What If You Only Had One Year Left To Change?

James Walpole/ June 22, 2020

Some folks say that your body stops growing at 25 and starts to move into maintenance and even decay from there. I’m less than a year away from that pivot point, where I stop being a “growing young man” and become a biologically mature person.

It’s sobering to think that my biological growth will in at least some ways be coming to a permanent end. One aspect of change, of possibility, of plasticity, will have been fully played out, never to return.

There’s an interesting thought experiment tied to this. Some people like to ask themselves, “What would I do if I only had one year left to live?” We might instead ask “What if I only had one year left to change?”

What if I really did have only one year left to change things like habits, personality, character, knowledge, and skills in the next year? What would I do differently? What changes would I prioritize, and which would I forget about? How would I craft the self that I will have to live with for the rest of my life?

Now I know I will have time to grow in other ways after 25 – spiritual, moral, economically, etc. But time is always running out, windows are always closing, and no time is guaranteed to me. If I *can* compress all the changes I need to make into one year (or less) I probably should. All of us should be so urgent.

We’ll try and fail, of course. But it’s helpful to have reminders from time to time that our days of plasticity are numbered just as our days themselves will come to an end.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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