A 20-year old’s Birthday Note to Me

A 20-year old’s Birthday Note to Me

When I was twenty years old, I wrote a letter to my future self.

To be opened when I was sixty.

Miles20 must have had a jump on Seven Habits, which came six years later, because quite a bit of it was about goals and aspirations. Miles20 urged Miles60 to achieve great things, but did not mention the risks involved and how to manage them. No strategy, no tactics, no habits or roles based on principles were mentioned. Just damn the torpedos, and take the hill! Miles20 urged Miles60 to stay in shape in order to enjoy life right up to our lucky number, which is beyond 100. That’s harder than it looks when things broken in my 20s fall apart again in my 60s. He was many years away from having kids, but Miles20 urged Miles60 to “chose a family” and stay close to them. The show and the term Modern Family did not premier on ABC until 2009, but somehow he got that concept right. Family is what you make it.

Miles20 wanted Miles60 to be in diplomatic service. Well, at least I try to act diplomatic.

Speaking of world events, Miles20 was quite tuned in. The ColdWar with USSR was in full swing, The Middle East was on Fire (Beirut mostly), and Japan was a dominant player in the World Economy. No advice to Miles60 on how to deal with all that, but two of the three trends seem to be still with us. It looks like #2 will go on forever.

Closer to home, Miles20 pointed out Movie tickets cost $3.15, Miles60 pays $9.16 if and when he goes. Television 27-inch “color” was $700, now $289… but a MacAir has the same screen. And watch (a lot) of movies on almost movie size Samsung. Finally, the Telephone (landline) was $11.50, and now I pay $46.70 but “phones” do a few more things than they used to.

Miles20’s only social commentary was on movies and music, marveling at the possibilities of  “Return of the Jedi,” and the gritty Pittsburgh story of “Flashdance”. Miles60 still enjoys watching StarWars spin offs like Mandalorian with the kids on the couch. Most interestingly, perhaps, is the lack of any warning that applying actions taken in 1983 to the cultural standards of 2023 would not hold up well.

I try to honor Miles20’s wishes each day, but I’m sorta glad the internet did not arrive for another 15 years.

I mentor two kids and several entrepreneurs. Similarities are coincidental.