The concept is deceptively simple …
In Suzy Welch’s book “10-10-10”, she lays out a clear and very useful set of frameworks through which we can assess our potential decisions and actions. These three views use distinct, but related time frames.
Here are the basic questions and my take on them:
How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
We look at the immediate benefit to doing something. This speaks to the urgency of things and our need for immediate gratification. We often feel a great need to act on something, to do it now.
When we act based on an immediate need, we usually do receive something in return: we satiate our hunger, release the pressure, we may even think we have solved a problem.
Sometimes we eat a fresh, glazed doughnut, knowing we will be hungry again down the road.
Sometimes we decide to focus on a thing and put our energy and time into it, based on our emotions and situation at the time.
Making a decision usually provides relief, if nothing else.
How about 10 months from now?
This is a relatively short-term time frame, but ultimately very useful. This range is close enough to a year to matter, but still relatively close. If we are able to respond honestly and with some intelligence, the direction and consequences of our earlier decision become clearer.
Now we can see the non-immediate results of our initial actions. Did the hunger remain satiated, the pressure off, and was that problem actually solved?
Will we still carry the residual weight of that fresh, glazed doughnut around our waist?
In our current political and economic environment, 10 months can hold a fair amount of change. Predicting change is often risky and seldom completely accurate … but trying to respond honestly and accurately to this one puts us ahead of those who do not think in more strategic terms.
How about 10 years from now?
Now we are thinking long range for most decisions, whether they be personal direction or business strategy.
Except for a gifted few, most of us cannot imagine what our world might look like this far down the road. However, we can use this time frame in connection with another important measurement:
How will what we decide today, in our ten minute time frame, move us closer to our overall goals?
We might feel real good about a decision at the time we make it and it may prove to be continuously positive in a year or so, but not fit within our long term goals and direction.
Our goals should not be anchored in change which may or may not happen, but be flexible enough to respond to changing conditions, while solid enough to provide us with consistent direction through whatever happens.
The final question: How will that fresh, glazed doughnut affect our overall health, weight, and longevity?
… of course, all this assumes that we have or develop well-thought out and articulated long-term goals in the first place … otherwise, just enjoy eating that doughnut.
For a more detailed discussion of this concept and the book, CLICK HERE. You may find this exercise useful, with some well-formed goals.
Thinking about the consequences of eating a fresh, glazed doughnut down the road a bit in the Heartland ….