will affect your children? What if losing your investments will affect your retirement? What then? Hopefully, using this tool daily will help you avoid situations and choices which could affect you in the long run. But what if you can’t?
Release the Emotion
We have all made mistakes in life. It happens. Guilt over our choices or fear of re-occurrence, just keeps us stuck. We can not move forward when we are beating ourselves up or playing the role of victim. Accept what has happened and move forward. We can’t change our past, but we can change our present.
Focus on the Facts
You can’t affect the stories your mind has created. You can affect reality. Don’t let your fears and what-ifs distract you from the reality of the situation. In reality is your power.
Don’t be a victim. Don’t give up. Accept your new reality and be strong enough to take action to make it better.
What is going on in your life which is going to be a challenge for the next few years? First, stop passing judgement on what it means about you or others. Stop focusing on the tragedy that it occurred at all. Next, uncover the reality of the situation and determine what variables you can affect. Then, take action. Get off the couch, put down the ice cream, and have the courage to work through the problem. You will be happy you did.
When issues take control of your brain, stop and use the 5×5(x5) Rule. Release the problems which are not long term and take action towards resolving those that are.