Here is an exercise for you. Write a letter to yourself from your 85-year-old self. What does she have to tell you about life? She can tell you what decisions you have made that have had a great impact on your life. And she can encourage your future plans. Here is my letter from my future self.

Darling Donna,

I’m so proud of the woman you’ve become. All of your hard work has paid off. You were the first woman in our family to get a college degree, paving the way for the younger women in our family. And aren’t you glad you took a chance and auditioned for that prestigious acting school all those years ago. You made the big move to New York City and learned how to take care of yourself. You met wildly creative people from all over the planet. It’s so important to move away from home to learn that there are different kinds of people in the world, and that they are all worthy of love.

One of the most important things you did for us was to discover the Mediterranean way of living. Learning to eat healthy, beautiful foods, slowing down and savoring your experiences has made all the difference. We were able to maintain a feeling of beauty and vivacity throughout our later years. We had some fabulous meals too!

Leaving the corporate world and going your own way was tough, especially in the beginning. But it was the best decision we ever made. Being your own boss, creating your own career, learning to build wealth on your own was the most important decision of our lives. It opened doors — and sometimes windows — we didn’t even know existed. 

Saying yes to that first book really set us off on a new career path. You always said yes more than you said no. We’re still saying yes to life even to this day. It is the only way. After all these years I have learned that the secret to life is to live. Not to plan, not to wait, but to say yes to life. Go out and live it. Take action. Many people don’t, you know, and that is very sad.

Well done, lady. You’re on the right track. Here’s to many more happy years. Cent’Anni.

Love always,

Future Donna

I hope you enjoyed my letter from my future self. I really want you to try this exercise for yourself. It can be very powerful. Think back on your accomplishments and which decisions made the greatest impact in your life. Think about the future decisions that will have even more of an impact. What do you still want to accomplish? Have fun with it. No one needs to see it but you. Cheers to your future self.