My Next Adventure — a Ten Year Plan

Photo Credit Flugflugfunmangel 2012. CC license

Never before have I put together any kind of comprehensive plan for the upcoming year of my life. Sure, I’ve set a few intentions, or had a theme, but nothing too detailed. This year I decided to make up for that and put together this vision for the next ten years of my life. I would of course be delighted if everything went according to plan, but I understand that some of these dreams will change as life happens and the situation in the world continues to develop, so I am not too attached to these particular outcomes.

At the same time, I’ve reached a point in my life where I know what world I want to live in, both personally and globally, and I am fully prepared to give my all to help make that a reality. I also know myself and my skills pretty well, and am more confident in my abilities than ever before. So for the first time in my life I feel ready and able to really choose my path. I no longer want to just flow with whatever opportunities present themselves, instead I will articulate my values and vision for the world, set big goals, and live with intention. Why not go for it all in the short time on this planet that we are gifted? Is there any real reason to hold back from pursuing our dreams? As the many sayings go, you cannot succeed if you do not try. I also fully recognize my privilege in being able to do this, and feel a duty to make the most of what I’ve been given, to serve the planet in a time of intense upheaval and scary political and environmental winds.

I decided to make this plan public for a few reasons: First, I would love feedback. What seems crazy? What’s missing? I do understand that much of this (especially 5–10 years out) is quite vague, which I think is understandable. I could fill in some more specifics now, but I’ll leave that for future writings as things develop. Second, I want to be held accountable. I want you to bug me in six months to check on my progress. How better to keep me focused on my goals? Third, I hope to inspire others to articulate and pursue their dreams too!

2016 for me was a year of resetting, relaxing, refreshing, rejuvenating, reimagining, and reinventing myself. After quitting my job and ending a seven year journey in the solar industry, I spent the summer and fall traveling, exploring, dreaming, writing and planning. Now, I’m ready to get to work. My current working theme for 2017 is “go time!” I am gearing up for a year of focus, long hours, and manifestation of these dreams.

Ok, enough preamble, here’s the plan for the next decade of my life!

Me, dreaming of a bright future :)

1 year from today I want to…

… on the home front …

  • Be living in a community house with around 8–12 people in either San Francisco or the East Bay, preferrably Oakland. I’m currently looking for this house with a wonderful crew of friends so if you know of an available place please let me know!
  • Have made progress in plotting and planning to co-purchase land together, with a larger community involved in that process/purchase.

… in my work life…

  • Have made significant progress in the development of a cooperative software development agency with Aaron and Dor (currently going by Terran Cooperative.) In a year I imagine it will still just be 3–5 of us, working together, sharing clients and gigs, building products together, maybe pooling resources for a co-working space. Stay tuned for more on our vision.
  • Have a steady income (as a group) from contract work so as to not feel stressed about money, and/or enough savings already to not be worrying for a while.
  • Be working only on projects aligned with our values, in the fields of clean-tech, community building, cooperatives, decentralization, political organizing, local food, climate change mitigation, etc.
  • Have one main passion project that inspires us, is aligned with our visions/values, and has potential to bring in ongoing passive income. This product should have some revenue a year from today, or we have tried one, seen that it won’t work and are starting work on another.
  • Have developed some new skills, in particular iOS and macOS app development with Swift.

… in my personal life…

  • Have my foot, knee and whole body be fully healthy, and in general feel strong and fit. Most importantly I’m able to dance all night long once again!
  • Be in a committed relationship with a primary partner who is ready to go deep, and is on board for a long term partnership that could include raising children together.
  • And/or have one or two more casual lovers that I have great relationships with.
  • Continue to explore and play at festivals and other potent community gatherings. On tap right now are Lucidity in April, maybe Priceless in July, and the Symbiosis Oregon Eclipse in August. I will probably skip Burning Man again this year, though I am very temped by the theme of Radical Ritual, so we will see…
  • Have truly committed to a daily meditation practice, and once again have a steady yoga practice.
  • Have taken African drum lessons and be making more music.

… in the political/cultural sphere…

  • Be more involved in progressive organizing, possibly working within the local democratic party, and/or organizing events/marches/protests, or some other as yet unknown way.
  • Have helped produce a significant Universal Basic Income event as part of a growing local and national movement.
  • Be more consistently organizing local community gatherings and events, like sharing circles.
  • Have celebrated the second annual Inheritance Day and made it a bit of a movement, ramping up for the third annual.
  • Have a well defined and articulated value system and vision for the world I want to help create, which will apply to home, work and the rest of life.
  • Start rallying a movement around this vision and these values. Perhaps it’s just through the Terran Cooperative. Maybe it’s connected to a bigger global peace movement. New Culture? Regenerative Culture? Tamera’s Terra Nova? Something new?

3 years from today I want to…

… on the home front…

  • Have our community house going strong, feeling like a wonderful family nest to come home to, as well as a significant gathering place in the broader community that hosts regular events of all kinds.
  • Have built lots of trust in our home family, in part through doing regular sharing circles or forum.
  • Be income sharing to some degree.
  • Be providing a basic income to house members.
  • Have purchased land together somewhere, and be gathering there regularly.
  • Be starting to plan out what will happen with the land cooperative over time.

… in my work life…

  • Have Terran Cooperative going strong with 15–50 people working together and being supported financially and emotionally.
  • Have a couple main projects we have built and are continuing to work on as a community, that are bringing in meaningful income. Hopefully these projects are tools, technologies, and/or platforms that help grow the neo-tribe movement in some way.
  • Be personally focused on one or two main projects that are super inspiring to me. Hopefully these are the primary projects for the cooperative.
  • Be income sharing as an organization to some degree, and deciding as a group what to fund with our communal money.
  • Be providing a basic income as well as health insurance and community loans to co-workers.
  • In other words, not be worried about money, mostly because community has my back and we as a group have plenty in the bank.

… in my personal life…

  • Be going strong in my primary partnership.
  • Maybe have other lovers depending on the status of the primary.

… in the political/cultural sphere…

  • Continue to be involved in progressive organizing, which has already helped sweep many progressives into office in 2018 to combat Trump.
  • Have developed several new holidays/traditions within our community and have celebrated them once or twice.
  • See the basic income movement growing in real popularity and be a significant part of that. Do a UBI road show?
  • Have organized a few retreats or little festivals with my community.
  • Have helped gather real energy around a global peace movement, perhaps getting more involved in an existing movement, or perhaps creating our own rallying cry. Maybe we are part of a network of similar movements with similar values. Is there a name for this network?

5 years from today I want to…

… on the home front…

  • Be living part time or full time on the land along with a close knit crew.
  • Have helped build several structures on the land, most importantly a common kitchen and event space. Also some tiny homes and/or yurts to stay in.
  • Have some revenue coming in from the land via farming, events or some other business.
  • Still have a place to stay in our community house closer to the bay.

… in my work life…

  • See Terran Cooperative going strong with up to 200 member coworkers.
  • Have some major platforms built and being used widely in the world, making an important impact in some way.
  • Have everyone in the organization/network thriving and feeling empowered. Leadership is decentralized, numerous projects are being explored by various members, and we are starting to help others form similar cooperatives.

… in my personal life…

  • Have a baby, or one on the way!
  • Be helping to raise other friends’ children in community.

… in the political/cultural sphere…

  • Have built or otherwise helped manifest a non-denominational temple as a main gathering point for community to celebrate life, honor death, connect to each other, do ritual, and pray.
  • Be facilitating rites of passages for youth (and adults) as well as other ceremonies and new traditions we have created as a community for important moments of life. The temple is used for many of these.
  • Be sharing and spreading our community models of organization, decision making, income sharing, banking, etc.

10 years from today I want to…

… on the home front…

  • Be living on our land much or all of the time.
  • Have helped created a village of perhaps 150 people, living with or near each other, raising a bunch of children together, working together, continuing to explore how we live in peace and harmony with each other and the planet.
  • Be part of a network of land trusts around the world where we can visit and stay at other ones regularly to share knowledge, connect and explore.

… in my work life…

  • Have Terran Coop grow to possibly 300 people, probably not much larger than that.
  • Be continuing to experiment with new models of work structures. Perhaps something like a blockchain based Distributed Autonomous Organization that is also founded on our values.
  • Be continuing to research and develop the tools, technologies and platforms that can help shift our culture to a harmonious, regenerative, peaceful one.
  • Be helping other cooperatives form, flourish and connect with each other in a large-scale, global, communitarian, collectivist movement that overthrows neo-liberal capitalism from the ground up.

… in my personal life…

  • Be continuing to raise and educate my child (or 2?) in community with a bunch of other children and co-parents.
  • Be learning as much from my children as I teach them.
  • Be more in love than ever with my primary partner.

… in the political/cultural sphere…

  • See Basic Income happening or close to happening in the US!
  • Be a part of a progressive movement that has swept into governance of most major political offices across the US.
  • Be considering running for (local) office myself…
  • Be a part of a major global peace movement with shared values that is winning elections and changing culture in big ways across the world.
  • See above bullet about creating/modeling new economic systems that can replace neo-liberal capitalism.

Whoa, you made it this far? It’s been hard to put this out into the world because I want to keep tweaking it every week, adding new bullets, changing the language, etc. Which brings me to my main question, what’s the best place to keep this document? I want to update it over time but also be able to see past revisions, so maybe Github? But it’s nice to have it on Medium to make it more likely that people will see it and comment on it. Maybe I track changes on Github and put a yearly snapshot here on Medium? Also, is there a better format for this data? I better way to organize and read it? A timeline view? A public project management board like Trello even? How do other people plan their long term goals?

Let me know what you think! I know the scope and ambition of this all might sound a bit absurd, but I’m committed to it, and optimistic despite the dire times we are living in. I’m going to stay focused on these goals, try to block out the noise, and just make a go of it. 2017: Go time!