Exercise For Success: A Letter To My Future Self
We are going to do a little exercise. You’re going to need a pen and a piece of paper for this. Be forewarned - this is some heavy stuff. Please write your answers to the following questions: You are on an airplane and it’s about to go down. You have 30 seconds to write a note to your child or loved one about the 3 most important things you learned about success in your life. What do you write? What are the 3 most positive experiences in your life? Describe how your parents, family members, and the people who influence you make you feel about yourself. List the biggest heroes in your life and why you admire them so much. It is the year 2098, and your great, great, great grandchild is giving a speech at school, and it’s about you! How do you want your story to be told? What does success mean to you? What accomplishments are you most proud of and why? What beliefs and values are you willing to die for? Describe a perfect day in your life as if there were no limits. Take some time to answer these. They are deep questions, and it’s ok to think about your answers for a while, even for a few hours. Ready? The next step is to write a vision letter for yourself. This letter is just for you. Don’t show anyone else. This is very personal and very special, and you want to keep it in a place of honor. You are going to use your answers to these questions to write to a friend. Write your letter to your friend, and date it for ten years from now. Describe both your personal and professional life as thought they already happened. Make sure you include as many details as possible, everything from your business plan to your children and their likes and dislikes, to how it felt to achieve your first goals and experience your first failures. Everything needs to go into this letter. The idea is that you haven’t see this friend since today. It’s been a decade, and there is so much to catch up on! You’ll want to catch up on everything - believes, finances, family, relationships, diet and exercise - the list goes on and on. Here is how you use your vision letter. Once in a while, you are going to take this letter out of its hiding place and read it. You want your letter to be so moving, that every time you pull it out and read it you become emotional. You want the experiences described in this letter to hit home for you in such a way that they speak to your core values and beliefs. What does all this do for you? Why is it important to spend so much time on this fictional letter about things that haven’t happened yet? What’s the point? The point is to set yourself up for success. If you are reading this, you have probably just begun your road to success and a lasting personal legacy. You may not yet realize how many people will be lining up over the next ten years to try to knock you down because you threaten their own inability to achieve. You may not yet realize the countless number of times you will come an inch away from quitting because you just don’t feel like you can make it. You may not yet realize how easy it is to give up on your dreams. Use this letter to set yourself up for success. The closer we get to defining and specifying the life we want and the person we want to be, the less criticism matters. Those inevitable failures will role right off you, and eventually you will only look at them as learning opportunities. Know who you are. Be that best version of yourself, and don’t let anyone pull you off course (including yourself!). Use this letter to be aware and to be strong. Use this letter to set yourself up for success.