Twenty Years from Now

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Last week, we witnessed something unique.

For the first time, a person built his own rocket ship and rode that rocket ship into space. That person is Richard Branson. Millions of people around the globe watched live as Branson and his fellow now astronauts flew into space. The whole flight took a little more than one hour and went off seemingly without a hitch.

Branson, always the promoter, likened the flight as the beginning of something – commercial travel into space. Yet, this was hardly the beginning.

This journey has been nearly 20 years in the making and has experienced many setbacks along the way.

Founded in 2004, Virgin Galactic – the company Branson founded to get him into space – got its start when Branson teamed up with aircraft designer Burt Rutan to provide the necessary spaceship technology. In 2007 a rocket motor test in California’s Mojave Desert left three workers dead and three more injured. Then in 2014 the rocket plane Enterprise broke apart during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other. Unity, the replacement ship that Branson flew on, began flight tests in 2016. It made its first trip to the edge of space with two pilots in 2018 and the second in 2019, both times from Mojave. The operations moved to New Mexico’s Spaceport America, with the plane soaring from there on May 22 to achieve the company’s third spaceflight. Then Branson and crew took flight this month.

The sacrifice was great and the time was long.

And it got me thinking, if someone can literally go to space in 20 years, what can we accomplish in that same timeframe? You already know the short answer to that… A lot… Even with setbacks.

Branson had a vision for what he wanted to accomplish – go to space. For us to achieve our version of “going to space” in twenty years, we must create a vision, too.

Here’s a simple activity to figure out what you want your life to look like twenty years. Take these questions and either copy/paste to an online doc or answer in a notebook…


  • How old will you be?
  • How old will significant people in your life be? (spouse, kids, parents, etc.)
  • What do you want you life to look like:
    • Career: What do you want to be doing? What do you want to have accomplished?
    • Wealth: Where do you want your wealth to be? What all does that look like…money, investments, possessions?
    • Relationships: Who do you want to be spending time with? Specific people and/or types (spouse, friends, kids, mentors, etc.)?
    • Health: What do you want your health to be?
    • Personal Vision: Anything else important to you? Where you live, hobbies, vacations, etc. 
  • Why is this important to you?

Now that you have the vision, let’s talk about how to get there.

1st: Find a model.

  • Who already embodies this vision of yourself in 20 years? Maybe it’s someone(s) you know or maybe it’s someone(s) that you’ve read about.
  • What makes it possible for that person(s) to achieve it? What do you know of their mindset? What have their actions been? What clues do you find from their success?

2nd: Your vision tracked backward:

  • Who must you be, what must you do or have done to live your vision 20 years from now?
  • Think 5 years prior… Who must you; what must you do or have done and what must you have 5 years before so that you know you’ll achieve the vision of 20 years?
  • Think 5 years prior to the bullet above… Who must you; what must you do or have done and what must you have 5 years before the above point in time so that you know you’ll achieve that vision?
  • Once again, think about 5 years prior to the bullet above… Who must you; what must you do or have done and what must you have 5 years before that point in time so that you know you’ll achieve that vision?
  • Now that you have what 5 years from now must look like… In 1 year from now, how would you know that you’re on the right path?
  • By the end of the year (or in 6 months from now), what must be true so that you know you’re on the right path to hit your 1 year from now vision?
  • Based on what must be true by the end of the year to know you’re on the right path, what will you do in your career, relationships, wealth, health & spirituality by the end of this month to take a positive step forward?

3rd: Your to-do.

Take the list that you just made for the 6 pillars of life and create an action plan for getting that accomplished this month. Make that your focus and will yourself to do it.

Regardless of where you see yourself in 20 years… if you plan to go to space or some other earthly vision, take a page from Richard Branson and know that anything is possible.