Are we building a future for ourselves?

gifts to the future writing letter in cafe

Are we building a future for ourselves?

“I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter…”
(Joe Young)

On a website I was once asked a question: If you had one wish that you would be sure you would receive instantly, what would you wish for?

I wanted all of that and more but all of those things where achievable without wasting a precious miracle wish like this one.

I was in the mood for such a question so I took some deep breaths and thought about it. What could I wish for? To be? To have? To help? To solve? I wanted all of that and more but all of those things where achievable without wasting a precious miracle wish like this one. I had to think harder. I had to think of something impossible.

So, I wrote my wish: I want to travel in time to spend one hour with my future self before she dies. I want to be next to her on her deathbed and speak to her for one hour. I want to ask her if she had a life she is happy about and what I can do to make sure that when she closes her eyes forever, it will be in peace and with a smile on her old face.

There was an exercise I once tried to do. Reverse engineer from the end of my life. How would I want to be remembered?

There was an exercise I once tried to do. Reverse engineer from the end of my life. How would I want to be remembered? How would my environment look like? Curiously I have a vivid image of what that looks like. Yet things get blurred coming towards the present because I have no idea how I will be able to reach that place step by step.

Most of us, I included, are caught in the present or in the past moment. We look often to the future in terms of what’s going to happen tomorrow. The day after tomorrow. Most of us live in a place of constantly having to react to what is going on around us.

Very few people create their future.

I remember the question that always came up in a job interview (haven’t been to one of those in ages – I don’t know if they still ask it) – Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years? I never knew exactly the answer, less have an action plan to get me there.

And then something came up. A spark.

It would appear that in today’s fast-changing world, this question could sound like asking if the restaurant across the street would still exist in 10 years. How can we know?

How can we set goals for such a long period of time when new jobs appear overnight?

How can we foresee a future when we are constantly expanding? When there are so many options and possibilities out there. Today you could be here, in one year, you could be on a different continent starting a new life (just saying because it happened to me).

Still, there are people who have mastered the vision of time in their life. Minds who understood that if they want to get somewhere, they need to use time effectively. They also understood that in an ever-changing world, planning for the future is a skill that needs to be exercised and constantly improved.

I want to become one of those people.

I decided a good first step for that would be to send my future self a letter. It’s electronically and it’s free.
It will arrive for her one decade from now. What would I want her to know?

That I believe she is doing great, she is exactly where we want her to be and that I believe in her. I trust her judgment and I will always be part of her no matter what. That I am happy that even though I am now the past, and only exist in her memory, I could serve her every step of the way. I will send her hugs and kisses and wish her good fortune and to always keep moving forward.

And then I would get to work and make that 10-year roadmap for her. As much as I possibly can. Because she will need it and only I can help her now.

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