Oh, what a difference a year can make! One year ago, on December 14, 2010, we started The Minimalists. Since then, almost everything in our lives has changed.
A year ago we both worked for large corporations. Now we work for ourselves and pursue our passions every day.
A year ago we were unhappy with our lives. Now we’re living meaningfully by contributing beyond ourselves in meaningful ways.
A year ago we could hardly spell HTML, let alone build a website. Now we have a successful blog.
A year ago we had zero people reading our words (other than some vapid corporate emails). Now we have over 100,000 monthly readers, and our essays have been read by over a million people in 151 countries this year.
A year ago zero people subscribed to our site. Now tens of thousands of people subscribe via email to get our free essays.
A year ago we hadn’t published anything. Now we’ve published a bestselling book.
A year ago we had spreadsheets full of goals, and we would beat ourselves up when we didn’t achieve those goals. Now Ryan lives with one goal at a time, and Joshua has no goals at all.
A year ago we strived to make everything perfect. Now we embrace the imperfection of our daily lives.
A year ago we were a couple of guys stuck in Dayton, Ohio. Now we’re traveling the country on a our first book tour and meeting the most amazing people we’ve ever met, dishing out hundreds of free hugs in the process.
A year ago there was a considerable amount of discontent in our lives. Now we’re happy, and when we look in the rearview mirror, everything is different.
Now, we aren’t trying to impress you with our “accomplishments;” rather, we want to impress upon you the power of a year. As human beings, we often overestimate what we can accomplish in a short period of time (e.g., six-pack abs in two weeks), but we drastically underestimate what we can accomplish in a year or two.
Most of the above mentioned “accomplishments” weren’t goals we developed at the beginning of the year. They just happened, organically, as we worked hard to add value to other peoples lives. Thus, we discovered that when we add value to other people’s lives, everything else tends to fall into place.
The big life changes don’t happen overnight: Give yourself some time. Put in the necessary effort. Keep at it. You’ll be surprised with what can happen in a year.
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