Written by Eric Waisman
I was having dinner with a Professor of Social Sciences in Berkeley and something she said turned my sense of time and progress gears in overdrive.
Aside from being extremely charismatic she has a thing where she says the right thing at the right time constantly. When I mentioned I was feeling a bit too old to be serious about my music and was wondering if I should really create albums, rather than give her opinion she told me that she had asked herself a question when she felt too old to get a degree from a University, “Do I want to be a 45 year old with or without this degree?” She ended up getting the degree and hasn't looked back since.
This has since been the question I ask myself when wondering if I should go after something. It’s actually a really biased way of asking it because it may take away the opportunity cost in the equation, however it makes things a bit clearer and motivating for me.
What’s cool is that you can mess with the timing as well. In the above example she asked herself as a 43 year old and added the two years it would take to get the degree. It's also fun to ask yourself while adding a longer time horizon. For instance, a 25 year old can ask, “Do I want to be a 60 year old with or without offspring?,” which is different than the more difficult question like, “Do I want kids?” This person may realize they would love the last 30-40 years actually having kids and grandchildren come visit them.
This can be with anything, as time is on your side if you use it right. “Do I want to be a 40 year old with a great set of friends or without?,” which can lead to approaching new people or “Do I want to be a 50 year old that did write a book or do I want to be a 50 year old that did not write a book?” I think the sense of, “I really don't care,” can come through which can also help you make a decision.
I used to ask myself this at the end of week about meeting new people and I am glad that I did, as it paid enormous dividends later on.
Find a goal and play with the numbers. As for our first album, we just released it (The Blind Stares) let me know what you think!