Do you find that making decisions leaves you in a quandary? Does decision making hold you back while you mull over infinite possibilities? Here’s a great solution presented by Suzie Welch, wife of GM’s former Chief, Jack Welch in her new book, 10 10 10 – A Life Transforming Idea.
We often think about what will please us in the short term while we neglect to consider how our decisions will affect us for the long term.
For example, we may decide to enjoy those extra pieces of cake because of the pleasure we derive in the “now” moment. However, in the long term, we continue to gain weight and feel miserable.
This is what the psychologists call, “hyperbolic discounting,” or, the grabbing for the immediate reward rather than putting off gratification for the sake of future reward.
Now there’s the opposite end of the pleasure spectrum as well. We sacrifice present happiness to the degree that we think only of the far off future.
For example, we neglect spending time with family and instead choose to work both day and night to save for retirement way off in the future. THEN, we will spend time with family, we say to ourselves.
Will the family be together and happy in the next 10 years if they didn’t spend much time with you? How can the opportunities arise again for those moments that can never be recaptured? Simply, they cannot.
But, Good News! There IS a Happy Medium…
One of these happy mediums can be derived from what Suzy Welch calls the 10 10 10 Strategy.
Think of it this way – Say that you have to make a difficult decision on whether to do something or not do it. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself.
The Three Questions
1. How will the option you choose affect you in the next 10 minutes?
2. How will it affect you in the next 10 months?
3. And how will your decision affect you, your loved ones, you whole life in the next 10 years?
The Next 10 Minutes…
For example, let’s say you want to buy that shiny new car. How will it feel to own it in the next 10 minutes? Will you feel on top of the world as you drive off the lot and show your friends?
Will your school mates or business associates be filled with awe, admiration, respect? Will that car help get you that girlfriend or boyfriend you always wanted?
The Next 10 Months…
Will that girlfriend or boyfriend stay with you because of that car? Is this car really the answer to all of your dreams? Will you be able to pay rent or mortgage fairly comfortably? Or will you have to make sacrifices that may be too costly?
In 10 months, will this car have contributed to your life, or brought your life down?
The Next 10 Years…
Then, there’s 10 years into the future. How will the impact of having purchased this car today affect your life 10 years from now? Did you have to give up other dreams, such as saving to buy another car that you REALLY wanted all along? Or did you have to give up taking that special class that would have propelled your career to a higher level?
Sometimes, something seems wonderful, at least for the next 10 minutes. But in 10 months, the excitement will have waned, and what was so pleasing for the moment then becomes a burden and a drain.
Or, because of an impetuous decision made today, you will have lost the opportunity to really have what you truly needed or wanted all along.
So, How Do You Weigh the Differences?
Suzy recommends considering the consequences in each of these 3 time frames. Then, base your final decision on what works best for all three.
Is it going to be easy? With practice, easier than you think. It’s all about finding a balance in all three. It’s about carefully weighing it out the repurcussions and consequences for today, next year, the next decade.
Think, is the instant gratification worth it? Or, if you put this off today for the sake of tomorrow, will it be moments, or something that you can never have again that will truly enrich your life in the long term?
Once In a Lifetime Moments…
For example, when you have children, it’s crucial to consider that special moments at certain ages that will never come again. The first steps, the first words, the first prom, those special hugs and comforts, the smiles and claps of wonder, love, joy and awe, shared together… these are the moments you will never forget, moments that happen only once in a lifetime.
If you miss them, say, in 10 years, how will you feel about it then?
On the other hand, if you neglect considering the future and only focus on the now, will you have a good job in 10 years? Will you be able to save enough for your retirement?
It’s all about the balance. If today’s decision impacts each of the 3 time frames in a positive way more equally, chances are this will be the right decision for you.
What REALLY matters to you? What is TRULY valuable to you?
With practice, you will find your decisions becoming easier and easier, and you can reach decisions that are smarter, wiser, with least regrets as possible!
Happy deciding! : )
AUTHOR: CiCi Ellienne, who can be found amongst other places, busily attending to a bevy of riotous little culinary gardens at AlternativeHealthCommunity.com, GrowHeirloom.com and YummyDelicious.com. Ellienne only reviews, approves of, endorses or receives compensation for products that she absolutely adores. For reprint and copyright information, please contact CiCi Ellienne at: firstname.lastname@example.org. : )
Article Inspired by the book by Suzy Welch, The “10-10-10: A Life – Transforming Idea.”