It’s interesting how people celebrate their birthdays each year. My nine year old was super excited, and relishes being a year older. Our office manager simply says that we can’t celebrate her birthday. And on Facebook, I feel so popular with over 70 of my friends wishing me a happy birthday.
Since I was 21 years old, I have a birthday ritual. I wake up before everyone, and read the letter I wrote to myself 10 years ago. It’s quite exciting seeing the letter and unsealing it. The format of my letter never changes. It is broken into three parts. The first is a synopsis of the past year that includes highlights of my professional career, my personal life, and my relationships with my family and friends. The second part is setting some goals for the next year. And the final section is what I look forward to the most. It is my younger self predicting what I am like ten years later and asking questions to my older self.
The most difficult part of the 10-year letter is waiting for the first time you can open your letter.
My priorities have changed through the years, and quite frankly, the issues that were pressing at the time, I typically don’t remember ten years later. A lot of the predictions that I have made have come true. I believe this is because your behaviors may change over the years, but beliefs rarely do.
Invitation: Consider writing a birthday letter to yourself as a way to document your memories and inspire your future self.