Do you know what a bento box is? You must be familiar with the partitioned square box, used by the Japanese to pack their meals. How can this bento box change your future? It’s a concept that occurred in the mind of Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler while drawing a hockey stick graph. Kickstarter lead to the crowdfunding model that we all know today, so you might want to check out this concept.

According to the concept called Bentoism, introduced by Yancey Strickler, our decisions are mainly influenced by the ‘now me’ who is driven by selfish interests. During our decision-making process, if all the decisions are taken by the selfishly driven ‘now me’, we lose sight of the bigger picture – the bigger picture of our lives as well as any organization that we may be a part of. Yancey with his Bento box method has provided a clear tool for us to consult our ‘future wise self’ in addition to considering the future generations that will be affected by our decisions.

Bentoism Life
  • Now Me – Focused on self-interest
  • Now Us – Considers the people around us, their needs, and how our choices affect them.
  • Future Me – The person you want to be. It doesn’t want you to make a decision you’ll later regret. It reminds you of your values (and encourages you to stay true to them.
  • Future Us – The world you want your children/future generations to have. The way the world should be. Future Us would rather live in a world where people can trust each other than one where they can’t.

The entire concept is explained beautifully in his website You can even download printable bento boxes for your own decision making, do check it out.

The Necessity

Why is it necessary to use the bento box for your decision-making process? According to statistics, 85% of university students interviewed in 1967 ranked having a personal philosophy and a set of values as their top priority. In 2016, 82% of University students ranked ‘getting rich’ as their number one priority.

Yancey Strickler’s book This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World talks about the need to change the current way of doing business, Yancey believes that capitalism is incomplete and that there is another way to contribute to the expansion of the society whilst continuing to reach financial targets.

“We recognize that there are many valuable things in life—love,
community, safety, knowledge, and faith, to name just a few. But we allow just one value—money—to dominate everything else. Our potential for a more generous, moral, or fair society is limited by the dominance of money as the be-all and end-all. It puts a ceiling on what we can be.”

 – Yancey Strickler, This could be our future, A manifesto for a more generous world

The use of the Bento box method could be exactly what our future businesses need to make decisions. Isn`t it the right time to think beyond simple financial gains when driving a business? – I bet if you use the Bento box method, the answer would be yes. 

If a business is for the long term, or as Simon Sinek calls it, if the business wants to take part in the infinite game of business, thinking long term and taking into account the effect of how the business impacts the society should be factored in when making key decisions. Even for a startup, for example, a decision to use eco-friendly products instead of plastics must have more weight over decisions taken for short term financial gains. The Bento box method will certainly aid in many of these decisions and even prompt new ideas on alternative ways of running new businesses.

It will certainly change the trajectory of your life for the better. 

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