Use 10/10/10 Rule – Make Smart Decisions

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Today I am going to share one simple rule called the 10/10/10 Rule that will help you avoid instant gratification and make better choices in all areas of life.

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The obsession with instant gratification blinds us from our long-term potential. — Mike Dooley

Let’s admit. We live our lives almost in instant gratification mode.

We think if we satisfy our desires instantly, that will make us happy. But often we ignore the long term effects of those short-term decisions.

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Eating a big slice of pizza or gulping another big chocolate cake will instantly make you happy.

Snoozing your alarm and sleeping one more hour in the morning seems quite gratifying, isn’t it ?

In the instant moment above decisions appear quite appealing and often we try to justify, “Life is about having some fun also.”

But while saying that, we also get some blurring images of us doing exercise or running out in the woods, but finally, instant gratification wins.

Why is that so ?

Why do we often get enslaved by instant gratification ?

Why do we overlook the bigger and better picture that leads us to a better future ?

Here is the reason :


It’s a human tendency to make decisions based on our short-term emotions. It’s because your present emotions are very clear and precise, while future emotions are not yet well defined.

Smart salespersons tend to exploit this human tendency to sell more of their products or services. They try to excite us based on your short-term present emotion to influence our decisions.

Promotional messages are crafted to trigger instant emotions and unconsciously force you to make an unplanned decision to buy a product — something known as impulse buying (of course, later you regret making that decision).

Here comes the 10/10/10 Rule to empower you to make smarter choices.


As coined by Suzy Welch in her book 10–10–10 : A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family, 10/10/10 Rule empowers you to equalize the impact of this short- term influence on your emotions.

The rule works on the premise that our short term emotions don’t take into account the long term perspective.

The rule suggests that whenever you are faced with decision problems, you need to actively think about the outcome and your future emotions about that outcome, if you decide solely based on short term emotions.

You should check your future emotions by thoughtfully considering the potential positive and negative consequences in the immediate present, the near term, and the distant future: or in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.

It helps if the future emotions that arise while thinking about the short- and long-term picture sound equally clear, precise, and supportive of your objective. Only then should you decide to go ahead with the alternative.

Take this example.


Assume you have two alternatives : either get a subscription for a video gaming application for 3 months or take it for a period of one year.

Obviously, to get the benefit of your current emotions, the video gaming company is offering you a one-year subscription at more than 50% off the regular rate.

Your current emotions will focus on the huge saving of 50% by going for a one-year subscription.

But if you think from the 10/10/10 perspective and take a future perspective, you will soon realize that taking a one-year plan will make you more addicted to video game playing.

Although you are saving money currently, in 10 months or 10 years from the moment of decision, you could be enslaving yourself to an unhealthy habit. With that realization, you’ll start thinking of an alternate option.

The 10/10/10 Rule helps to level the emotional playing field.

What we’re feeling now is intense and sharp, while the future feels blurry and fuzzier.

That discrepancy gives the present too much unwanted power, because our present emotions are always in the spotlight.

10/10/10 forces us to shift our spotlights, asking us to imagine a moment 10 months into the future with the same “freshness” that we feel in the present.

This shift helps us to look at the short term and further emotions with equal clarity and thus it improves our decision quality.

This rule doesn’t mean that we just ignore the immediate short-term emotion; it rather means that we give the future emotions the equal opportunity to present themselves and then decide the best course of action considering both sets of emotions.

After all, the quality of your decisions defines the trajectory of your life. Tony Robbins once rightly stated:

“It is in the moments of decision that our destiny is shaped.”– Tony Robbins


Also, Stephen R. Covey signified the importance of making good decisions, when he said:


“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”


Therefore, spending some amount of time checking your emotions considering the near and distant future scenario, empowers you to make better and beneficial decisions.

Shri Santosh Kumar Singh , Content Writer & Copywriter//Ghostwriter for Qualitylinkbuildingzone is Ph.D. in Management with many more academic & banking professional degrees including CAIIB banking degrees. He is a non-fiction author, poet,article & short story well as a critic, His books & writings have already been commercially published on kdp Amazon,in Amar Ujala newspaper,many management institutions souvenirs and educational institutions’magazines.
He has more than two decades of corporate plus academic exposure and experience including in leadership positions.
His many books and writings have been appreciated by several renowned literary giants across the globe.
He is the author of 29 books including A Sumptuous Combatant: Wise Warrior,A Weird and Futile Mayhem: Solving Every Family Mystery.
He believes that reading books can change the world

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