3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice

One line summary: It takes just three seconds to turn a negative impulse into a positive one.


Les Parrott in his book 3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice outlines the six common impulses that typically sabotage success, claiming that three seconds is all that stands between those who settle for “whatever” and those who insist on “whatever it takes”.

He suggests to consciously replace the first automatic impulse with a second less natural but more effective one.

  • Empower Yourself
    • 1st impulse: “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”
  • Embrace a Good Challenge
    • 1st impulse: “It’s too difficult to even attempt.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I love a challenge.”
  • Fuel Your Passion
    • 1st impulse: “I’ll do what happens to come my way.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I’ll do what I’m designed to do.”
  • Own Your Piece of the Pie
    • 1st impulse: “It’s not my problem, somebody else is to blame.”
    • 2nd impulse: “The buck stops here.”
  • Walk the Extra Mile
    • 1st impulse: “I’ve done what’s required, and that’s that.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I’ll go above and beyond the mere minimum.”
  • Quit Stewing and Start Doing
    • 1st impulse: “Someday I’m going to do that.”
    • 2nd impulse: “I’m diving in … starting today.”

The key is to focus on the decisions that you make. 3 Seconds offers many examples of specific areas in which you can take control of your decisions.

There is also a section devoted solely to how to make this way of thought a habit. Simply reading the book is not enough! You have to take action.  You have to train yourself to think through each decision and to not settle for less than whatever it takes, especially in moments when things are difficult.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. The people that get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Make Your Second Impulse, Your Second Nature.

Inhale … exhale … the difference of your lifetime can begin in the space of a single breath. The decision is yours. Start today.


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