05 August 2011

Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities. Robert H. Schuller


I was recently in New York visiting some friends and have been asked many times, “how are things going?”  The difficulty with that question is the implied, compared to what?

Compared to yesterday, there aren’t many changes in my life. In fact, there are almost never any major changes that happen to people over the course of a normal day. Unfortunately, this is the time period most people default to when they answer the question. As a result, fascinating people often seem like they lead relatively boring lives.

Compared to six months ago, there are a lot of changes; positive and negative. On the negative side, I went from living in a sweet one bedroom apartment in Manhattan to living at my parents where I share a bedroom with my younger brother. I love my brother and the arrangement is working out fine, but it’s clearly a step down. On the positive side, I taught myself programming and am starting my own company, and this has made me incredibly happy. Overall, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

The question really starts to get interesting when you start comparing to ten years ago. Since I’ve been living at my parents, I’ve been reminiscing about my life back in high school. Back then I had only a couple of goals for my life. I wanted to get into a good college, have a good career, start my own businesses and eventually convince a pretty girl to sleep with me.

I have accomplished every single goal that I set out for myself in high school. Beyond that, my actual life for the past ten years has been much better than the life I hoped for ten years ago. I’ve made some great friends, had amazing adventures, and done things that I couldn’t even dream of when I was younger. I lived in New York City for nine years, and made the most of every minute.

If I could go back in time and let the young me know that he would accomplish every major goal he had and beyond, it would have sounded too good to be true. What would you feel like if you found out that every dream you have for yourself is going to come true?

It really is incredible how much can be accomplished in ten years. I remember reading that human beings consistently overestimate how much they can do in a year, and underestimate how much they can do in ten years. Thinking back on my last ten years, I can definitely see the truth in that statement.

So, how am I? I could be blasé and answer that today is pretty much the same as yesterday, but I’m not going to. It’s much more fun to remember that things are about a thousand times better than ten years ago, and tell you I’m awesome.