Most people have seven to eight decades of life expectancy.  Let’s think about it at a high level.

In your first couple of decades, you really don’t have much say in the matter.  In this stage, hopefully, you are motivated to try hard in school, and work with your parents to create opportunities for future success.  But very few young people in their early years have a far-reaching understanding of planning a successful life and starting projects that will become true careers.

In your final decade, the goal is to sit back and truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.  This is the ideal.

Five windows of opportunity

In between these stages, imagine that you have five windows of opportunity measured in decades.  You can imagine these decades in two different ways:  by the world calendar (2010s, 2020s, 2030s, etc.) or by your personal age (your 20s, your 30s, your 40s, and so on).  Which is the better way?  This is a trick question. The key is to utilize BOTH ways.

Where each of us is personally in our lives is individually specific.  But in the grand scheme of the world, there are cyclical events that happen on a decade-long basis. Looking at the last 120 years, there is evidence of major world events happening roughly every 10 years. And here at the beginning of this decade, it’s no different.

Attendees of my Commercial Academy LIVE Events know that I have been discussing this pattern over the past year.

In 2019, we anticipated some kind of shakeup because of the political climate and the economic environment.  It wasn’t hard to foresee that changes were coming (this is before COVID, which nobody could have predicted).   So we took a more conservative approach to acquisitions and holdings.   Starting last April, I advised my clients and my students not to get too aggressive and to put an extra level of scrutiny into the deals that they were doing.

A new decade, a new opportunity

We’re at the beginning of a decade, and this is your opportunity to seize control of your future. The key to changing your life and living to the fullest is to choose to live with intention.  So many people end up in random places doing things that they never dreamt about because an opportunity happened to present itself.  (And they think that it’s “destiny.”)

This scenario is not intrinsically bad, but what is better is choosing to live with intent. Evaluate opportunities to make sure they are aligned with your desired outcomes. There are only so many chances to do it right. And there are only so many choices that we can make. And once you make a choice and you start down a path, follow it with intention.

Here at the beginning of this decade, set an ambitious 10-year goal.  Imagine wild success for yourself in 10 years, and then break it down into two 5-year goals.  What can you accomplish in the next 5 years that will get you halfway to your 10-year vision?  From here, make a realistic year-by-year plan to guide your efforts help you plan your projects.

In my experience, the average person that I know completely overestimates what they can do in a year. And dramatically underestimates what they can do in a decade.

The Single Key that Really Matters

The one thing that really matters is that YOU decide what your outcome should be for the next ten years.    It’s hard to picture yourself 10 years from now. As an experiment, close your eyes and add 10 years to your age (ouch!).

Think of what you will see in 10 years when you look at yourself in the mirror.  It’s a little intimidating.  It doesn’t feel amazing.  Did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish?  Did you live the 2020s to the fullest?   Did you live the decade with intention or did someone else decide your future for you?  Did you serve those you love to the fullest extent of your capabilities?

Imagine your ideal job, your perfect office, your amazing paycheck in ten years.  I guarantee you have the talent to accomplish this, but there is nothing more sad than coming to the end and realizing that you lacked the passion, the ambition, and the integrity to achieve your goals.

Right now, you have an opportunity for a fresh beginning.  Do not digest the massive amount of fear that is being sent your way ever day in the media.  This fear will kill your ambition.  Start training yourself to live by your principles.  These are the muscles you must build to achieve success over the next 10 years.  Start slow, but make a start.  And if you do that, I am confident that you will achieve your goals the way that you want.