This may be a simple concept but I want you to take some time and really think about it, apply it to your current and possible future choices. You can even apply it to past choices and see how it's affected your life up until now.
So here's the story:
I approached my son the other day riiiiiggghhhhttt when he was about to punch his sister in the arm. He is six and she is four, and they have the typical loving sibling relationship.
Seems she 'started it' by pushing him or saying something or looking at him wrong, and he felt the urge to retaliate by slugging her in the arm.
I stopped him mid-punch, pulled him aside and said, 'Ok, boy, here's the deal. you're probably not gonna get the concept this first time around but I'm gonna keep telling it to you until it sinks in. For every choice, every decision in life you make, there is a benefit to reap and a cost to be paid.
So let's work this punching your sister in the arm thing out. On the benefit side, it will make you feel better and vindicated immediately. You'll get some frustration out, and get to be the 'victim' because she did something to you first.'
He just stared at me. I continued...
'The cost of doing this is, your sister will come tell me about it, and you'll end up getting busted and sent to your room, after apologizing to your sister of course, and then the long talk will come. Plus you'll be teaching her how to punch and, eventually, she'll have a better punch than you.'
Taking a look at both the benefits and costs of punching your sister in the arm, are you still finding it something you want to do? We could take a look at the benefits and costs of not punching your sister.'
I was ready to go on that end of the argument as well, but as six year old boys commonly do, my son had already forgotten about the incident.
'Can I go play outside?' Sure. Go for it.
Now, while I hope to think that the lesson had sunk in to grasshopper, I kind of looked at is as more of a reminder to me in regards to some choices I've been making, and need to make.
Let me ask you...
Are you procrastinating in your business? Surely, there are benefits to that. You get more time to watch tv and veg out after a long day at your j-o-b. Costs? Absolutely there are costs. I don't need to remind you, you know what they are.
You can also look at it this way. I discovered this way decision making, by the way, from a book written by Suzy Welch called 10-10-10.
It basically goes over the concept of the benefits and costs, but does it in a general timeline.
1. The first 10, or the 'now', meaning today, or this week, or this month.
2. The second 10. This refers to the near future. The foreseeable future, where the decision has been acted upon, but the consequences are still being played out. You can predict a general outcome with the benefits and costs.
3. The third 10. This refers to a time in the future that is vague. It can be 10 years. But you can speculate on the long term affects of your decision.
It's quick and easy to do, both of those exercises to benefits and costs, but can really show you how your decisions today, can affect you both immediately and in the future.
If you're up for it, let's have someone give an example and we'll discect it.