Whenever anyone, in any field, posits anything on a greater than five-year timeline, it is more than likely bunk. An engineering feat, economic projections, anything. It's not necessarily the thing being projected that's bunk, but the projection itself--past five years it's pure speculation, and you probably have no idea. Six-years? You might as well say twenty years, or two weeks. My assumption isn't that you're in it for the long haul, it's that you can't do projections. Which is troublesome in the case of options, the point of which is to have an upside. If a company isn't targeting some kind of material upside within five years, I don't know why they're issuing options at all--just pay people better, and/or let the mission be its own reward.
I know there are instances where the five year rule doesn't apply, but it serves well as basic test for what to take seriously.
The clock on long-term capital gains starts from the date of exercise of the options, not from when they are awarded or when they vest.