I was thrilled when Mom Central gave me the opportunity to review Suzy Welch’s new book 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea. Why? All I knew was it is a model to help in decision making. As a proud Type A analytical person, I love the process of decision making. However, my husband and I have noticed that our process can take us longer nowadays.Losing our second son to a stillbirth when I was full term affected our life deeply. We knew something was not right – in fact, my husband wanted to deliver at my check up just days before he passed away. When we pushed for problems that could occur due to polyhydramnios, they were minimized with a stat that only 1% of babies are stillborn. That 1% seems very low…until you are in it. Since Jaxon’s passing three years ago, we weigh the pros and cons of decisions through a new lens, and sometimes just find ourselves stuck in muddy waters.10-10-10 is a process to use in making any decision – be it big or small. It is about grounding you in the process so you can feel confident in your decision when you make it and down the road. It is a process that forces you to get out of your own way (which personally I need at times). 10-10-10 is actually quite simple: you take a defined question and compare the consequences of your options in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. (Now mind you, these numbers are not set in stone…the objective is immediate, out in the foreseeable future, and in the distant future.) When you compare these while accounting for your personal values, the correct choice for you becomes clear.While the process can seem quite simple, learning, practicing, and fine tuning it to your ever changing world is a whole nother ballgame. I truly loved this book – it was one of those that just resonated with me. It left me feeling empowered and that is a great feeling, especially when surrounded by little people that test the boundaries of my decision making skills on an hourly basis. The concrete process of 10-10-10 shows distinct promise for me. My hopes are that I can quit second guessing myself and get out of those muddy waters. That it will reinforce my belief that I (and everyone else in this world) am responsible for my own choices and the consequences of them. So, knowing I am responsible for them – won’t I enjoy the results to an even greater level when I know I got there through sound judgment based on my core values? As Welch says, “…ambivalence was gone – and in its place, the peace of mind that comes with intentionality.” Love that!
I started reading 10-10-10 on Thursday and finished it two days later. It is an inspiring book that is easy to read. It is filled with real life examples of how 10-10-10 plays out for people – real people just like you and me. Regardless of what your decision is, I am pretty certain you will find a scenario in this book that can help you apply it in real life. Whether to marry, choose between jobs, to stay in a relationship or not, the degree to which you will support ailing family members, to have children or not, to stay home with your children or work, to fire someone or keep them, how to deal with aggressive behaviors or drug problems in teens, how to let friends in and out of your life, and even how to deal with true disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They are all in there.
A true strength of the 10-10-10 process is how flexible it is. It is not highly prescribed and as such, gives individuals the ability to adapt it to their life and learning style. However, given that, I struggled for a bit on how to formulate my “question” if the situation for my decision was not specific. For example, I am a stay at home mom. Some days I feel pretty good about myself at the end of the day…and then some days I don’t. I freely admit I do not do well with tons on sensory input. And since life with children is full of it, some days I have to try hard to keep my composure with a two-year-old who is in that transition between whining and “using her words” and a five-year-old who is loaded with questions about how everything works. So I was reading this book reflecting that it would be good for me to have a quick question I could ask myself BEFORE I act to determine if my choice is appropriate? About the time I reached this conclusion, Welch started using the term “authentic” when referring to how we live our lives. For me, authentic works – it is a term that encompasses all of my values and beliefs. So the internal self-question I decided on for now is, “Is ___________ (insert any behavior) living authentically?” It feels good to have one consistent prompt I can use to keep myself on track with my values.
10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea is a decision making model that has the potential to help a lot of people. It is available through Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Books, and Indie Bound. You can also go to Suzy Welch’s own 10-10-10 web site to learn more. I welcome you to check back at FOMTA – I plan on doing much more with 10-10-10 in my life and on my blog.