Rule of 5

forgot breathing

“There are no short cuts to the places that are worth going to” Erfat Shani

Dr John C. Maxwell share this tip about doing anything. It's the rule of 5.

Imagine that you have a tree in your garden that you want to chop down. You find an axe and, after sharpening it, have a go at the tree. But this is a big tree. And your axe is quite small. You can't get another axe, there are none to be had anywhere. So you swing at it repeatedly and the tree remains stubbornly up. Damaged but still very much there.

The rule of 5 tells you that you go to the tree with your axe everyday and take 5 swings at it. Just 5. Put the axe away and return the next day and take 5 more swings at it. Then the next day, the next and so on.

Eventually, that tree is going to come down.

5 swings with the axe is enough to do, it's not too much and it's not too taxing. Just do it every day.

John Maxwell suggests that we should all have 5 things that we do every day.

I started doing this 2 years ago.

  1. Everyday I read.
  2. Everyday I think.
  3. Everyday I write.
  4. Everyday I ask questions.
  5. Everyday I thank God.

The result is this book, and two others in production, 3 new training programmes and a fulfilled life.

It's not a quick fix. I've tried plenty of those. I've tried to-do lists, several ‘time-management' techniques. This one works. It's the easiest form of self-discipline and diligence for me, includes my own constant intentional growth and development (it's what you read, think about and ask questions about). Try it with your own five things. Start with one or two and build up… but stick to five things that you do everyday.

  • “What do you mean every day?” Every day.
  • “What about weekends?” Every day.
  • “What about Christmas and holidays?” Every day.

Consistency on a daily basis of doing something that is a goal will give you the desired achievement over time.
You don't have to do it all day, but you do have to do it every day.