Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

This morning as I read Margaret Renkl op-ed titled “I just turned 60, but I still feel 22” it struck me how similar our thoughts were even if our origins and lived experiences were utterly dissimilar. Of course in my case for several years I’ve been telling my wife that I still feel 28! And this year the first year that I’ve begun teaching college freshman (and with both my own kids graduating from grad school), I realize I’m only a year behind Ms. Renkl.

Over the last several years I’ve attempted to move away from treating milestones be they birthdays or specific dates in the Gregorian calendar as [the only] special days. Yet its unavoidable when the whole world marks a day or date to not notice. Much is made of new year resolutions people make, the gym memberships they sign up for and the stocktaking that happens. Yet stocktaking whether done annually or weekly can be misleading.

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.

bill gates

As Bill Gates famously put it “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” I’ve found setting goals for year or longer takes the pressure off and helps a general direction or vector to my life and planning and tracking on a weekly basis provides just enough motivation and balance between being stressed and making progress. It also ensures that the wife and I continue to keep the harmony at home.

As Ms. Renkl makes the point in her article, “I have lived long enough to have learned, too, that what is beautiful and joyful is almost always fleeting and must never be squandered.” This is the reason I urge young to-be entrepreneurs to start their businesses today or my friends to start writing that novel or book or hug their mom or say “I love you” to their kid. Today is always the best day to do whatever you plan to do!