Letters To Seneca – Letter 22

Dear Seneca,

At some point in our lives, we all fantasize about future versions of ourselves, and with these visions goals come attached. I’ll share two vivid versions of myself I’ve fantasized about.

  1. Wealth: I spent a good amount of time reading about finance and investing in my early twenties. During this period I envisioned making north of 1 million within a short period of time, likely through the transition into a more lucrative career such as hedge funds, investment banking, etc. Money was my main focus and I fixated on becoming that person.
  2. Off-grid: Near the back half of my twenties I began to think more about dissociating myself from the “system” physically and metaphorically. I wanted to buy land and build a home that was completely disconnected and self-sustaining. The food, water, electricity, literally everything besides the internet. The future version of me was compelling because I knew that once completed it I’d no longer need to trade my time for money, but instead, I could live on minimal money, spending my time the way I wanted.

Both of these visions have slowly dissolved from my aspirations. Honestly, I’m still attracted to the off-grid ideal, but it’s impractical for current me.

Now, it’s time we call out a critical observation for these future versions of me (and you). Each iteration is based on a version of you from a single point in time. As humans we’re always changing and evolving, our identities are not static and we shouldn’t try to force them into a static picture.

The previous me wanted to be someone that the current me isn’t all that interested in becoming, this is because me today is different than me yesterday and will be different than me tomorrow.

This is a flaw in setting “SMART” goals as the productivity gurus would preach. They’re not sustainable.

So you might ask “Then what’s the point of envisioning future versions of myself?” and there is one practical reason I can think of – direction. If we can set an intention of the kind of person we want to be such as kind, present, content, calm, etc., we can head in that direction now. Not waiting for tomorrow. We can change today when setting a direction for the kind of person we want to be.