40

It's strange how you wake-up one day and see yourself differently than you did the day before. This happened to me a couple months before I turned 40 in November 2016.

As 40 was approaching I remembered a line from the movie Star Trek: Generations where Captain Jean-Luc Picard told Commander Deanna Troi something I'll never forget.


 
Recently, I’ve become aware that there are fewer days ahead than there are behind.
— Jean-Luc Picard
 

I know that’s a little morbid, but I can’t shake the totality of that statement.

It took 40 years to see myself as an adult. I wish it hadn’t taken that long, but it finally sunk in that I won’t live forever. If I’m lucky I have another 40 good years ahead of me.

Overwhelming Myself.

I’ve read that learning about history can help you make better decisions about the future. What I get out of that statement is you can avoid making the same mistakes twice, and build more success on past achievements. SO that leaves me with a question.

How can I leverage what I learned and accomplished in my first 40 years to make my next 40 years more successful?

My wife asked me recently if I ever think how incredible it is that we live in a time where we can watch TV in the backseat of a car, carry around a tiny computer in our pockets, and find the answer to almost any question with a single search of the internet? She’s right. That’s incredibly incredible.

The amount of information and access to resources I now available to me for the next 40 years is astounding. Actually, it’s pretty damn overwhelming. You see, I suffer from having a diverse set of interests in creative fields:

  • web design and development,
  • 3D animation,
  • virtual and augmented reality,
  • storytelling,
  • illustration, and
  • cartooning.

The depth of interest I have in these topics varies, but I want to learn and do more with each one. I don't think I'm unique that my interests vary, but it certainly makes focusing harder.

What am I doing with another 40 years?

Truth be told, I don’t know what I'm doing. I find it really hard thinking beyond the next couple weeks. As you can guess, this makes it hard for me to plan for the future. Where do I start? What should I focus on? What would have the greatest impact on my career, my happiness, and my family that depends on me?

I have a lofty goal to figure this out before my 41st birthday, which is just around the corner. I’m not convinced it really matters if I figure this out, but I will be better prepared for the next 40 years if I do.

Figuring It Out

In Spring of 2017, I decided that it was time to pursue my first goal—a 20-year dream to publish a children’s book. I’m so serious about this that I started a podcast, Driven Creatively Mad, to document my process. I’ve been enjoying podcasting which is also another goal.

This is the first step of many goals to define and accomplish my next 40 years.

Some of my other goals are obvious for advancing my skills and knowledge with my career as a web developer. Other goals will require more time to figure out how I can effectively pursue them.

In the end, I just want to do my best to make the most of the next 40 years.

Train

One morning on the way to work I was stopped by a train. I suspect most people get annoyed by trains stopping them in their paths, but I rather enjoy watching them.

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