The next 10 years of my commitments, goals, and intentions
As we're nearing the last day in the first month of the new decade, I've found myself thinking increasingly about what's in store for the next 10 years. I feel that as we grow older, it's less important that we concern ourselves with what occurs within the space of a day, rather than what unfolds within a decade.
A quote that I always come back to, from Tony Robbins:
....Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!
Why 10 years of a timeline?
I know that I've fallen under the trance of short-term perfectionism and long-term resistance. I say long-term resistance because there is a stirring of fear and uncertainty that arises when considering a commitment that has the potential to significantly impact my life over the next handful of months or years.
What makes more sense to me now is that I shouldn't evaluate the quality of my life solely on my acting in accordance with specific, rigid plans I've made for myself. Under this type of self-government, I often felt the need to be penalized over the course of the day, week, month, or year for not living up to my extreme standards.
Qualities of My 10 years commitments
I've come to the decision that it might be more effective to establish more flexible long-term commitments for my life and my health.
- FLEXIBLE = My commitments aren't too specific, they are guides which lead to tanglible outcomes in the future, not end-all-be-all objectives
- LONG-TERM = My commitments are here to live with me for a significant part of my life, we're going to be neighbors and encounter one another quite regularly
These are my commitments; my honest desires and intentions for the next 10 years
My commitments are loosely listed in their order of relative importance, but I'm sure their positional priority will shift with the passing seasons:
- Always Consider Optimism
- Mind/Body Acceptance
- Consumption Moderation
- Body Movement
- Creative Curiosity
- Friendly, Inviting Disposition
- Expressions of Love
- Romantic Life Partner
- Family and Children
- Experiential Broadening
- Understanding of Physical World
- Intellectual Expansion
- Scientific Orientation
- Wealth Appreciation
Why is each decade-long commitment important?
1) Always Consider Optimism
The ultimate weapon against a prevailing attitude of extreme self-criticism and even suicidal ideation. Period. In response to what I can or cannot control, the ability to recognize any degree of optimism within the event is akin to a life preserver.
2) Mind/Body Acceptance
How can I get any better if I'm continually disgusted with the state of my mental or physical qualities? If I don't recognize and fully accept that I am the way I am, right now, I might continue to be stuck into behavioral patterns that erode my self-image.
Before I can allow myself to improve upon my health or abilities, I must face the truth of where I stand presently and use that truth advantageously. An unwillingness to rationally examine my mind and body as they are today could lead me to an insidious cycle of self-destruction.
I also cannot assume a state of false confidence in believing that my conditions will improve of their own accord; I must play a part in influencing how my physical condition and mental health improve and strengthen.
My goal is this — Accept absolutely everything about how I am at this present moment, while simultaneously holding the belief that I can and will improve with proper attention.
3) Consumption Moderation
I've had many days of overindulgence or senseless consumption patterns.
Alcohol is probably the single greatest source of collective pain I've experienced throughout my life, physically and emotionally.
I seek to tame the predictive desires that fuel some of my irrational decision-making in regards to what I feed my body with.
4) Body Movement
Stretching, running, doing yoga, bodyweight exercises, massage: These are plenty enough physical activity for my body if done regularly with attentive focus.
5) Creative Curiosity
It brings me pure joy, excitement, and fulfillment to bring light to the ideas that most interest me.
At times, I'm simply struck with an idea to write something on paper (as this exact post began). At other times, I dream of a sizable project to undertake 'someday' that doesn't seem to ever let my fascination loose.
To pursue my creative curiosity means to invite myself to follow through with the process of giving life to my most compelling ideas. If I continually encounter an exciting vision of something I have the potential to bring about, I should step closer toward it in some way, no matter the fear in doing so.
6) Friendly, Inviting Disposition
I can view strangers, generally, as old friends in disguise.
I also recognize there is a magic to the kind of person that is unwaveringly welcoming, inviting others to fair and courteous treatment.
7) Expressions of Love
To restrain expressing love for someone or something is half of love's total effect held, held privately. The power of that self-contained love is diminished as a result of its isolation.
Love expressed deliberately unleashes the full power of the loving kindness for those involved and beyond.
8) Romantic Life Partner
I find genuine, long-term companionship to be such a beautiful and productive union. I have been fortunate to observe the qualities of such bountiful couples in my parents as well as in many families close to me.
Do I want to get married someday? Sure! But any true union with the woman who happens to share a mutual fascination with me doesn't require anything other than the bond itself.
Wouldn't it be great if I met this woman tomorrow? Absolutely! But I'm okay with being patient and selective. I have other people and projects to devote myself to along the way towards courtship.
9) Family and Children
Family is always the most important, so it seems weird to have placed this commitment so low on the list. However, I believe that my love and devotion to family will only continue to increase with time.
My immediate family is pretty small, but we do support one another and live good lives, complete with cheer, hugs and lots of babies (though none of my own at this time). I seek to share openly with the members of my family, no matter how distant they may seem. Together, we're united and benefit greatly as a network of gracious souls.
Having children of my own is the most precious gift and duty that I have to consider. I do wish to bring a new family into the world. I also understand that it's not my decision to make alone and there are many new commitments to be made in bringing about other lives to my care. I will not take the role lightly no matter how it comes upon me.
I revere a mother's role as sacred and essential to the childbearing and parenting cycles. A significant scope of my duties as a father would be in direct support and consideration of the mother's personal investment in upbringing her children.
If I do never find myself in a position of fatherhood, I hope to at least find myself in a role where I may nurture the lives of children by some means. Contributing to the development of young people is a role for the experienced, at not solely the parents' to bear.
10) Experiential Broadening
Of course, I always want to travel more and learn more about how people can live.
My involvement with a variety of organizations, cultures, and collaborative projects offers one of the most exciting rewards in life — To learn something that might change your opinion.
11) Understanding of Physical World
I'm not sure why I was never particularly moved by the call to mechanics, electronics, engineering, or other domains that concern themselves primarily with the phenomena of physical properties and energy. Luckily, I have been surrounded by my father and other friends who have deep experience in these subjects.
However, I do value possessing a better understanding and appreciation for the advancement of human technologies and the natural architectures that make their operation possible.
12) Intellectual Expansion
There are more books in a single library in a small town that I would ever care to read in my life.
The opportunity for intellectual expansion is everywhere, as is the application of critical thinking.
Even if the limits of knowledge are infinitely and impossible for a person to approach, there is simply no reason to halt the flow of new information to supply oneself with.
13) Scientific Orientation
I understand that even the most powerful aspects of the human mind and our ability to consciously direct ourselves is limited.
Enacting our powers of observation and systematic analysis guides us toward enlightened levels of wisdom about ourselves and the world we inhabit.
Scientific applications offer humanity the ability to approach truth across our individual experiences. I treasure the contributions this technology has uncovered and will leverage its principles in my own studies.
14) Wealth Appreciation
I need money to support all of this, but great wealth is often more than what is measured.
I ask that I may be at peace and prosper in the areas I most value.
I pray that anyone else reading finds their way in their own time as well.
Thank you for reading.