Sunday, May 24, 2009

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! How do you make decisions? Are you filled with angst when faced with dilemmas? Do you analyze every aspect of your choices? Do you list the pros and cons of various scenarios? Do you consider the consequences?

In her book 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea, Suzy Welch offers a simple to use tool for making decisions. She says that when facing a dilemma, ask yourself three questions: What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes? In 10 months? And in 10 years? Then she provides stories from her experiences and those of other 10-10-10 users that support the method. Welch cautions that before implementing the strategy, you should clarify your goals and values so that you fully understand the implications of your decisions.

Here’s how it works.
Step 1 - Every 10-10-10 process begins with a question. For example - Should I quit my job? Should I buy the house? Should I stay in my relationship?
Step 2 - Then examine the consequences of each option in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. The 10-10-10 doesn’t have to be taken literally but can stand for the short term, mid-term, and long term.
Step 3 - Finally, consider the options and consequences with your values, beliefs, goals, and dreams. Which decision helps you create the life you really long for?

Welch provides scenarios of people that successfully used the system. One parent used it to address the dilemma of attending the funeral of a relative she barely knew. Her conflict was between showing respect to her mother’s family and fulfilling some duties for her children. A young man used it to determine if he should work with his wife in a business venture.

10-10-10 is a good strategy that can bring clarity to dilemmas both at home and work. What I like about it is that it requires you to assess your values. As Christians, we should not neglect the importance of prayer, Bible study, and the counsel of wise friends in making decisions. The Bible doesn’t address every specific decision we might make in our lifetime, but it does provide us direction: ask God; seek wise counsel; do all in Jesus’ name; give thanks.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 1:17

We can employ 10-10-10 as another powerful tool to make sure we are living according to God’s principles. The key is to evaluate our life dilemmas by using biblical principles as our measuring stick. For example, we might ask such questions as, will the words I speak or the actions I take matter in 10 days, in 10 months, and 10 years? Will it matter in eternity? Welch’s strategy becomes a 10-10-10-Eternal one. That's truly life transforming!


Dee said...

It is mind boggling to think of how the world would be different if this were practiced by everyone. Among other things, divorce rates would plummet. These are words to live by.

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