The 20-10 assignment

Jim Collins, in one of his articles talks about the 20-10 assignment. It is like this:

Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls.

The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached.

The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live.

What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

Think about this.

A lot of us work. We work for the money the job brings. That is not wrong, for after all, we have to eat, live in a house, have clothes and all that costs money. But we often work on the basis of money alone and nothing else. We work in jobs all our life that gives us money but we hate the job. The time we are living is not spent happily or in a fulfilling manner. Do we need to do this for sure? Ask yourselves if you will still do the job you are doing if you had all the money in the world( say $ 20 million dollars, as told by Jim Collins)? What would you like to do? Do not just say you will laze around, as even that might get boring after a surprisingly short amount of time.Think about it and see what answers you get.

In the Mahabharata, Yudhisthara is asked by an Yaksha-What is the most surprising thing in the world? Yudhisthara replies: The most surprising thing is that on a daily basis we see people dying but we still do not realise that our time to die could come anytime, today, tomorrow, now. We think we have a lot of time to do the things we really want to do. We say-Yes, I will do that once I become 50 years old or 60 years old. Who knows whether you will be alive then? Time is the most precious of all assets and we have to make the best use of it. Not by trying to do everything, but by deciding what is most necessary and doing that alone and not frivolously wasting our time here and there.

There is not a lot of time.

Money is not the only criteria on which you should live your life.

Then how do we do it:

Think like this, as Jim says later in the article:

Passion: What are you really passionate about? What do you really like to do? What do you really like to do if you remove the money criteria away?

Genetic encoding: What are you good at doing? What do you think you feel you are ‘just made to do’? What come to you easily?

Economic sense: What can you make a living at comfortably?(not necessarily earn $ 20 million)

If you can find or create a practical intersection of the three circles, you have the basis for a great work life. See what you are doing today, and what percentage of your activities falls outside these three circles.

And then focus, and stop doing things which do not fit.


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