How's that for a catchy title?
It's a pretty bold statement to make: I am going to give you a "how-to" that will remarkably change your life. Here's the thing: I didn't create this experiment though I have greatly benefited from it so I want to share.
Can you name someone who has dramatically impacted your life for the better?
As I sit here, I can name a few bosses (Kit, John), colleagues/peers (BJ, Charleston, Amy, Sam, Gilman, Xavier), relatives (sis, my daughters, my partner in life, my mom, and dad), and friends (too many to share) who have added deep meaning to my life.
What about someone you've never met?
"Influencer" makes me cringe, but if I let go of the social media-crazed aspect of it, influencers are those who offer value to your life based on a platform or stage they have access to. This could be an artistic stage like musicians and artists or a philosophical stage like poets and writers or it could be a political or social stage even. Some that come to mind for me are Brené Brown, Shonda Rhimes, Rupi Kaur, and Debbie Millman.
I want to introduce you to Debbie Millman today. There are so many ways to get to know her and I will list them below, but first, I want you to trust me and go on a journey that she describes as "magical'". It's a written journey detailing a day, 10 years from now, that describes how you are living your dream life.
I first "met" Debbie through Tim Ferriss' podcast and she describes this exercise in that podcast interview. (link to that specific part of the interview)
She experienced this exercise and its "magical" impact through her professor, Milton Glasser, and in 2009, Debbie co-founded the world's first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Now she guides her own students at SVA through this exercise. And here I am sharing it as well because of how influential it has been for me.
From her own experience and the ones of her students, these written and re-read plans become true predictions of what the future will hold.
Listen to the podcast and here's the transcript for those of you (us) who need the written version too:
“Let’s say it’s winter 2027…What does your life look like? What are you doing? Where are you living? Who are you living with? Do you have pets? What kind of house are you in? Is it an apartment? Are you in the city? Are you in the country? What does your furniture look like? What is your bed like? What are your sheets like? What kind of clothes do you wear? What kind of hair do you have? Tell me about your pets. Tell me about your significant other. Do you have children? Do you have a car? Do you have a boat? Talk about your career. What do you want? What are you reading? What are you making? What excites you? What is your health like? And write this day, this one day, 10 years from now…So one day in the winter of 2027, what does your whole day look like? Start from the minute you wake up, brush your teeth, have your coffee or tea, all the way through till when you tuck yourself in at night. What is that day like for you? Dream big! Dream without any fear. Write it all down. You don’t have to share it with anyone except for yourself. Put your whole heart into it, and write like there’s no tomorrow. Write like your life depends on it, because it does. And then, read it. Once a year. And see what happens.”
Here’s the challenge: write like your life depends on it. Because it does. Debbie says so! And the longer the better. Do not edit. Do not limit. Dream big. Shoot for 10 pages or more (mine is 16 pages - or - 8 pages front and back!)!
The longer it is, the more likely it is to come true.
Have fun with this; and as always, stay curious!
That's it. That's how you will change your life.
Other ways to get to know Debbie Millman:
Debbie with Brené (ahhh mashup of two amazing humans!):