Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's a new verb: Let's "10-10-10" That!

My friends at sent me a copy of Suzy Welch's new book, 10-10-10, as part of a "blog tour." Those of you who know me know I will read pretty much anything, and it's gravy to get a free book as part of the deal. I often apply to go on blog tours, and remember thinking, "Sure, I'll read something that gives me new tools to manage my life."

From the cover of the book, Suzy smiles up at me, stylishly coiffed and in trendy heels. I started reading the book a couple weeks before the deadline, and found that I kept picking it up instead of my book club book (Witches of Eastwick), which I was really supposed to finish before my 10-10-10 deadline.

Then the book kept creeping into my conversations, and since the concept is really easy to grasp, played a crucial role in a mother/father/daughter conversation about 12-year old choices. Deciding what to do with the next year of her life put my daughter in a quandary -- separating from this year's activity and group of like-minded friends meant breaking the news to sponsors and teachers. Although the goal for next year (hint, it involves pom poms) is something exquisitely appealing, telling this year's "people" was abysmally NOT appealing. Somewhere in the midst of all the screaming, tears, and angst, came the eye of the storm. How will you feel about this decision in 10 minutes (awful!! more sobs!!); 10 months (happy, satisfied); 10 years (heck, I'll be 22, 7th grade will be a dim memory). For a few relatively tranquil moments, we let Suzy's idea drive, and somehow our familial emotional car stayed within the lines.

My friend is purchasing this book for his daughter and his wife. Every day at work I seemed to have some observation from the book that was germane to the office chit chat. The idea of "escalating commitment," the "psychological drive to cling to 'investments' even when they're clearly not working," particularly hit home. In a two week period where I figured out what the "redpill" is (thanks, Scott Ginsberg) and continued trying to figure out how to be more "here" for my children in the eight years they'll still be home with me, this idea in particular took root.

I also enjoy the examples of people's experiences using 10-10-10, which admittedly is not an idea that originated with Suzy. The book goes back and forth between somewhat theoretical ideas (i.e., escalating commitment) and "real life" examples I can relate to (such as Suzy's business trip to Hawaii where here kids broke free from hula camp and graced her with their presence as she was speaking to a room full of suited insurance execs).

I'm not done with this book, and I don't think it's done with me.

Here are a couple of resources related to this post: