Two Years

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?

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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.

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