Do you use the “10-year Law”?

Depending on your age, ten years could be a long, or not so long, time. At 15, it seems like almost a lifetime; but, at 35,10 years is not such a long time. Either way, a lot can happen in 10 years.

When we have to make important decisions in life, they could so easily overwhelm us to the extent that we lose our sense of proportion. When this happens, a decision we need to make can appear a lot bigger or more serious than it really is. It’s therefore very important to have the right perspective on any decision you face – this determines how you deal with it.

The “10-year Law” can help you view decisions the right way and it works like this. When you have to make an important decision in life, ask yourself: will the decision I am about to make still matter or still be important in 10 years’ time?

If the answer is yes, think carefully before making your decision. If no, you don’t have to fuss too much about it. Don’t let it get you into a state; make your decision and move on.

Here are a few examples. If, for instance, you are deciding whether to buy a pair of shoes or not, consider the chances that you will still be wearing those shoes in 10 years’ time. It’s not such a big decision. You don’t really have to sweat about buying them or not.

On the other hand, if you want to reach a certain financial goal in 10 years’ time, purchasing those shoes now may affect that financial goal so you might not want to buy them right now!

Considering marriage to a person you have been seeing for a while? The nature of this consideration implies that if you decide to go ahead with marriage to that person, you expect them still to be in your life in 10 years’ time. Think a lot more carefully about such a decision.

If after you bought the shoes you decided that they weren’t what you really wanted, you could easily dispose of them with no consequences. If, however, you find after a few years that the partner you married wasn’t really the right person for you, disposing of them and the marriage will not come without some significant consequences.

Apply the “10-year Law” to a couple of other things … When you’re thinking of buying a house, ask yourself if this decision will matter in 10 years’ time. The answer is yes, so think carefully. If you’re thinking about investing for your retirement, the answer is also yes, so treat such a matter with the importance it deserves.

The 10 years law helps you approach decisions in the right frame of mind. It also helps you to put behind you any issue that you might think is important but isn’t really. By using the “10-year Law”, you will easily be able to get a good perspective on things in your life.

That disagreement you’ve just had with your partner over a relatively minor matter … Will it still be important in 10 years’ time? Probably not, so just let it go. Put it behind you and get on with life.

Use the “10-year Law” to make good decisions and avoid carrying baggage. I’ve never met anyone carrying baggage who is happy, so carry as little baggage as you can.  When you live according to the “10-year Law” you will find yourself a lot less stressed and a lot happier!

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine,, @HRFuturemag, and assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery.

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