Ten years ago, there was a small startup in San Francisco running a beta test on their new transportation app. The idea was simple. Provide a way for people to drive other people where they need to go. It was called Uber. Taxi companies didn’t pay attention. They had the market cornered—or so they thought.
Over the last decade, Uber has revolutionized the transportation industry, proving that a lot can happen in ten years. But the problem is, so many of us fail to believe that our future could be so bright. In short, we don’t take the time to dream. Instead, we get buried in our circumstances and believe that these “success stories” just happen to everyone else.
But what if we could learn to dream again?
More importantly, what if we could learn how to take inspired action toward realizing those dreams?
The Decade Challenge
I recently sat down to consider the last ten years of my life. What had I accomplished? How had I grown as a person? How had I grown in my faith? Better yet, what will the next ten years look like?
While I write and reflect often, I hadn’t specifically focused on documenting my accomplishments and struggles in the same sitting. Some might question the significance of an exercise like this, but I found it to be both profound and empowering.
We call this The Decade Challenge.
The task is simple: reflect on the last ten years of your life and write down everything that comes to mind.
It may feel vulnerable to share what you discover, but in doing so, it challenges you to dream again. More importantly, it challenges others as well. That’s the beauty of vulnerability, it has the power to break things and create a healthy foundation to build upon.
I’ll go first to show you how to get started.
My Personal Findings
Ten years ago, my life was in a much different place than it is today.
My wife and I were laden with $500,000 in debt, doctors had told us that we couldn’t have children and we lived with my parents. I had just started a new job in insurance sales after failing miserably in real estate development. On the weekends, I played music as a way to make extra money and my wife worked at a hotel to help us pay the bills.
But here is what has happened in ten years:
- My wife has gotten pregnant four times
- We have an 8-year-old son, 7-year-old identical twin sons, a 3-year-old daughter and our fifth child is due in August
- I earned more than $1.7m dollars during this ten-year period
- I grew an insurance business from $500,000 to more than $3.5m in annual revenue
- We payed off more than $350,000 of debt
- We put more than $250,000 towards long-term savings
- I traveled to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Disney, Boston, Chicago, and Scotland just to name a few
- We built our dream home
- I ran 2 half ironman and more than 20 triathlons
- I wrote a book
- I was diagnosed with spreading malignant melanoma
- I was able to speak more than 60 times
- We started a faith and personal development organization called YouPrint
- We created The LIFE Center, a non-profit that helps remove obstacles so people can uncover and live out their God-given purpose
The list could continue, but you get the picture.
Reflecting on The Past
For me, the first half of the decade was inwardly focused. As our family and my business grew, it was easy to try and take credit for the success. As the decade progressed, I grew spiritually and my focus shifted outward.
When I look back, I see forces at work in my life—in both the blessings and the struggles—that are well beyond my explanation and control. As I grew spiritually, I began to attribute credit to God. The more I understood that God’s grace and provision had sustained us, the more willing I was to loosen my grip.
As I learned to yield to His grace and provision, the more I experienced it.
At the beginning of the 2010’s none of the things on this list looked possible. In fact, if I had laid this out ten years ago as a list of goals, I would have convinced myself that I was crazy. While my list seems to be mostly positive, I understand that the adverse can be true. Life can also seem to spiral out of control. Regardless of where you find yourself in the journey, this exercise is powerful in both instances.
On one hand, it creates a deep sense of accomplishment in all that you have been able to achieve. But on the other hand, it is humbling to see what you have been able to endure. Either way, it creates hope for what the next ten years might look like.
As we move through the next six months of the 2010’s, my desire is to finish the decade well and pave the way for all that God has prepared for the 2020’s. I hope the same for you.
The question is, “Where will you be ten years from now?”
That question doesn’t have to be as ominous as it seems. We have created The Decade Challenge as a way to spark the genius inside of you and create a foundation to help you begin moving in the direction of your God-given dreams.
If you’re wondering where to begin, take The Decade Challenge. Then, connect with us to share what you’ve learned. From there, we can help create a trajectory and help you take inspired action toward your dreams.
Ten years ago, the guys who created Uber had no idea what was ahead.
Why can’t it be the same for you?