How Do You Want to Be in the World?

I like years that end in zero or five. I think of these years as bookends. A nice way to wrap the previous years and to start the next year(s). I get to choose again, how I want to be in the world.

In some ways, I’m no different as a person. I’m still “too” blunt and direct—as one manager told me many years ago. I still blurt out things. I can practice talks in my office and they’re totally different when I deliver them. Some of me hasn’t changed.

I am different in some obvious ways.

Some Obvious Changes

If you’ve seen me in person, or you read my work, you might have noticed these changes:

20 years agoNow
Health: I weighed 50 pounds more and was low-fatting. I worked out 5 days a week.I transitioned to low carb and lost 50 pounds. I’m much healthier, even with the vertigo. I still work out 5 days a week. (I still need to lose weight. Sigh.)
Reading habits: Mostly science fiction, all print books. At that time, I read a paper newspaper every day.I read many more genres, all electronic books. I tend to romantic suspense and thriller. I only read the Sunday newspaper in print.
I used my cell phone for calls. Infrequently.I use my cell phone primarily for photos and texts. I no longer have a separate camera.
I was working on my first book. I’d mostly written monthly articles.I’ve written 18 books and hundreds of articles. Plus a whole pile of short fiction stories. I started my blogs in 2003, which meant I have a ton more experience writing.

Back in 2000, I thought of myself as an “opportunistic” writer. I was working on a book that would take three years to publish. I continued to write articles. I only thought of that one book, not the others I would eventually write. I thought of myself a speaker, not a writer. At the time, I didn’t see the connection between the two media.

What You Might Not See

Here are some non-obvious ways I’ve changed:

  • I was already adaptable in 2000. (If small businesses don’t adapt, they fail. I had no intention of failing.) I’ve worked to exercise that adaptability and resilience even more.
  • I’d always used rolling wave planning. I’ve since incorporated even more serendipitous planning.
  • I’m better at dropping things that no longer work for me. Only better, not perfect.
  • I’m better at taking advantage of various possibilities. Again, better, not perfect.

If you’d asked me back on Jan 1, 2000, what the next 20 years would bring, my goals would have been small. Much smaller than my accomplishments. At the time, I thought it would take me 2 or 3 years to write a book. I no longer think that. I have the data to know I don’t need a year for a book I write alone.

We choose, every single day, how we want to be in the world.

We can bookend anywhere. I do find the longer bookends help me see more possibilities.

I thought this question might be a great start to a new year. How do you want to be in the world?

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