I know you will be surprised to receive this note from me however please do not discount this as an immature rant of your 20 year younger self. I am writing this with all my sincerity and intent as I hope to be able to reach you some day and find you familiar.
However before I get to what I want to say to you, I would like to give you a status update. I have lived till now and kept myself safe and relatively healthy. Barring the small prosperity around the waist I am sure you will be very proud of how I have shaped up. Also I must confess that I have faced financial losses owning to couple of bad decisions, but it has not eroded my savings so I am still quite comfortable. With that reported, I first want to share two insights I have gleaned around crafting a good life:
1) A happy life is designed by optimizing the big 4 variables: Health, Wealth, Love and Meaning.
2) We humans have a great vulnerability in not being fortified around avoiding the hot calls, momentary pleasures and the siren call of temptations.
So to optimize the aforementioned variables on the map to reach you, I have set goals for all four of them. Three of them have process goals while one variable has outcome goal.
For health I have decided to exercise at least four times a week. The quantum of exercise as well as end result can vary but I intend to stick to weekly targets. On love, I have decided to be a practicing lover and will daily say one kind thing to someone and also perform one deed whose beneficiary will be someone other than me. Meaningful work is what engages us totally, makes us present and centers us. On it, I am resolved to undertake at least 30 hours of meaningful work every week, week after week.
Now the one outcome goal that I have set is around wealth. I have decided on what my net worth will be by the time I am you. How will I reach there I do not yet know, as it is a distant and big goal. However I am confident that I will definitely achieve it.
As about the pitfalls and the temptations that sabotage any well laid out plan, I have devised a technique called commitment penalty. I am resolved to walk/jog 4 kms for any weekly process target that I miss. So in in case if I miss on all three process goals of the week I will be walking/running 12 kms that week. You know how much I detest walking/jogging as I find it extremely boring however I will be forced to do it if I renege on my commitments.
If I was to miss on my penalty as well, I will have to put 1500 Rs for every process goal missed in an envelope and leave it for somebody to find. You know how I would hate that as well. So like the Greek hero Odysseys who chained himself to the mast to avoid steering his ship into rocks upon hearing the sirens sing, I am now yoked to these penalties should I miss out on executing my plans because of any temporary attractions.
Dear me, with these plans and precautions, I hope to meet you on the other side of the next two decades. as a far more relaxed, content and happier being than I have been up till now. Barring any unplanned eventuality, I would be delighted to see you as an outcome of my target of progressive relaxation and incremental happiness.
So wait for me as I am on my way.