There are a number of factors that can have a negatively impact on our decision making process. This includes cognitive biases, personal past experiences, and a lot more factors that intensify the situation further. Add to this combo a stressful situation and you will get a recipe for subconscious decision-making disaster. So, how can we avoid our mind’s tendency to make a bad decisions?
Instead of letting emotions influence our choices, we can utilize a method that can be applied to various spheres of life. It is known as the 10/10/10 rule.
This method was invented by Suzy Welch, a business writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and O magazine. Welch called this rule 10/10/10 and described it in a book of the same name. To use 10/10/10 rule, we have think about our current decisions on three different time frames, answering the following questions:
1. How will I feel about my decision in 10 minutes?
2. How will I feel about my decision in 10 months?
3. And what about 10 years?
Our brain is aimed at short term pleasures. While, looking to the future allows us to make smarter decisions. This method saves us from quick fixes and forces to think smart, look at the future in the long run.
As Dr. Stephen Covey put it, “Happiness can be defined as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.”
Applying 10/10/10 method in practice is a keystone to success: more often we use this rule, the quicker our brain learns it. So the next time you have to decide on something, give this long-term lens a try, and you’ll start to see the difference.
This rule allows us to level the emotional playing ﬁeld. Emotions we’re feeling now is always strong, while the future is looking fuzzier. That discrepancy puts our current emotions first. 10/10/10 rule lets us to shift our spotlights, forcing to imagine the situation 10 months into the future.
Of course, we should not ignore our short-term, current emotions, but we should not let them to have the upper hand. Applying of 10/10/10 rule doesn’t mean that the long-term perspective is the right one. But it ensures that current strong emotion isn’t the only voice at the table.