Recently, on Twitter, I noticed a lot of people discussing what their lives were like “10 years ago”.
I thought that was a very interesting subject for discussion. It offers us the opportunity to reflect and gain a greater appreciation of just how far we’ve come in a decade, often without even realising.
So I thought back to my own experiences. Where was I ten years ago? What was I doing? Who was I? And how much has changed since then?
10 Years Ago…
Well, 10 years ago my life looked like this:
- studying a law degree (and hating it…)
- mucking around with trying some screenwriting
- mucking around with computers
- playing tennis competitively in some of the highest divisions in the State (but, despite playing for years, I had never been part of a premiership winning team, nor had I won any district tournaments)
- doing some menial casual paid work on the side
- overall, feeling pretty depressed and unsatisfied with life
Between Then and Now
Since that time, I:
- completed my law degree and became a qualified lawyer (but still hated it…)
- wrote humour articles for my university student newspaper
- worked as a sub-editor on an academic law journal
- became a producer, presenter and station manager of a community radio station (and made two successful comedy radio shows in the process)
- won an award for my services to community radio
- created and produced a pilot for a late-night comedy TV show (recruiting and leading a team of 30 volunteers in the process)
- pitched comedy shows to radio and television networks
- enrolled in, and completed, a filmmaking degree
- made several short films (one went viral on the web)
- enrolled in, and completed, an official tennis coaching qualification
- worked as a qualified tennis coach
- wrote a club newsletter for my tennis club
- won my first team tennis premiership
- won my first singles district tennis tournament
- enrolled in, and completed, a course in investigative services
- worked as a licensed private investigator
- worked as a library assistant
- worked as a Census Collector for the Australian Bureau of Statistics
- worked as a product demonstrator for Microsoft during the Vista / Office 2007 launch campaign
- worked as a sales consultant for a technology store
- worked as a Polish-English translator and writer/marker of Polish exams for Year 12 students
- worked as a university teacher (for 2 different universities, and 3 different departments)
- became the first official university topic blogger at my university
- worked as a client interviewing supervisor, helping train law students to become more effective interviewers
- taught myself how to play bridge, and now play bridge competitively
- taught myself how to play hold ‘em poker, and now play competitively (have won several live tournaments, and over $1,000 in prizes in the last 3 months)
- taught myself photography
- rediscovered an interest in birds and bird photography
- read a tonne of self-development and business books and articles
- started my own web design/development business
- started a business blog and wrote the web’s most comprehensive guide to becoming a sole trader in Australia
- started planning overseas travel for 2012
- started developing a new comedy web series
- started a self-development and lifestyle blog (the one you’re reading now!)
Now, the above list isn’t me “gloating” about my achievements. Nor does this list illustrate what my life looks like now (since I no longer do a lot of the above). In many ways, my life has become much simpler lately.
But having looked at what I’ve written above, my jaw dropped. I had no idea I had accomplished so much in the space of only 10 years.
Having said that, if it looks like I’ve achieved an impossible number of things, realise that the above breaks down to roughly 3 different achievements/activities per year. That’s definitely NOT unachievable. But over the years it DOES add up.
And that’s something we all need to remember. Consistent, small steps add up to big achievements over time.
Writing the above list has allowed me to gain a greater appreciation of that fact. It makes me realise that patience is important. Things take time.
So my question to you is, what did YOUR life look like 10 years ago? Who were you? Where were you, what were you doing? And how does that compare to your life today?
Chances are you have accomplished much more than you thought you had. Maybe it’s time to start giving yourself more credit for that.
And just imagine the things you’re capable of doing in the NEXT ten years…