Let’s play a little game. Imagine a point in the future – it might be 10 years from now, or twenty-five.
At the deepest level of your soul, you lived the life you always felt was yours to live. The impact you made is undeniable. The world is better because of you. Your impact might be global – you contributed to solving the big issues. Or local – you made a difference in individual people’s lives, or in your communal sphere in some way.
Standing in that imagined future, there is a feeling of deep fulfilment. Contentment. Pride.
Now whatever impact you imagined, double it.
Now increase it ten-fold.
What comes up for you? Do you feel exhausted? Confused? Excited? Curious?
This is the game I’ve been playing with myself.
Part of my 2021 reflection has been recognizing when my thinking is too short-term, including working on things in a scatter gun way, or getting caught in the press of the here and now, the to-do list and the what-I-haven’t-done list. This isn’t very empowering.
To expand my thinking and perspective, and to give me space to truly unfold the next part of my life’s work, I’ve been thinking about me 20 years from now, so in 2041. What is the impact I will have made? What was my bigger context that the daily work could show up in?
My thought experiment is to consider the difference I have already made in my life – and amplify that 10 times over the next 20 years. I have NO IDEA how that’s going to look – but wow – I’m excited about it, and it’s giving me a much bigger canvas to live within.
It’s also helping me ‘game’ my mindset – in a world that sees potency decline as people age, I am owning the increased difference I will make as I get older.
What’s helped me think through what 10 times my impact could look like is a memory I have of being with The Hunger Project Founder/CEO Joan Holmes in Ethiopia in 1992. I looked at her in awe. She was meeting with the president of Ethiopia, holding the Africa Prize for Leadership, and having the sort of high level conversations and impact I could only imagine. She was magnificent – and she was older then than I am now.
Joan’s impact only grew as she went further into her fifties, sixties and seventies.
Too often we settle with what’s expected, or reasonable. We underestimate what we are capable of, and the growth and learning, that when accelerated, lights up our life.
What gives us energy and sets our heart on fire is when we are evolving, growing and contributing beyond what’s normalised. We can make ever increasing impact in our life that contributes far beyond us – and – deeply, irrevocably and profoundly fulfils and nourishes us.
How are you thinking about your life and the expanded difference you can make? What is it you want to cause in the world and in your life that you might feel too big or scary? Do you get overwhelmed by the to do list and the months and years fly by? Are you thinking short term – believing you need to have stuff in place now, be a certain way now, to be worthy of your expanded life?
Does the idea of 10X the impact over the next 20 years excite and fascinate you? Let me know! I’d love to be your partner in getting you there.