What were you doing on this day 10 years ago?
At this time 10 years ago, I was in my final year of High school. My main objective at that point was to get admitted into the National University of Singapore. And, my biggest worry back then was a mix of wondering if I would get the scholarship to attend and whether I’d be able to pull off the scores required to get in. Also, being a teenager, I’m sure there were a few social circle related worries.
I don’t think I had any conception of what I might be doing 10 years later. And, even if I did hazard a guess, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been close to what turned out. I didn’t know what YouTube was and definitely didn’t know anything about consulting (my first job) or business school.
A childhood friend and I were exchanging texts about this yesterday and marveling at how quickly time has gone by. Whenever I have such conversations, I am reminded of the Bill Gates idea that we tend to overestimate what we can do in a year but regularly underestimate what we can do in a decade. That is definitely true in my limited experience.
We regularly think about the next year or two and tend to have big hopes and dreams. We rarely think about the next decade. And, yet, in the really long term, directional movement matters a lot more than specific steps.
Coincidentally, I had some longer term thinking time scheduled this weekend. And, longer term really meant thinking about my 2nd year in graduate school. So, this exchange and post have come at a great time. I’ve decided to challenge myself to think about the next ten.