A personal journey of trying to make a living online while wrestling with life.

Keeping a 10-Year Perspective with a 10-day Urgency

"Extremely powerful if you can do both!" -Sam Altman

Today I came across a tweet by Sam Altman...

Got me thinking...

The 10-year journey is a significant one. If I think about where I was 10 years ago, I'm easily astounded by my progress. Thinking about 3 or even 5 years ago doesn't evoke the same reaction.

Let's take 10 giant steps back. 10 years ago I was graduating college with a science degree and an aspiration to get a PhD in neuroscience. Over the next 5 years I worked in science labs doing research and actively not committing to a lifetime in science.

I would have never imagined, even 5 years ago, that I'd be making digital products today. If ever I feel down on myself for not being further along, I just have to remember that just 5 years ago, I didn't know what an html tag was.

At 33 years old, I'd say I've got at least 30 more years of productivity left in me. That's three chunks of 10 years.

I could spend my days looking back at the last 10 years (my first 10 productive years) and mourn its loss for having not honed in on a skill early enough. Orrr I could look ahead to 30 more years of potential now that I've settled on a skillset and path.

Let's assume I do the latter.

Let's assume that I continue to build products for 10 years. Let's assume that I refine the same skills for the next 10 years. Let's assume that in 10 years, I'm 10x better at what I'm doing today. What massive growth that would be.

Now, let's zoom back in and look at the next 10 days. If I look at 10 days as only tiny insignificant fragments of 10 years, then I run the risk of getting lazy. What's another 10 days?

But, if instead I look at it as 365 10-day chunks (10 years), then a sense of urgency kicks in. 365 doesn't seem like that much. How easy is it to spend $365, $10 at a time?

The goal is to treat every 10 days as crucial steps towards a 10 year accomplishment, while simultaneously not rushing the accomplishment to happen any sooner.

This systematic shift in mindset has been instrumental to keeping enough pressure on to make incremental progress, and enough pressure off so as not to crumble under it.

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