You receive a fantastic job opportunity. It means a promotion and more money. You may never be offered such an unbelievable proposition again. Your first reaction is to go with your gut and accept the offer. Unfortunately, you are required to relocate to a different state. The thought of leaving your established life tears you in two. A chance like this is a once in a lifetime deal. But how can you abandon your aging parents, friends and everything you know, just to advance your career? Maybe you have a family of your own and the choice you make will disrupt not only your life but theirs as well. New schools, new doctors, new house. It’s a tough decision that’s keeping you awake at night. Stay or go? You’ve weighed the pros and cons and still can’t make a clear cut choice.
According to an article on Fast Company, the decisions that most people regret were made with visceral emotions: hasty, rash, and in the heat of the moment. There may be a few wedding chapels in Las Vegas that concur. When faced with a major, tough decision, it’s best to hit the pause button on the moment and use this simple 10/10/10 formula to help pave the way to clearer thinking during these difficult situations.
Columnist, former editor of the Harvard Business Review and mom, Suzy Welch, came up with the idea of the 10/10/10 Rule to help her balance her hectic life with business and family. She used it to troubleshoot the dilemmas life shot her way. When she was thrown a choice, she would pause and ask herself these three questions:
- How will you feel about the consequences of this choice 10 minutes from now?
- How will you feel about this 10 months from now?
- How will you feel about this 10 years from now?
By not making decisions in the moment, ruled by strong emotions, Welch found she would make better choices based on her answers to the questions.
Applying the 10/10/10 rule to your life
You don’t have to be juggling kids and work to apply the 10/10/10 formula to your decision making. You can use it to face other challenges, big and small:
Use the rule to make those major decisions, like marriage. You believe you have finally found your true life partner. You may be crazy in love, texting each other little notes throughout the day. You live in constant bliss. Even that leaving the cap off the toothpaste thing doesn’t irk you. And the trail of clothes across the floor- adorable! True love only comes once, right? You want to get married. Stop! Don’t let yourself get swept away by your hormone-influenced passions. Before you take that important, life-altering plunge, apply the 10/10/10 rule. Ask yourself how your relationship will be like in ten minutes- probably not much different. Then look forward to 10 months. Still cozy? Now fast forward to ten years. Can you see yourself going the distance with your partner through thick and thin? Will you still find that those little quirks adorable or will they become annoying? Will your relationship still stand after the honeymoon phase has waned?
Use the 10/10/10 rule as a tool for life. Thinking about selling everything and roaming the world? In ten minutes you are still psyched over the idea. Ten months from now you may be able to see yourself hanging out in Ubud with a laptop, a fruity drink, and a dark tan. Ten years from now? Are you still traveling? Wanting to start a family? Regretting ditching college? Each person has their own priorities. What are yours? This 10/10/10 rule helps you to face what is really important in your life. What is pertinent today may not be 10 years down the road.
Use the 10/10/10 rule to help you through life’s tough challenges. Think smart. Be smart. And consider the future of your actions.