Below is a letter I wrote to myself back in October of 2012. It was an exercise that I was inspired to complete, while reading Darren Hardy’s book “Living Your Best Year Ever“. The idea was to write yourself a letter from 10 years in the future and describe your life based on anything you wanted or wanted to accomplish (as if it had already happened).
I had actually forgotten about this until just the other day. I was listening to a podcast that reminded me of this exercise and led me to digging it up. It is amazing to see the things that have come to fruition. It’s also interesting to reflect back to see what I was thinking and what I was influenced by at the time.
This is getting published about 4.5 years after I wrote it and a lot of it still stands true today. Actually, there are many aspects that have already happened. In the near future I plan to complete this exercise again, maybe even make it a yearly exercise. Only this time so I don’t forget about it, I will plan to use Boomerang to schedule an email with the letter to myself 5 years into the future for reflection. I will also plan to memorialize them here on this blog.
After you read the vision I had for myself 10 years into the future, I encourage you to write yourself a letter from the future with the vision you have for your own life (don’t hold anything back). Let that be the document that guides your day to day activities.
As you read the letter below, you will notice that I have peppered in some comments (in brackets) based on reflection from current day. I also made a few edits to protect my anonymity.
[BTW, if you are interested, I am turning this exercise into a new guest post series for those of you that want to write your own letter containing the vision of your life 10-years from now.]
Written: October 11th, 2022
Sent back in time to : October 11th, 2012
I ‘m writing to catch you up on what my life has become since we last spoke 10 years ago. If you recall 10 years ago today, we were just turning 26 years old. I don’t know about you, but I barely felt a day over 16. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I hadn’t grown or matured over the quarter century we had spent together. I had a hard time comprehending that 26 years had passed since the day we were brought into this world.
When we were younger, time seemed to crawl at a snail’s pace. Until one day you wake up and realize how precious and scarce time is in this world. Like you, I had always been goal oriented, but had no formal process for planning and tracking my life’s goals and dreams. It was the week leading up to our birthday that you found and shared Darren Hardy’s “Living your Best year Ever” that would change everything.
I still remember the day we sat down together to fill out that workbook, as we read through the book and listened to the audio narration that came with this achievement management system. We inked our goals for the next 12 months, but more importantly we took the helm of our lives, committing to live life with purpose and passion. No longer would we passively set goals in hope of achieving them someday. It was this day that we realized that someday doesn’t exist. It was in front of us all along, someday is today!
Well, it has been an amazing decade to say the least. We started with something so simple yet so powerful. The achievement management system that we learned and have used over the last 10 years was just what we needed to stay focused and on track to making every one of our dreams a reality. There was no Holy Grail or lottery to win.
It was the simple disciplines that we did consistently overtime that lead us to our goals. The system that Darren Hardy taught us through his program was just what we needed to track the principle we learned from Jeff Olson in his book the “Slight Edge”. It was our penny, if you know what I mean. It was so simple that it would have been just as easy not to do, as it was to do.
But we knew the right choice was to leverage the Slight Edge and do what at the time seemed insignificant. It wasn’t going to change our lives in a week, a month, or even a year. That commitment to doing the small things day in and day out, moving us closer to our dreams, created snowball momentum. And at some point, I can’t put my finger on the exact timing; we got to witness the power of the compound effect.
Things just seemed to happen so easy after a while; big goals were accomplished with very little incremental effort.
But you already know all this, because you were there with me every step of the way. I know you chose to leverage the Slight Edge and the power of the Compound Effect. I also know that the achievement management system from “Living Your Best Year Ever” changed your life.
I know this because you and I are one and the same. So, let me now share with you how all of this has shaped our life with respect to our friends and family, our health, our career, and our finances.
[You can tell that I was influenced a lot by both the Slight Edge and Living Your Best Year Ever as I wrote this letter. I haven’t re-visited Living Your Best Year Ever since 2012, but as you all know, I am constantly recommending the Slight Edge]
Friends & Family: I can’t believe I have been married for almost 11 years. Marrying Jenny was one of the best decisions I have ever made. She has absolutely been the best thing to happen to me. It has been her unconditional love and support that has been my driving force. But at the same time, she keeps me grounded and reminds me of what is important in life.
She has showed me what love is and has blessed us with more love, laughs, care, and compassion every day that few experience in an entire lifetime. Our bond has grown stronger every year, and I could not imagine life without my wife.
I know you’re probably wondering about Buddy Boo…he just turned 14 years old this month. He has slowed down over the last few years, but he is still the best dog you could’ve ever asked for. And not to spoil too much for you, but he is good around the kids :).
We closed escrow on our first house as planned in 2013. We’ve enjoyed the house and all the memories we’ve been able to make with friends and family over the years. Jenny has turned that house into a HOME. She takes real pride in taking care of the place and keeping it nice for us and our guests.
I don’t think there has been a day that you have not gotten into the Jacuzzi out in the back yard.
Remember when you brought Mike out for his 25th birthday?
Jenny mentioned that she wanted to have a traditional loud Italian family. Meaning she wanted us to get together as a family often. Well, Mike moved back to SoCal after finishing the fire academy to join the Fire department out here in the OC. He finally has settled down with the perfect women for him. They just had their 2nd child 3 years ago in 2019.
Vinnie is doing well with the Nissan dealership and makes it over once a month with his wife and our little niece. And Anthony has been doing great with his welding business. He also moved down to SoCal to be closer to Dad on his 25th birthday, we think he is getting pretty serious with his girlfriend and a proposal could be around the corner 😉 . It is really nice for all 4 of us to get together at least once a month.
In Grandpa’s memory, Jenny and I brought back the family tradition of a seafood dinner during Christmas time. The holidays get kind of crazy…but in a good way. So, we try to do the seafood dinner within the month of December. The only difference is we also invite our close friends as well as whole family.
The thanksgiving trip out to Lake Mead has been a trip we look forward to every year.
To say the least we feel so lucky to be blessed with the great friends and family that we’re surrounded with. I’m so happy that our brothers have achieved their own success and happiness. Even dad was able to re-write the second act of his life.
I know there is so much more I could tell you, but just know that the people that are important to you today as you read this are just as important to you in 10 years. Of course, there have been new people that have entered, influenced, and blessed your life. But it would not be fair for me to spoil some of life’s surprises.
[We did end up closing escrow on a house, but it actually happened in early 2014, and in a different city that we originally planned. This actually was a huge advantage for us financially due to the low cost of living area we decided to move to. Even with a second dog, Buddy is still the favorite, and always will be for me. Mrs. GYFG has really turned our house into a home just as I described and we did get that Jacuzzi. So far, this section is directionally right with the vision I had 4.5 years ago.]
Health & Fitness: The best thing that ever happened to me was the decision to commit to that first round of P90X. Health and fitness has become a huge part of our life. Yep, you’re still a Beachbody evangelist. Tony Horton and Shaun T continue to help you achieve your fitness goals.
I continue to maintain my weight in a range of 185-200lbs with 6.5-10% body fat depending on the cycle of my current fitness goals.
As you could imagine, getting hired by a surf company…has led to a regular commitment to hit the waves at least once a week. It’s one of the best ways to wake up in the morning.
I continue to water ski with Jenny’s Dad and Jeff. I have been getting through the course consistently.
Again, I could spill the beans to every little thing you have tried or accomplished when it comes to your health and fitness, but where would the fun in that be? Just keep doing what you know to do. Over the next 10 years you accomplish every one of your health and fitness goals.
[I am still a Beachbody evangelist as predicted, but I have not done the best job on maintaining my body-fat as low as predicted. The good news is that I still have another 5.5 years to get that piece right. When I first wrote this, I had just started to learn to surf, which I later found was not really my thing.]
Professional Career: As you recall, you left SCF back in May of 2012 to join QS. This was a fantastic move, not because SCF was a bad company, but because QS had more to offer with respect to culture and upward mobility. QS also brought the aspects of being public and international to the table.
You impressed management very early in your career. You identified the opportunities with the most potential and interest to you…and pursued them with FOCUS and DEDICATION.
I think there were 2 defining things we did that shaped our upward path within the organization. The first was coming in and delivering beyond expectation and giving the organization something they had never experienced with someone in your position. You leveraged your start by becoming the go to guy. The 2nd thing you did was PARTNER with the KEY PLAYERS within the organization.
It was uncomfortable at times, but growth always is.
After reaching out to the America’s CFO, I had the tools to be aggressive in the upward advancement I desired. Advice and mentor-ship received from the CFO along with the other key players I reached out to put me on an unstoppable course.
Let’s just say you have held many titles, but you made it to the 2nd floor with the rest of the c-level executives.
Oh…and I almost forgot, learning Spanish was HUGE!!!
[Well, I got the c-level thing right, but it ended up being with a different company in a completely different industry. The timing of reaching the c-suite did happen faster than I could have imagined, but that is really credit to the power of planting these types of seeds in your sub-conscious mind. I also have not learned Spanish, YET!]
Financial Success: Although financial independence has always been important to you, it took a back seat as far as priorities are concerned. It was hard to make the shift, but we live believing that money never leads…it always follows.
It’s important to never forget that life is nothing without anyone to share it with.
Over the past decade your simple disciplines of maxing out your 401k, making good investments, and keeping very low debt levels (only mortgage debt) over the past decade has put our family in a strong financial position. As I write this we are on track to be able to retire in another 10 years (at 46) if we choose. But to be honest, it’s so crazy to think about retirement at this point in my life.
Between our professional life and our investments, we bring in close to a 7-figure income. You live well, but well below your means. What I mean by this, is that you have not adjusted your lifestyle dollar for dollar with your increases in income. You live and enjoy about 50% of what you bring in at this point, and life is GOOD!!!
[Now I know where I came up with that goal for a 50% savings rate. Although we didn’t actually cement this as a goal until sometime in late 2015, this is evidence that it was something I thought was a good idea. Obviously, I didn’t hold anything back with respect to my ambition to both advance my career and income to EPIC levels. The career thing is in the bag, but at the end of 2017 we are only about 45% towards my crazy goal of a 7-figure income. We have some work to do Scoobie Doo…]
Conclusion: I leave you with one caveat. What I describe in this letter is based on the current path you are on. My advice to you is to stay the course if you’re happy with everything I describe. Even better, if at any time you decide you want something different, you are in control of your own destiny.
We are the only species in the world that have a CHOICE. Remember the only thing written in stone, is the past.
You are the sculptor of the FUTURE.
Here is to a LIFE WELL LIVED!!! We have accomplished and experienced so much with our friends and family in such a short time. It fills like a lifetime worth of experiences. The AMAZING part is that we still have our whole life ahead of us.
I look forward to our next correspondence.
Onward and Upward,
Dominic (you, but from the future)
[I really love how I ended this letter, with the fact that I could change anything I didn’t like, talk about wisdom!]