The 90-Second Rule That Builds Self-Control

rule that builds self control

Another way of translating Taylor’s rule is when you react to a situation, you make a choice to do so—an unconscious choice perhaps, or a neurological choice—but a choice nonetheless. The good news is you can learn not to let every little hiccup throw you into a tizzy—whether it’s a printer paper jam, a traffic jam, or a grape jam smeared on your clean floor.

If I were to modify a message from President John F. Kennedy, I might suggest that you “Ask not what your life can do for you; ask what you can do for your life.” It’s a matter of flipping your perspective.

The 90-Second Rule That Builds Self-Control
The 90-Second Rule That Builds Self-Control

If you stand in a different place and look at your life from another angle, the U-turn has the power to change your world. When I interviewed Lee Child, author of the New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher series, he told me he manages stress by flipping his perspective and subscribing to the idea that “I’m not afraid of stress; stress is afraid of me.”

Taken together, your perspective and awareness of your own 90-second neurology provide choices for greater self-control.

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die or when. But you do get to choose how you want to live in the present moment. And although it’s a powerful and awesome feeling when you make the choice, it’s not always easy to do.

Life’s curveballs will slam you at lightning speed from all angles, from time to time, throwing you off your path. The question is, “What are you going to do about it?” This is a question many of us never stop to think about.

Related: Ask Yourself These 4 Questions Every Morning, To Get Control Of Your Mind

If you want to thrive in this world, the 90-second rule offers a mindful way to override your hardwired survival reflex of reaction and cope with life’s unexpected events—no matter how dire the circumstances—in a calmer, healthier, more mature way.

If you want to know more about this topic, then you can buy Bryan Robinson’s book, #Chill at, or on his website,

Written by Bryan Robinson
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

If you are struggling to build self-control in yourself, then start practicing the 90-second rule now. Now don’t expect to notice self-control in just a few tries; it is going to take a considerable amount of time for you to get there. Be patient, and work towards being the best version of yourself. You can do it!

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The 90-Second Rule That Builds Self-Control
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The 90-Second Rule That Builds Self-Control
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The 90-Second Rule That Builds Self-Control
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Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D

Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., is a journalist, author, psychotherapist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has authored 42 books including his latest, #Chill: Turn Off Your Job And Turn On Your Life (William Morrow, 2019) and Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians who Treat Them (New York University Press, 2014), and Daily Writing Resilience (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed mental health clinician. He maintains a private clinical practice in Asheville, NC, and writes for Forbes, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. You can reach him at Author posts