I could tick off all the accolades and accomplishments of Debbie Millman.
- She designed the merchandise for the movie Star Wars.
- She worked on the redesign of Burger King. Hershey’s, Tropicana.
- At one point, if you walked into any given grocery store or supermarket, anything like that, she had a hand in about 20 percent of everything you might see or touch.
- She helped co found the world’s first master’s program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City,
- She is founder and host of “Design Matters,” which is the world’s first and longest podcast about design.
But what I want to share today is a powerful exercise for achieving everything you want.
She shared it with me in my interview with her.
This is an exercise she learned during a summer intensive program at the School of Visual Arts with Milton Glaser.
He asked his students to envision a day, five years into the future, where each person was living exactly the life he or she wanted.
“Where, how, what we were doing, what we were making. Did we have partners, children, pets, travel, what did our homes look like? Everything like to the most minute detail,” said Millman.
Millman did the exercise and then forgot about it.
She had written it out in a journal that she took to class with her daily. She wrote her notes in it. A year later, she was searching for it and found her five-year plan.
She was astounded to see that many of the things had already manifested. She started to pay more attention to it over the years and found, it took about 13 years for most of it to manifest completely.
She asked Glaser, when he stopped teaching, if she could start teaching that exercise. In her version, she changed it to a ten-year plan since her students were a lot younger. His class was for mid-career designers, looking to reboot their creativity. Her students were at the beginning of their careers. She wanted them to have a bit more runway, especially since it took Millman about 10 years to do the things that were in her plan.
Grab a notebook
It’s October 2033 (10 years ahead).
Describe your perfect day.
What does your bedroom look like?
How does your coffee taste?
What are your sheets like?
Who are you living with?
Do you have pets?
Do you work out?
What does your business look like?
How often do you travel?
I did this exercise and put visuals to it in my Notion. It was the best part of my Saturday yesterday.
I share personal development exercises like this in my Mastermind. I’m currently interviewing for the 8 women who will be in the Class of 2024.
Video of my interview with Debbie below