They say that we overestimate what we can do in the short term, and underestimate what we can do in the long term. As someone who's had his share of overstuffed todo lists, I believe that this is true.
You might find it to be useful to think two years in advance. There's some magic to that number-- it's not so far off that you can't imagine it. If you're thirty, for example, turning forty might seem so abstract as to be impossible, but certainly you can imagine thirty two.
And, as part of that imagining, you can also imagine what you might like to be different in those two years. After all, your needs and preferences will likely be about the same.
Although two years is short enough to visualize, it's also long enough to do just about anything. The idea of one's life changing in a day is a fairy tale, but changing completely in two years isn't even all that glamorous or dramatic.
Anything. You can do almost anything in two years. You could learn any language to a conversational level, go from being obese to healthy and fit, build a business, find love, learn to paint or play an instrument, or even start a family.
In the daily scope, it's hard to really think about some of these things. No amount of exercise will lose real weight today. No amount of cramming will teach you Arabic today. A business can't be built in a day. Thinking a couple years out is like a breath of fresh air; it takes that immediate pressure off, and allows you to consider these sorts of campaigns without stress.
It almost feels like a superpower, planning two years in advance. While other people are trying to learn everything in thirty chunks, and failing at, you can calmly make your progress until all of a sudden you have hard-won progress that can't easily be erased.
In two years I expect my priorities to shift towards finding someone to start a family with. So right now I read relationship and parenting books and take notes on them, work out to get into the best shape of my life, and build my business so that I'll be able to support my family and spend as much time with my kids as possible. Reading parenting books is pretty useless now, but by the time I have kids I'll know a lot about parenting.
Give it a try. Think about what skills you wish you'd developed, and ask yourself if you'll still want them in two years. Probably you will. Pick one or two and come up with a sane plan to get there. The defining factor in whether or not you'll be successful is how consistent you are, not how much you push yourself on any given day. You can change anything in two years. What gift will you give the two-year-later version of yourself?
Sorry there was no Monday post. I posted it early on Friday because I wanted posts about the piano to link to it.
I'm making a video for SETT, which I'm illustrating myself. I am terrible at illustrating. Do you want to help us out and illustrate it? It would need to be done within 3-4 days maximum, but the drawings are simple and there are only about 10. Will give credit, and it will likely be seen by lots of people.
I can't work out how to reply, but i am a mum who lives in an RV with my 16 moth old baby and partner, i have my own company and do fulfilling work. When we want to move around we go - either within Australia or overseas, i think a traditional job is much more of a hindrance to an awesome lifestyle than a baby is.
this is a good research based parenting book.
Tynan, would love to see a list of parenting books you've read/would recommend. Especially if any are research-based, rather than the author's opinion.
I really like this post. It motivates me to finally make an effort at improving the skills I always wanted to have. 1 year always seemed to short a time to reach compentency in any of the subjects I am interested in (a lot of them involving music and languages), but 10 years was way too long a timespan to focus solely on one skill. I do agree with you that you can reach most goals in 2 years, so that would make 5 areas that are very dear to me possible in 10 years. Definitely acceptable!
It just eludes me how I was not able to come up with that simple shift in numbers myself ^^ It's funny how your whole attitude can shift if somebody points to the obvious you have not been seeing for a long time :D
This is great. You really can accomplish a lot in two years. It would be impossible to me become a blogger on the same level as you are in thirty days, but in 2 years, I think I'll will be well on my way. I think about where I am going to be two years from now and it makes me excited. Just have to do the right little action steps to get there.
We a are at opposite ends of our career paths. You're just starting the adventure of your life and kicking its ass every day (IMO). I'm 65 and just retired from a dozen years of teaching college and an engineering career. I love what you are doing, saying, and how you live. Keep on keepin' on, dude.
Don't listen to the negative people Tynan. I doubt they are married or have kids. Kids are NOT boring. I just turned 38. I have been living with my husband for 20 years and we have been married 17. Our son is now almost 15! Do I sometimes wish for the freedom to only think of myself? Sure. But any adventures I have alone are not the same! I am constantly wishing they were there to share it with! At times it will be hard, and sometimes painful. However the reward will be so much more than anything else.
I must say, this post resonates with me. My mother had me when she was only 23. And to raise me and my brother, who is about a year younger, she gave up a lot. A whole damn lot. But now, I really am eternally grateful to her that she did, and can never forget what she did for me. And I think she feels it too. There is something much more concrete and more profound about making the world easier for someone else than it is to just follow only your own dreams.
Hey Tynan, why would you trade the rest of your life - which you could fill with more whacky adventures - for the mundane lifestyle of a dad?
The single thing I'm most excited about in the future is having kids.
I love wacky adventures, but the incremental value of climbing one more radio tower or visiting one more country is getting smaller and smaller. My first trip abroad blew my mind, now I'm still really grateful to be able to do things like that, but it's no longer the most impactful thing I can do.
My youngest cousin is fifteen. She's the first family member who I could have conceivably fathered. It's a weird thing to say, but I could have had a kid at 17, and that kid would have been the same age. Although having a cousin and a kid are very different, I feel paternal towards her. Over family vacations I spend the majority of my time with her, teaching her things. That experience has made me excited about having kids of my own.
I won't be a normal parent. I'll throw myself into it and probably do it differently than most people do. Several close friends have kids and I think their approaches towards it are very interesting. I look forward to seeing the world through my child's eyes, teaching him/her things, and applying what I've learned in life to parenting.
Children are interesting, but everything in your life changes and the responsibility seems to either eliminate most of the other things in our lives (especially the creative things) or drive people apart so that one parent is left with that responsibility and the other moves on pretending to be an absentee parent. Survey after survey finds that people see a dramatic drop in their quality of life and general happiness after their kids are born and those qualities improve when the first kid leaves home (happening nearly in middle age, these days). Obviously, the world has no need for more people so having kids is a purely selfish act. The payback for that selfish act is teenagers. Damn few parents jabber about how much enjoyment they get from their teenagers.
Some assumptions here... Assumption #1 Tynan has nothing but whacky adventures. While he may have his fair share of adventures, we should remember that what he chooses to write about is only a very thin slice of Tynan and his life. Assumption #2 Being a dad is mundane. While it can be a mundane experience, parenthood is what you make of it.
Were you forced to be a parent?
Children can be a gift to your life, as you were to your own parents.
It's all in how you look at it I guess.
Hello Tynan, What sort of illustrations are you looking for? By hand, by computer, abstract, realistic? Nice post today, thank you, Dena Carter
Tynan, great post, I truly enjoyed it!
From your reading, could you recommend any parenting books you found especially insightful or otherwise remarkable?
One of the more valuable exercises in "The E-Myth Revisited" was answering the series of questions which define one's personal aim. Following are the questions (underlined) and my answers to them.
As a small incentive to try the exercise yourself, I'll edit this post and link to anyone who e-mails me a link to a post on their blog answering the same questions. I think you'll find it valuable, and it's probably a good introduction to potential new readers.
My answers aren't in any sort of order. I was hungry when I wrote this, so food seems to make it to the top of some of the lists.
Previous birthdays never really meant much to me. At eighteen I could buy cigarettes and porn, but I didn't because I don't smoke and know what the internet is. At twenty one I could buy alcohol, but didn't because I don't drink. I could gamble, too, but had already been doing it for years online. At twenty five I could rent cars at a discounted rate. That was a little bit exciting, but not exactly a life changer.
So when thirty rolled around, I didn't expect much. And, of course, the actual day didn't really change anything, but the increasing comprehension that my twenties were over did change something. I got serious.
My first ten years were spent filling diapers, and then drawing with crayons. It's tough to expect much from a 0-9 year old, and I'm sure I just about met those expectations.
My next ten years were spent learning, mostly. I learned how to make money, how to write, how to do math, and how to speak some Chinese and Spanish. A lot of my good friends were met during these years, too. So the 10-19 age range was mostly experiencing the world and building up a collection of reference experiences to help me understand it. The foundations of who I "am" were built during these years. I became a nerd, I became interested in Asia, I neglected social skills to the point that I would later have to become a pickup artist, I gained a deep understanding of risk and reward, became an entrepreneur, and I started exploring things.