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The Tinkered Mind
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March 9th, 2020
This episode is dedicated to David Perell, who is often referred to as “The Writing Guy” and he is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to motivating an instructing people to write. You can connect with him on Twitter @david_perell
Here’s a simple exercise that has tremendous effect: write a letter to yourself. Write that letter with the intention that you’ll read it at some point in the future. Say maybe a year from now. You might have an idea of where you want to be in a year, and if you don’t, this gives you a quick and easy opportunity to think about it.
You begin to realize that what you do now is going to create the life that you’ll be living next year. And so in some sense, you have some explaining to do:
What sort of life are you going to leave for the person you’ll be in a year?
Are you working hard to make life better for that person?
Or will that person be confused why you didn’t keep up with your efforts.
Writing a letter gives you an opportunity to explain yourself, not just to the person you’ll eventually be, but also to who you are now.
If you’re about to give up on something. Maybe something you’ve put a lot of time and energy into, then it’s a chance to either clarify why it’s a good idea to stop, or it can be an opportunity to rev yourself back up with the core reasons why you should keep at it.
We often only reflect quickly, on the moment, or maybe what happened yesterday, or that frustrating encounter last week. But a year is an excellent length of time to look back on. You can get a lot done in a year. You can set things up for a solid crack of the bat. Or get it all done, and wonder about aiming higher.
Not only can this become a productive dialogue over time, but the best thing about writing a letter to yourself is that it’s sent as fast as it comes into existence. It’s an exercise for the present moment as much as it becomes a point of reflection in the future.