Excerpt: Suzy Welch's "10-10-10"

10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family

In "10-10-10" Suzy Welch explains how she applies her strategy to all of the decisions she makes in her life.

By asking herself what the consequences of that decision are in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years in her life, Welch writes that 10-10-10 has become a sucessful "life management tool."

Check out an excerpt of the book below, then head to the "GMA" Library for other great reads.

CHAPTER ONE

It Was What? 10-10-10 in the Light of Day

To tell you the truth, I didn't know precisely what 10-10-10 was at the moment of its inception, except that I suddenly felt as if I had a new, different, and massively better operating principle in my (albeit tenuous) grasp. I had come upon, it seemed, an enhanced thinking process of sorts, a methodology for getting systematic about things. All I really had to do to reclaim my life, I realized that morning on my Hawaiian balcony, was to start making my decisions differently—proactively—by deliberately considering their consequences in the immediate present, near term, and distant future.

In ten minutes . . . ten months . . . and ten years. If I did that, I figured with a fair amount of wonder, I might actually have my very own "life management tool." And thirteen years later, that term continues to be how I define 10-10-10 in quick and easy shorthand. That said, I've certainly heard 10-10-10 described in other ways.

One dedicated 10-10-10 practitioner I know calls it "a road map for clarity and courage," another, "my little guilt eraser." A grandmother from Houston once told me she refers to 10-10-10 as her "kick-start to get unfrozen." A Canadian minister who has preached about 10-10-10 describes it as "a great bridge enabling us to put things in perspective."

But none of those handles for 10-10-10—mine included—really describe the nitty-gritty logistics of the process. So before we go any further, let's break them down.

THE HOW OF 10-10-10
Every 10-10-10 process starts with a question. That is, every 10-10-10 begins with posing your dilemma, crisis, or problem in the form of a query. Should I quit my job? Should I buy the house with the great backyard and leaky roof? Should I hold my son back a year in school? Should I stay in my relationship or end it?

Having a defined question is essential to 10-10-10, I've come to discover, because so many messy problems are intertwined with side issues and sub-issues, distractions and digressions, red herrings and bit players. Thus, the most effective 10-10-10s always tend to start with determining exactly what issue, underneath it all, you're trying to resolve.

The next stage of 10-10-10 is data collection. Not to worry; you can conduct this part of the process in your head, on your computer, with pen and paper, or in conversation with a friend or partner— whatever works. The only real "requirement" is that you be honest and exhaustive in answering the following prompts: Given my question, what are the consequences of each of my options in ten minutes?

In ten months?

In ten years?

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