30-60-10 Rule of Thinking
- Published: Friday, 22 August 2014 14:10
How We Limit Ourselves
I would like to introduce to you a rule of thumb on your thinking habits--the 30-60-10 Rule. If we can understand this rule, we can then identify where a lot of our emotional distress is coming from.
30% of our thought life (up to around 60 years of age) is focused on the past. It’s the “I should have/could have/would have’s,” and “if only’s.” The more we loop these in our happy little noggins, the more regret and depression we feel.
60% of our thought life (up to around 60 years of age) is focused on the future. It’s the “what if’s,” “what’s going to happen when…” and “what might.” The more we loop these in our thoughts, the more fearful and anxious we become.
That leaves 10% of our thought life for the present. We could be sitting in the same room with someone and not be with them. We are either hanging out with regret about a past we can’t change or we are living in fear over a tomorrow we are not living in yet. We need to come to the realization that by only spending 10% of our thought life and focus in the here and now, we are missing the opportunities that God places right in front of us. We get too occupied with the past or the future that we miss out on today--missed opportunities in our relationships, careers, health, etc. We can learn a lot from children where this is concerned. They are “in the now” all the time. They don’t live in the past, and aren’t worried about the future. We can plan for the future, but worrying about it serves no purpose. Strong leaders recognize that being present in the moment with those around them is of utmost importance. Ephesians 5:16 says to make the most out of each and every opportunity (paraphrased), not each and every opportunity hoped for (past or future). What are we doing today?
So maybe we need to take some advice from our twentieth century bard, Jimmy Buffet, in his song “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On:”
I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man
Floating down canal,
It doesn’t use numbers or moving hands,
It always just says Now.
Now you might be thinking that I was had,
But this part is never wrong--
And if I had trouble the warranty said,
Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on.