This is a little mental exercise that I included in my most recent newsletter. Hope you enjoy.
Photo: Tomasz Frankowski on Unplash.
Think about someone you find inspiring. Take a minute to visualize their face and their presence and all the things that make them awesome. What will that person be like in ten years? You know they’ll be doing something incredible, but you have no idea what.
The same applies to all the other wonderful people you know. Think of the best people in your life: the ones who make you smile, who enlighten you with their insight, who always find reasons to love life. Just how much more awesome will all these people be ten years from now?
That day is coming, no doubt. And you’ll still be connected to all these people, probably more connected than you are today. You’re gonna be able to see that world!
Which of your friends will have moved to a far off town across the ocean? Which of them will have founded some wildly successful startup or nonprofit? Which of them will have gotten married? Which of them will have gotten married to each other?
Which of them will write a book that moves people? Which of them will become a teacher or a professor or a mentor for youth? Which of them will devote their life to service, or to art? Which of them will run for mayor or councilor or governor?
Which of them will climb all the way up the corporate ladder and then say fuck it and meditate in a cave for five years?
What will your friendships with them look like? Which of them will have built a surprisingly deep connection with you, and which of them will have faded away?
Which of your friends will be happy?
There’s also all the people you look up to but don’t know personally. Your favorite writers, athletes, artists, academics. What sort of groundbreaking work will they have done? What will your new favorite album, novel, or artwork be? Which of these people, if any, will you have had the chance to meet?
And finally, there’s yourself. What lives will you have touched, how many places will you have seen, what moments of bliss will have changed your outlook? What struggles and crises will have shown you that you were stronger than you’d ever known?
The date February 21st, 2031 will one day have that little colored dot on your calendar denoting “today”. Who do you think will be with you on that day, sitting at a cafe or bar (or virtual reality room), reminiscing about the silly things you all did in the 2020’s? Noticing how you had been taking yourselves a little too seriously, not realizing how young you still were back then?
Every now and then, when you find yourself too zoomed into the present, experiment with this blast from the future. Revel in the possibility of all that has not happened yet. And get back to today with a little more lightness.