The Odyssey Plan, Beautiful Bridges, & More
Today at a Glance
- Quote: The price of anything.
- Framework: The Odyssey Plan.
- Tweet: Beautiful bridges.
- Article: Does my son know you?
- Podcast: The science of happiness.
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"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." - Henry David Thoreau
Anything you do is a trade of your finite remaining time for something else.
Time is the most precious asset. Trade it carefully.
The Odyssey Plan
The Odyssey Plan is a creation of Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, the Stanford Design School professors and authors of Designing Your Life. You can think of it as a free-flowing brainstorm on the next 5-10 years of your life.
The basic idea is to reframe the approach to creating a personal 5-year-plan in a more open and interactive manner.
A simple version of the Odyssey Plan follows three core prompts:
- What would your life look like in 5 years if you continued down your current path?
- What would your life look like in 5 years if Plan A disappeared and you pivoted and took an alternative, completely different path?
- What would your life look like in 5 years if money, time, and other constraints were no object?
For each prompt, the goal is to sketch out real detail on what that timeline, journey, and end state looks like.
- What are you doing?
- Where are you living?
- Who are you spending time with?
- How are you feeling day-to-day?
You can start at the surface level and then go deeper as you feel inspired.
The Odyssey Plan is a meaningful exercise that is particular useful at transition points in your life.
I conducted an Odyssey Plan in 2021 when I was considering my next career moves and our move back to the East Coast. It helped me visualize the alternative life paths and align on where I would find the most comprehensive fulfillment, which ultimately led to Path B (a big change from the one I was on at the time).
If you're at a life transition point, consider conducting an Odyssey Plan exercise. If you do, please let me know how it goes!
Beautiful, guilty pleasure thread.
Beautiful, guilty pleasure thread.
I've been fascinated by bridges since I took part in a primary school toothpick bridge building competition. This thread had everything from ancient to modern.
It's hard not to be romantic about bridges that look like this...
Warning: This article may induce tears.
Inspiring and powerful piece by Jonathan Tjarks on how he wrestled with a terminal cancer diagnosis in April 2021, just after the birth of his son.
He knows that his cancer will eventually kill him, so he focuses on building closer bonds with friends around him. He hopes that these people will take care of his son once he is gone. He wants these people to really be a part of his son's life, to really be there for him.
His North Star: When he meets them all again, all he'll ask is, "Does my son KNOW you?"
Slow down. Hold your loved ones close. Cherish every single moment.
The Science of Happiness
Fascinating discussion with Dr. Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor, best-selling author, and one of the leading thinkers on happiness.
The most interesting thing I learned was his perspective on the three "macronutrients" of happiness:
- Enjoyment: Enjoy your life.
- Satisfaction: The feeling of reward from a job well done.
- Purpose: Big picture meaning and significance.
To be a happy person, you need to have these three in balance and abundance.
Listen to it here.