I keep seeing all these messages about the decade coming to an end.
After seeing these messages for so long it sunk in…
The decade is coming to an end.
How did the years of 2010 to 2019 treat you? Have you progressed or gone backward? Are you on pace to have a better or worse decade? Have you peaked? What’s next?
Often, we get caught up in our day to day existence. “Time flies,” they say, But the only way to make beneficial decisions in the moment is to zoom out and look at your life through a long-term lens. If you’re able to do that, you can make major changes in my life.
I spent the past decade going from age 20 to age 30 — a pivotal time in many people’s lives. As I’ve explained a million times before, ages 20–25 weren’t so successful — constant drug use, endless partying, flunking out of school, depression, and arrests. Then, as I’ve also explained before,
I decided that my past didn’t have to dictate my future and went on this journey of improvement. In the span of a half-decade, not only did I kick all the negative habits and emotions out of my life, I “found my passion” and built a vehicle for my own freedom.
Imagine that what would’ve looked like had I had my head on straight for all ten years.
Imagine what your life would look like now if you had spent the past decade living your life the way you truly want to or at least building up to that point.
It reminds me of this quote “You overestimate what you can do in a year and underestimate what you can do in ten years.”
I stopped trying to imagine what my long-term future will look like. I plan, of course, but just observing what’s happened in the past five years lets me know that I’ll almost always undershoot my expectations.
See, the way success compounds, if you work hard enough and long enough you will achieve the type of results you couldn’t even imagine when you started.
That’s why I try to be so forceful and honest in my writing, I’m trying to snap you out of your funk because I know what’s in store for you if you put in years of work.
You can’t see it now.
But, let me tell you, you have no idea what you’re capable of. No idea just how good the results can be. It’s hard to see when you never truly start and it’s also hard to see in the beginning stages of starting, but start you must.
You have ~6 weeks left in this decade. Spend it contemplating what transpired over this decade and begin to make your plans for the next one.
Journal about it.
Meditate on it.
Seriously, spend an hour in total silence just thinking about your life. Thinking about how your life accumulates into these ten-year chunks that you barely notice going by.
How has your career worked out in the past decade? What will that look like if you stay the same for the next few decades?
What kind of relationships and networks have you built in the past decade? How many have you ruined or destroyed?
How are you taking care of your long term health? Are you setting your life up to stay alive for as many decades as possible?
I love how well things are going in my life, but hell, these sound like great exercises for me, too. My memories are being jogged as I write and my mind is already racing in anticipation of what’s next.
I think about both life and death more and more. I want my life to be a work of art. I want yours to be, too. Like a famous artist creating timeless paintings over a career that spans decades, we must also take the practice and care of an artist when constructing our lives.
Notice I said constructing and not living. It’s been said “God laughs at your plans,” but plan anyway. Try to exert some conscious control over your life. Even if you literally aren’t one, begin to look at yourself as a master of your own fate.
Then, get started and be patient. It takes time to make this thing work.
Stick around. I hope to have some of you here ten years from now. I want to show you what’s possible through building slowly over time. If you stay for the ride, what you’ll see a decade from now will be unrecognizable compared to today.
If you implement the advice I give over a long-enough period of time, you’ll be unrecognizable too.
Ayodeji is the author of You 2.0 — Stop Feeling Stuck, Reinvent Yourself, and Become a Brand New You. Want a free copy of my first book? Get it here.