My son turned 19 the other day. (Just another reminder that time is flying by!) He received some birthday cards in the mail, and one looked strange – I recognized the handwriting on the envelope as his own.
It turns out that about a year or so ago, when he was a senior in high school, the seniors were asked to write a letter to their future selves. The students wrote their letters confidentially and sealed them in self addressed envelopes. His high school then mailed it to him for his birthday this year! Cool, huh?
He had forgotten all about writing that letter, but was pleasantly surprised to receive it and see what he had to say to his future self.
And in a rare moment of disclosure, he read the letter to us. I thought it was very powerful and that’s why I’m sharing this with you.
Take some quiet time and consider what you want for your self in a year or two, or five. Think about your dreams, the inevitable struggles, and your hopes for yourself, your family, the world perhaps. Write them down and put it away. Or ask a friend to mail the letter to you on your birthday in a couple of years.
Why bother? First, taking the time to visualize your hopes and dreams allows you to get clear & specific. Second, research has shown that writing things down helps with recall and helps encode the information in our long term memory. Third, it’s just fun.
When you read your letter sometime in the future, be kind to yourself. You likely will not have achieved all that you were hoping for, and in fact, your dreams may have changed since you wrote them down. That’s perfectly fine. But consider & celebrate what you have achieved, and consider what new goals are on the horizon.