The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is being observed throughout the US, and the various news agencies have been rehashing every possible angle. As with highly traumatic national events, most people can vividly recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the attacks.
I recently finished reading “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty: “A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn’t sure she likes who she’s become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.”
Reading about 9/11 and Alice had me thinking about my life. Where was I ten years ago? Where am I now? Are there things I want to change? What advice would I give to my younger self? My older self?
While there are many things I might say to either, I think the advice I’d give to both selves is: “Remember the power of small steps, written goals and friends.”
Even the most enormous task can be broken down into bite-sized pieces and conquered one tiny bit at a time. That’s where written goals come in handy. Take the time to exam a project and figure out what needs to be done to accomplish it; write down those steps as your goals.
Written goals will help you stay on track. Regularly reviewing where you are in relation to where you want to be will alert you to potential problems. When you get stuck (it happens), it will be easier to see how to resolve the issue and move on to the next step instead of spinning deeper into the muck of despair or “progressing” in the wrong direction.
If you want to meet your goals, carefully choose your friends: “Tell me the company you keep, and I’ll tell you what you are.” - French, Spanish, English, Dutch proverb
The people you spend the most time with will have an impact on whether you move toward or away from your goals. A friend who helps you review, revise and reach your goals is priceless; treasure them.
What has happened to you during the past ten years? If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self? What do you think your self of ten years ago would think about you today?