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The Next 20 Years

The Next 20 Years

A friend has a good job, great pay, excellent insurance, and respected standing in the large corporation. He’s busy during this season (end of the fiscal year) so he’s a bit stressed out, but he’ll get through it, he assures me. The company has been laying off some people to cut costs so it puts more work on the desks of those lucky enough to stay. He’s been with the company for more than 20 years. He was calculating the other day when he turned 47 that he has another 20 years to go.

Dear reader, you didn’t notice this as I’m typing and not recording audio, but I just had a two-minute silent pause where I didn’t know quite what to say as I pondered the gravity of his statement.

I could take the easy “Lifestyle Design” angle and yell and scream about how he needs to quit his job, travel, take life by the horns and … start selling e-books. I could talk about how to make the best of these next 20 years by living it to the full extent possible under the circumstances. I could say nothing.

Do you instill your plans into plans of others?

I’m consciously trying to put myself into the shoes of others. Not everyone has the same goals, dreams and desires. Or even if they have similar dreams, they might have their own way of achieving them. Or maybe they won’t. I need to be OK with that. When someone doesn’t follow along with your plan, are you OK with that? Do you try to mold their lives into the life that you think is better for them? Would it really be better for them or is it just your projection of your own life onto theirs?

Along those lines, I have all kinds of busy bee activity in my head about my next 20 years as well as where I was 20 years ago. But I’m going to swallow my own medicine and not dwell on my next or past 20 years, but leave it on the table, open the question out there to you:

What do your next 20 years look like?

I’m not looking for an answer. I’m not trying to change your next 20. I just want you to be aware of it. Aware that time is passing and if we don’t actively change our present, our future will look unsurprisingly similar.

Do you have it all mapped out? Is it a labyrinth or a straight line?

Do you have it all mapped out? Is it a labyrinth or a straight line?


About The Author


I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.


  1. John Muldoon

    Hey Bradley,

    This is a really thought-provoking piece. One of my favorites lately.

    • Bradley

      Thanks, John. As often happens, I start with one topic and magically another topic (often more powerful) shines through.

  2. Henry Olsen

    20 years from now??

    Who knows. I hope I’ll either be doing amazing things, or dead. I don’t think I’d enjoy the space in between that many people seem to gravitate to.

    • Bradley

      Thanks for stopping by, Henry!

      Looks like you’re already busy steering the Next 20 in directions that you want them to go. I especially like your big goals with your 4×32 project.I love your Henry David Thoreau quote at the top of your project, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” The fact that you’ll learn Chinese and walk the USA is great, but what you’ll become while striving towards those goals is the real, almost secret goal. Keep up the good work!


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