In gymnastics, the score of perfection once was a 10.
When thinking about how to react to a problem or make a decision, that number 10 is incredibly useful.
Television commentator and business journalist Suzy Welch, whose writings are carried in Oprah magazine and The Wall Street Journal, describes the method of 10/10/10 in a book with the same title.
Here’s the concept in a nutshell:
• Will this matter 10 minutes from now?
• How about 10 months?
• And then 10 years?
By using this 10/10/10 model in evaluating our reactions, we allow ourselves to move beyond what our immediate impulse might be (i.e. short term comfort) for what our ultimate goal is (i.e. long term success).
For instance, ten minutes from now, I might be pretty irritated that I am driving to yoga class when I would much prefer to be in my pajamas watching Netflix. However, ten months from now, I will likely be pleased that I am in a consistent exercise program. And ten years from now, I will be grateful that I took care of my physical and emotional health.
When working with kids, the 10/10/10 helps us keep the big picture in mind that we are not just working with a child but we are helping raise a future adult.
While 10/10/10 is not a perfect decision making model, it does help us sort through what matters beyond our short-term impulses. And, it provides the opportunity to clarify our long-term goals.