When I was a senior in high school, one of my teachers gave our class a unique assignment. She asked us to consider where we would like to be in 10 years. We discussed careers, marriage, children, education, and had a great conversation about the goals that we had for our lives.
Afterwards, she handed each of us a stamped envelope. We all wrote letters to our future selves. She also asked us to write down a short list of where we would like to be in 10 years. The best part about the whole assignment was that, 10 years after writing the letters, she would mail them to us.
Well, 10 years later I was home with my family for the holidays and was surprised to find my letter waiting for me on the dining room table. When I saw the old beige envelope, I had no idea who it was from. Of course, I had completely forgotten about the assignment. When I opened my letter, I was so surprised and happy that my teacher had not forgotten. It was like opening a time capsule, just like they do in the movies.
As I read the letter from teenage me to adult me, I won’t lie – I had a good laugh. Some of the stuff that I wrote down was hilarious! In addition to my hearty laughter, I seriously thought about my life, and the goals that I had for myself. Surprisingly, I did not achieve many of the goals that I had written down. I wasn’t driving the type of car I’d always wanted to drive, or living in the house I’d always dreamed of, among other things.
Some things I wrote to myself were almost outrageous, but not impossible to achieve. What I found from looking at my letter and my list of goals was that, number one – goals take work. Things don’t just happen like they do in the movies. Goals take dedication, persistence, and a willingness to work for them. Some of my goals weren’t achieved because I got lazy, and that’s just the straight up truth.
Number two, life happened. Who I became 10 years later was not the person that I thought I’d be. I planned things for myself that God never planned for me. Sooner or later, I had to realize that I had a different purpose from the one that I’d planned out for myself. Some of my goals weren’t bad. It just turned out that they weren’t for me, so I had to bid some of them farewell so that I could embrace the things that I was born to accomplish.
It’s been way more than 10 years since I wrote that letter, but it was one of the most important lessons that I’ve ever learned. After all of this time, I’m STILL working to achieve some of my original goals. I ‘m proud to say that I have achieved some of them, and it feels great! I have new goals too, and I’m putting in the work to see them become reality.
So, where do you want to be in 10 years? Would you ever write a letter to your future self and then read it a few years later? It doesn’t hurt to have a plan, and it’s cool to look back and see how some things change, but others remain the same.