I first heard of the idea of the 10 year diary from Debbie Millman on The Tim Ferriss podcast. As a professor, she said it was the most impactful “assignment” she gave her students. These students would often approach her years later to speak of the awe of their results. So in 2017 I tried it. What the hell. The results were profound. Let me first back up and explain the “assignment”. The task is best done by yourself when you have time and privacy. Find any journal and date it exactly 10 years from today’s date. You then create a journal entry about this day (10 years in the future) in the first person as it is happening from the moment you wake up, providing as much detail as possible: What does your bedroom look like? Who are you laying beside? What are you wearing? How do you feel? How do you look? From making your morning beverage to what you have on the agenda for that day (I think I also included what I was excited for in the upcoming weekend). As detailed as possible, using all of the senses helps to seal in the effectiveness. Where are you having lunch? What are you doing with your work, friends, or community? Do not judge yourself during this process, simply write in the journal and make it as detailed as possible. You then revisit your entry on a monthly or quarterly basis. Over this time – like magic- you will be blown away at how quickly your fantasy day comes into fruition.
Back to my entry from 2017 – I wrote about this “dream” future day in 2027. Interestingly, I am at the half way point (2022) and 80% of the content has manifested in my life. For real. I should note to be careful on the details, I sometimes laugh because I realize something has occurred in my life, I go back to the journal and there it is in black and white.I just realized as I’m writing this that I need to update and “up the ante” on my 2032 entry. Woah!
So where does the beauty come in? In the way that you see your future self. I imagined a radiance, a glow, a confidence, and calm. By seeing yourself through this future lens, you are able to appreciate your beauty today and create a pathway to maintain that glow for the future. This future self concept is also spoken about by Benjamin Hardy who distills the concept beautifully in his books. By making choices today for your future self you are creating an automatic greater future and inadvertently a better today. This concept helps me daily as I have a bit of a “personality” and often would make choices for what will be fun for the right now. Thinking about my future self both from the journal concept and the idea of my future self I am able to make clearer decisions on good moves to make today that not only benefit my future self but also my today self. Glowing in 10 years… Glowing today! I highly encourage you all to participate in this fun assignment – fun, free, and empowering!