Write a Letter to Yourself

Read time: 4 minutes.

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I feel like I'm failing all the time. I have not posted here in a while. Truthfully, I write often but I don't know how to share it. When people ask me about my blogging frequency, I feel guilt. I owe it to myself to write, to get better. My responses are always related to life. Life happening or life just being a lot. 

Like many of my friends, I am experiencing the quarter-century-self-evaluation. It's been nice to see people freak out, desire more from within, desire less from without and change only to unchange. People have quit their traditional corporate jobs for their start-up idea. People are traveling more and desire impact. People made babies, people found love, people lost love and sometimes started over. While all of this is expected, these stories shake us up about ourselves. Then time passes and our reflection of these years are reduced to normalcy. But nothing is actually normal...the same way nothing seems abnormal anymore.

And before I exhaust myself of polar ideas, I urge you to reflect forward. More than reflect on how you became the You of Today, it would be interesting to map out what you expect your next ten steps to be. At 26, I want to look back at this moment now. For me, it’s always been easy to look back and notice drastic changes about myself: work habits, lifestyle, opinions, not having opinions, diet, aspirations, my taste in music or obsessions… but paradoxically, I can hardly predict or even anticipate any of that changing. 

Write a letter to your future self; we hear this advice often but I want to do it for the first time. I want to give myself enough credit for my journey in personal, academic and professional growth. We’re used to feeling like we’re failing. We fear wasting our strengths and not contributing to the world. We came this far in our careers but will have no one to share it with. What if we think that  it's too late? But how great would it feel to be in your mid-thirties and realize that everything changed after all – and for the better? 

Here are some thoughts you might want to share with future you:

  • An idea that defines you
  • Five people you trust
  • What are some of your favorite things in life?
  • What music do you listen to?
  • What did you do the last three weekends?
  • Your current financial situation?
  • Habits you wish you could change; habits you strive to maintain
  • What do you appreciate about your life? What improvements do you foresee?

Writing a letter to yourself is a way to measure your success because at this point, you probably need to give yourself a break. My handwriting is unreliable so I wrote myself an email and saved it as a task reminder within gmail to read a year from now. Save an email draft, physically write on paper, go to futureme.org or whatever makes sense to you. Be clear, simple and candid. I hope you take the time today to do this for yourself.