Paris, Île-de-France, France

July 3, 2016

Welcome to...

Two years ago, I wrote a ridiculous sentence.

Steven Skoczen is a writer and technologist living in Paris.

Because, you see, I wasn't any of those things. I was working as a developer at a sinking startup in the US, had only written poetry seriously, and spoke no French.

But today, I got off a plane, boarded the RER, and walked into my apartment.

In Paris.

And weirdly enough, I am a writer and a technologist. The journey of how I got here actually has a lot to do with that crazy sentence - and how I live my life.

Generally, I split my life into two-year chunks. Every other summer, I stop everything, and take a long look around.

Who I am. Where I am. What I'm doing. I look to the future - two years from now. Who I want to be. Where I want to be. What I want to have done with my one precious life.

I look at my values, identifying the core things that really matter. And I set some goals. Ones that are a little bit crazy and a little bit scary.

Then I write them down, tape them to my wall, and get chipping away.

Here's my list from 2014:

  • Live for 2+ weeks in 8 countries. For 2+ months in 6.
  • Run a full marathon
  • Have seen my nieces and sister six times.
  • Solid emergency fund built, student loans all in order.
  • Meditate every single day.
  • Get really good at remembering names.
  • Take one concrete, specific step on climate change, that scales.
  • Find one way to help people get to their authentic, awesome lives, and do it.
  • Published in more than one poetry publication.
  • Published in two major publications.
  • Given a TED talk.

I didn't quite hit all of these goals, but I got close - and a lot closer than I thought I'd get. See, back in the Summer of 2014, every one of those felt impossible.

But that's the funny thing about goals with a good timeline - they let us switch our brains from what to how. And how is just a matter of solving problems, taking slightly scary actions, and showing up.

Today, it's July of 2016, and to be honest with you, I have no idea what the next two years will hold. But I thought it might be interesting, since you and I now have this dialog, to share the process of figuring it out.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I will. I'll share some of my favorite exercises - ones I often do with my coaching clients - as well as what it feels like to go through this crazy process. You're welcome, if you'd like, to join me!

Thanks for coming along. I'm so glad to have you with me. :)

Have a wonderful week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was that Christo has another installation, this time in Northern Italy. I saw his installation in New York a few years back, and it's still one of the best art experiences of my life. If you can get there, get there. :)

Enjoy this letter? Share it!