Can’t Concentrate Longer than a Goldfish? There’s Still Hope for You!

Can’t Concentrate Longer than a Goldfish? There’s Still Hope for You!

Sep 17, 2019Fred

GOLDFISHI recently read that the average human attention span is now approximately FIVE seconds ( ).  That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish!

Can’t Concentrate Longer than a Goldfish? There’s Still Hope for You!

It’s okay, though.  Because even if you can’t concentrate for more than five seconds, you can still elicit change in your mental game.  Ironically, you can do this with what’s called the Five Second Rule.  It’s our job to change ourselves, and to change the way we think. The crap that we say to ourselves is insane and destructive.  Instead of fighting our shortcomings or imperfections, we simply need to figure out how to trick them.  This is how we can disarm them.

Try this simple trick: Count backwards for five seconds every time the monkeys begin to chatter.  Remember the monkeys?  They are the constant chatter that’s going on in your head, getting in your way. They are the voice that will not lead you down a path to being your very best. 

So, when you start hearing that monkey chatter, simply count backwards…5,4,3,2,1.   This is when you shift away from the monkey chatter and shift towards an awakening of your prefrontal cortex, which engages or moves you toward action. Cultivating awareness and rolling up your sleeves to build an intelligent knowledge-base of doable, functional skills is how you increase your mental endurance.  Here are three areas that can help you with this.

Forget about Safety

Consider that you are genetically wired to “be safe.”  It’s that one area of your brain (the monkey chatter) that tries to protect you from things that are uncomfortable, uncertain, or scary.  For those who seek extraordinary results, I can guarantee with 100% confidence that you WILL BE UNCOMFORTABLE, UNCERTAIN, AND SCARED during this journey.  It’s what you signed up for.

You will be scared

You must have the ability to move from thought to action.  Understand that this is not a personality trait, but a rather a learned skill.  Confidence is not the assured knowledge that something is going to work.  But instead, it’s the belief in yourself to try. Keep in mind, though, that since this is a skill, it will be an ongoing state of improvement and sometimes it might be scary. 

But, this can set the stage for engagement.


Think about this for a minute: We are not worriers. We simply have a habit of worrying. 

When we use the statement “I’m excited,” we are giving ourselves permission to not obsessively worry.  With this one word, we can cultivate a freedom to move towards something with eagerness instead of being paralyzed. This can activate optimal engagement. 

We have been hearing Roger Federer say this for years during his pre-match interviews. Pay attention and you will hear him say how he is excited about what’s coming up next.  This is a mark of a champion who is action-oriented.

I hope the steps above have given you something to think about,  something to help you shift your mental focus, even if it's just for five simple seconds.  For more on the Five Second Rule, listen to Tom Bilyeu’s interview of Mel Robbins on Impact Theory.  It's great!  

Drop me a line about how you deal with the chatter in your head.  Or, send me some topics you want me to cover in future blog posts.  If you like what you read, be sure to share it with your friends. Until next time...


Fred Robinson

Fred Robinson National Tennis Champion

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