Do Something for the Person You will be, 5 Years from Now

Today I came across the above video and I think the guy has a great little idea: do something for the person you will be in five years. The concept is very nicely put and I think that we can use this simple idea to get a different perspective on what is important to us and where we should be focussing our effort in the present.

Using a technique like this can help us to avoid becoming a little too short-sighted when it comes to making decisions about our future. The examples he gives are all very good and, as I was listening to him recounting what he had managed to do for his future self as he progressed through his career, I was beginning to think that I could have done with coming across this idea much sooner in my own life.

Nevertheless, ten years ago, I did actually start something that, as it has turned out, has been a huge benefit for the present version of me. That was to start my website, stick with it until it became successful and learn how to profit from the traffic. Given the present state of the economy, if I were reliant upon my pension fund for a retirement income, I would certainly be working for another ten years.

However, as it has turned out, my Adsense revenue alone is greater than the income from that pension fund and with five to ten years of effort that can now be dedicated to growing my web business, rather than just trading that time for money (which is essentially what you do in most jobs), the future is beginning to look very promising indeed. Of course, if I had not put in four hours per day for the last seven years, I would not be in the position I am now in. So that’s what I did back then for the current me.

I am also reminded of when I did my degree with the university of Birmingham, which I did in my spare time whilst holding down a full time job. It was not too dissimilar in terms of the amount of commitment required. It took very many hours of study over the course of six years in order to complete it. I remember someone asking me, right at the start, how long it was going to take. When I told him, he commented that was a very long time.

What I can remember saying in response was that six years were going to pass anyway and the choice I was making was to have a degree at the end of that period. Yes it was tough, yes it did feel as if it was never-ending at times and yes there were periods when it was very hard to keep going. But, I did complete the course and I got a good degree.

Both of these examples were times that, in retrospect, I did do something for the person I was going to become. But now, having watched this video, I am already beginning to think of where I will be in five years and what could I do now for that person. It has definitely stimulated a bit of healthy forward thinking for me.

So I wonder if you would like to think about doing the same. Ask yourself: what can I do for the person I am going to become in five years? You might find the exercise most enlightening.

One thought on “Do Something for the Person You will be, 5 Years from Now

  1. Brendan Dale

    I think the idea of having enough presence of mind to invest today in the you of the future is an excellent one and is particularly relevant to the situation many people find themselves in during these rather difficult economic times. In times of hardship the mentality of scarcity often prevails (a topic covered in a previous post) and battening down the hatches, keeping the band playing and hopefully getting out the other side in one piece become the primary focus of peoples lives. Whilst this is understandable and we must look towards immediate needs in difficult times, concentrating solely on today can result in failure to invest in our future selves which leaves us less able to deal with the unpredictability of future lean periods.

    Even more importantly, this idea of simply selling our time for money that the post touches on is the least skilled way of progressing in the world and this is true whether you are a road sweeper or a brain surgeon. The key issue is that it lacks sustainability and scalability, both of which are key cornerstones to building robust and expandable systems. Investing time in this kind of system will help build a future for the person you will be in five years as opposed to the hand to mouth approach inherent in most jobs that only serves today’s needs.

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