Are you living in the past and trying to correct the actions in your fantasies of the present to have a better future that you'll never witness? Stop doing that.
One fine day in 2019, I was recollecting all the memories, all the events from my past. No, I wasn't dwelling on the past, I was just going through the highlights, which triggered on the question, "How has been the progress like?"
Well, I turned 23 years old in 2019. I have been reading a lot of books, had a nice job, have been building really great connections which turned out to be really helpful during this pandemic, and have been saving and investing quite a lot of money out of my income. Considering all of that, I realized that coming from a point in life when I couldn't walk, would poop all day, cry all day, and couldn't understand or utter a word, the progress has been fantastic. If you look at the monetary aspect, I didn't start earning full-time income until I was 21. First, 10-18 years, had to take a few months to complete a book, until I discovered speed reading, and developing my own knowledge framework which works best for me.
I hope you're seeing the trend. Whatever I was able to do proficiently when I was 23 years old, used to take significantly more time during the first 18-20 years.
Change your perspective about life by dividing your lifespan into four
Let's consider your lifespan to be 92 years which can be considered high for some and low for others, depending upon your family history. Anyway, if your divide that by 4, i.e., 92/4 = 23. You end up having four different lives of 23 years' lifespan.
But why is that important? It important to have this kind of perspective because when we consider 92 years as "one life" we generally end up thinking of life not in terms of years but it start to feel like eternity, we don't feel the need of urgency and at the same time lack patience as well when it comes to any kind of success or accomplishments. But the fact is we don't know when our life will end but if we divide those 92 years into four lives, then most of us know when our first two or three lives will end. Let me explain it better.
Consider your first 23 years of your life, you took small steps at everything whether it was learning how to walk, how to run fast, how to ride a bike, how to read, how to understand science, how to paint, how to play sports, and more but you didn't see the result until you were 20, or even in some cases until you were 22. When you're 23, you're way better at doing anything than you were at 5 years of age. Now, when you're 23, you can take two paths. The first one is that you can consider you have only one life, and now, that there is no system like school or parents which will keep you accountable, and make you go through those baby steps every day, you can keep living like your life is gonna last for eternity, procrastinate at everything, and if you are lucky then you might end up progressing in life with good enough outcome. The second path is that you start preparing for four lives. When I got 23 years old, I started thinking about what all I can improve so that when I'm 46, i.e., at the end of second life, I end up looking at progress between 23-46 years, the same way as I looked at the progress made between 0-23 years of age. And if you think about all the abilities that you've at 23 years of age and treat it as the starting point, then the exponential growth by the age of 46 can look extraordinary.
The second path gives you a whole different perspective. At 23, you have a job, now start looking at how to improve it, maybe more money, maybe a better location, maybe a different kind of job. Didn't you change your preferences in the later years of your first life and still ended up pretty fine by the end of it? You can do the same in your second life. You start second life with way more money, and lesser people to monitor you, so, go try different endeavors. You didn't start to earn money until the last couple of years of your first life, so, think about the money that you can earn by the end of second life considering the fact that even if you started your second life with a zero in your bank account, you do have the ability to earn from the get-go, you don't have to wait 20 years. What you might have to wait for in your second life is to see that earning to shoot up significantly, so, just like going to school regularly, keep learning and trying new things. Have the patience to wait for a decade, or at least five years to see the results. You've to show the same patience with your kids that you'll have in your second life. You've to keep working on your body so that your third and fourth lives aren't lived in hospitals and clinics. You have the responsibility to give yourself a better beginning of third and fourth lives.
The second path not only imparts you with urgency to keep improving so that you're exponentially better by the end of every life that you live, but it also imparts you with patience, because somehow as soon as we get out of the structure of school and a home with parents, we become impatient.
“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years."
That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.
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