5-Second Pause Technique: Make Better Decisions in Your Life

Several years ago, before I learned about the 5-Second Pause Technique, I was the quickest decision-maker you’ve ever met! Instant decisions were my thing. I was living and breathing on instant reactions and instant answers while talking to other people. However, this bad habit got me in lots of troubles and disappointments.

As I grew older and “wiser,” I learned to pause before making any decisions. As I was practicing to pause, I noticed that the decisions I was driving in my life were better and more affluent. Therefore, I began studying various theories from different business, personal development, and spirituality sources eventually creating a pausing method that suited me.

You can be either an extrovert like me having the same challenges with decision making or an introvert that is already pausing before making decisions. Either way, this 5-Second Pause Technique can benefit everyone with any personality type. Let’s see what this technique is all about.

What is the 5-Second Pause Technique?

It’s straightforward. Before making any decisions, any moves, or any responses, pause for at least 5 seconds. You might be saying, “that’s it? You wrote this blog post just to tell me to pause for 5 seconds?”. Well, yes and no. Yes, since you need to keep it as simple as possible otherwise, you won’t continuously use the method and fitting it into your daily habit is essential. No, since you need to be pausing and asking yourself and your heart the following questions:

  1. Is this decision bring me joy and happiness?
  2. Is this decision bring others joy and happiness?
  3. Is what I’m about to do, aligns with my life’s intentions and goals?

You need to ask your heart these questions and don’t seek for any verbal or logical answers. How your heart communicates with you is through what we know as “gut feelings.” As soon as you ask the above questions from yourself and your heart, observe the gut feelings that arise and trust it. If a good feeling comes up, then pursue your decision. If a bad feeling comes up, either stop or postpone the decision to another day.

Our heart knows everything. Our heart (not the actual heart, the energy that is active in that region) is connected to space-time fabric with a different route than our logical brain. It sees and understands our world from a different perspective. Therefore, it can give us insights from various sources and compliments our minds and senses’ observations to illuminate a better path in life for us.

Now, let’s look into why you should ask the above three questions when you’re practicing your 5-Second Pause Technique.

Is This Decision Bringing Me Joy and Happiness?

Within our society, we are taught to put ourselves last and not to be selfish nor self-centered from our childhood. Because of this belief, we are not taking good care of ourselves. We are creating mental blocks and illnesses because we’re putting ourselves last. As I always say, everything in this world should be in balance and harmony. Therefore, we are as important as other people around us.

If we ignore our needs, creating illnesses and unhappiness within, we will automatically be no good for other people. Not only do we damage our inner selves, but we also spread negativity to our surroundings that negatively affect others. Do you really want to do that?

On the other hand, if we put our happiness and joy first, we will create a healthy self as well as enjoy our own presence. Only then we can help others find their own happiness. Notice that by being overly self-centered it will infact harm you, like overdoing anything else in our life. As I said before, we want to move toward being in balance and harmony, so overdoing anything will take you to the opposite side of the universal spectrum.

Coming back to the 5-Second Pause Technique, the first question you need to ask yourself is about your joy and happiness. Does this decision bring me joy and happiness? Will I be happy following my choice in my future? Is this decision going to make me uncomfortable in the future? Will I willingly follow this decision in the future? Will I be forced to take action because I made a promise to someone else? These are some similar questions that can arise from that simple initial questions.

5-Second Pause Technique

Is This Decision Bringing Others Joy and Happiness?

The reason why we ask this question is to make sure we always have clear karma. Karma, by definition, means action, work, or deed. It also implies cause and effect. How do our present actions affect our future? Similar to the Butterfly Effect. Every effort we make in our external world creates a ripple in the ocean of consciousness, and the waves come back to us sometime in the future.

If your decision brings happiness and joy to others, it is a way to make sure that you don’t create bad karma. It’s good practice to spread positivity in this world since we surely need it now, in 2020, more than ever! You can read more about it on my Art of Giving article.

Your heart knows well about karma. So even if you can’t see it with your logical mind that a decision could bring unhappiness to your surroundings, your heart sees it. Your heart is directly connected to the universe and can understand how the karma engine works. So, all you need to do is to listen to your heart or “gut feelings” and pursue it.

Is What I'm About to do Aligning with My Life's Intentions and Goals?

One bad habit that many people, including myself, have is when we distract ourselves with tasks and actions that do not truly align with our life’s main intentions and goals. These decisions can be starting projects that don’t relate to our goals, relationships with people that are not matching our life intentions, conversations that go against our goals, and are destructive, etc. you name it! These distractions are the reason why so many people completely forget about their new year resolution by February!

Many of us believe that once we have set our intentions and goals, the law of attraction will make their dreams happen. We miss the alignments that we need to do within our decisions, decisions that lead to actions.

If you’ve set your life’s intentions and goals, part of this process is to check within your every decision, whether big or small, to see if they match your intentions and goals. That is why you should ask the question, is what I’m about to do aligning with my life’s intentions and goals? Is this decision distracting me from what I’m focusing on? Does this decision keep me on my path or drag me in another direction? Does the person that I’m becoming make this decision? Will “the future me” be happy with me making this decision? These are the questions that should pop into your mind when you’re pausing the 5-Second Pause Technique.

Get Started with the 5-Second Pause Technique.

Like any other habitual and personality change, you first need to observe your decisions. You need to witness the choices you make and review some of the decisions you made in the past. Pass these decisions through the questions mentioned in the previous sections. Observe if your current and past decisions pass the heart test. Even if you’re not pausing and practicing the technique, at the end of the day, go through the decisions you’ve made and check if they pass the test or not. If not, then understand why you’ve made those choices.

Once you’ve observed yourself, start implementing the 5-Second Pause Technique for the important decisions in your life. Once you’ve mastered it, then move onto less critical decisions and eventually implement it before every decision you make in life.

Please give it a go! I’m excited for you, and I want to hear your stories, epiphanies, and the changes in your life that this technique brings you!