Pledge to my Future Self : 3 steps I am taking to not screw you over

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Credits : Luis Llerena via Unsplash.com

Dear Future Self,

I want to make sure that you end up successful and I thought I’d write you a letter to explain how I plan to go about it.

You may remember the 19th of July 2015. Grandpa passed away yesterday and it made me think a lot on the value of time. And I learned something.

I spoke to him over the phone a couple days ago, while he was at the hospital. He wasn’t feeling well, but this was one of his regular visits. We had a short conversation. He was obviously very tired and his attention span was limited. No more than a few seconds. We didn’t exchange much but I felt, however, that he was happy to hear me. He was happy I thought about him. He was happy I called.

He peacefully fell asleep yesterday and didn’t wake up this morning. At 92 years-old, he has lived a plentiful life.

And you see Future Self, this is when it hit me. Like something I’ve known for a long time that keeps resurfacing from time to time because I don’t feel at peace with myself.

In fact I have failed to take a meaningful action on it and I want to change that today.

Because . Time . Is . Super.  Limited.

No success, no money, no amount of work can ever buy back the time you spend. Time is our most precious asset and we can’t afford to waste it.

Now that you are old, future Self, you can look back and and see how efficiently you have used your time.

In fact, what you can assess is how efficiently I have managed YOUR time, the most precious asset that you delegated to ME to manage.

That makes me want to not screw you over, Future Me.

And I want to make a pledge to you to make sure everything goes well:

  • I pledge to minimize regrets and to put things in perspective when decisions seem difficult. All excuses should pass through the ‘regret minimization’ filter to assess their validity. If I think that you might regret not having done something, I’ll take this as a sign that it needs to be done. I will try hard to get out of my comfort zone when it’s needed to support your interests.
  • I pledge to keep dreaming big whether it is about reaching financial independence, or supporting my spouse to start a business or building an awesome and loving family, I will do my best to develop these opportunities and make those dreams a reality, for you in the future.
  • I pledge to make your world a better place than mine because it is often too easy to not consider the impact of our actions, assuming that someone else will fix it, at some point in the future. You probably don’t want to fix someone else’s mess, I’ll be more careful.

I want this to work so I printed this letter and pinned it above my desk. It will remind me every day what I need to value.

This will hopefully prevent me from screwing myself over, in the future.

I hope I’ll be successful. I hope you have been. I hope you still have that letter.

Be well. With love,

-Nick.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I love this so much! I am sorry about the loss of your grandfather. Events like this change our priorities. Balancing is the biggest struggle for me.

    • Thank you Maggie and I’m glad you enjoyed the read.
      Life isn’t always sweet but I believe there is always something we can learn from it.
      I found that words are more memorable than thoughts and putting my ideas down in writing helps because I can come back to it later, instead of forgetting.
      Would there be other “tricks” like that, I’d like to know because it helps to remain focused longer term.

  2. Dude, these are great! I love the idea of a regret minimalization filter, ahhh if only… I spent a ton of time with my granddad before he passed on. When I came home to “say goodbye” it was too late and he was out of his mind on painkillers the cancer had spread that quickly. We’d spent countless weekends hiking, talking, weeks backpacking, and I couldn’t even say goodbye where I felt it mattered or do anything for him at that point.
    I know he’d be proud of where and who I am, but yeah, those are some great tips for minimizing future regret.

    • Hi Mr. SSC – I appreciate the feedback!
      Sorry about your granddad, you seem to have been very close to each other and he was obviously a great person enjoying his time with you.
      I use this regret minimization technique for family but also friends and work. It helps go the extra mile in difficult occasions.

  3. Sorry for the loss of your granddad.

    The article is spot on on the value of time. You have three basic rules that should be easy to follow. Your future self is a lucky bastard.

    Finding the balance between work/blog/family/hobbies is a struggle for me. My goal for the rest of the year is to give family more priority while the kids are awake… A blog can wait a few hours.

    • Finding a work/family balance is usually not easy, throw in hobbies and a blog and it becomes a challenge in its own category. I know I struggle too, there’s too much I’d like to do, not enough time, but family first. You manage all of the above, plus kids, that’s a lot of work, you must be extremely efficient!

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. I lost my last grandparent earlier this year and had a similar reaction. Time is very precious, and what we do with it matters. Your three steps sound like good ones. I realize this post is a little dated, but I hope you’re managing to meet them. Cheers!

    • Thanks for the kind words Bearded Dragon and sorry to hear about your grandfather.
      The post might be “old” according to blogging standards, but this to me remains a forever valuable reflexion. I have caught myself thinking about those 3 steps a handful of times since then and it’s always helped me make the better decision.
      It also helps to bring positivity to an otherwise sad experience, I’d recommend it to anyone going through such events.

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