We Underestimate What Can Be Done in a Decade – Past Decade Review

Today, 1 January 2020, it’s not only the end of a year that we are celebrating but also the end of a decade. 

Yes, 10 years have passed since 2010 and my 23rd birthday and in this year 2020, I will celebrate my 33 candles.

The more I advance in life the more the words of my grandmother resound in my head: “life flies so fast Romain”.

So the beginning of the year is a time when I like to write, put my goals and resolutions in black and white down. I invite you to do it too, because through writing you can better understand and know yourself, and this is a good tool in life.

What I also like to do during this period is not from me but from one of my dear mentor Tim Ferris. This is what we call a past year review. And on this landmark day, I would like to take it one step further by sharing my past decade review with you. And perhaps you will do the same. You’ll see that when we take the time to look back on what we’ve done, we realize more, and it helps us to be thankful for that. 

Perhaps this text will speak to you…

What have I achieved in this decade? 

From my 23rd to my 33rd birthday, what did I do? 

I love the phrase that says we overestimate what we can do in one year but underestimate what we can do in ten. That is true and it makes a lot of sense. Especially now.

So what have I been doing for the last ten years? 

Past decade review. Here we go…

I travelled for the first time in my life. I met wonderful people and cultures across beautiful countries. I travelled to 21 countries in total. I have lived in 5 different ones. And I learned English and some Chinese and Spanish.

I think it’s already a lot when you write it like that. We could stop, but it’s not just that.

I’ve discovered passions, not just for football anymore. I’ve been a waiter in Australia, bartending in hotels and nightclubs. I learned to be a personal trainer and to become an entrepreneur. 

I learned a profession, a very nice profession where I help people to become more fulfilled and happy in their lives. Because yes those who know my coaching sessions or those of Pret-a-Train know that they are not just focused on sports and simply have a better physical condition. 

In fact, during this decade, I’ve been creating a physique for myself. I’ve eaten loads of broccoli, I made a big sense to the world healthy and it follows me. I’ve read a lot of articles and stuff. I learned a lot about humans, nutrition and sports in general. I learned to meditate, to settle down, to concentrate better and to communicate better. 

So I created a company and with my team, we’ve helped around 100 people already.

I learned to manage, I learned to be under pressure and to be a little less stupid from time to time.

I experienced burnout. I didn’t know what it felt like, now I get it. I stopped working nonstop ever since. I’ve enjoyed weekends brunching and airing out on the streets of London in awe.

This gave me the idea of inventing a place where we meet with my team every Wednesday to play tennis. A mini weekend, a great day for the bounding team.

I’ve developed websites and written a lot of articles with my team on Newairz.com, Newairz.fr, Pretatrain.com, pretatrain.fr, and my personal website Romaingherardi.com. That’s about a hundred articles from last year alone.

That’s a lot of words.

So I wrote, talked, and listened a lot. I read, yes I read a lot. Over 100 books. From the power of now to the Toltecs, to John Fante novels, to books about humans, to books about business or about mindfulness. 

“As if immersed in books. I found myself with Coelho making the Compostela Pilgrimage, and I shared some vodka with Sylvain Tesson around the largest Siberian lake.”

Of course, I like to read and write, it’s no secret anymore. Over a year you can lie to yourself, over a decade it’s harder.

I’ve seen many sunrises and sunsets, beautiful beaches, oh yes people like you and me magic. 

I’ve run two marathons and walked I don’t know how many miles. I backpacked, I feared, I fell, I got back up, like a child, I left, I laughed.

I celebrated a birthday with my ass on a chair in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. A city where I used to be an English teacher there. I also tutored a family in Taipei. For someone who didn’t have a high school diploma or anything, being in the teacher’s seat is pretty fun.

To this past decade review, Gānbēi!!! (cheers in Chinese)

I celebrated Christmas with my tarts of friends on the beaches of Phú Quốc in Vietnam and drank $2 a bottle of Rum. I drank it, I saw it.

I laughed with my uncle and a ladyboy in a good old Bangkok bar. Danced on tables to the sound of “one day” with a bunch of weirdoes in our Freo guesthouse. Played the guitar and sang in Malaysia with my friend and some cool Burmese people. 

I jumped into a choppy sea, drank the cup, saw myself leaving, was afraid to die. That was in Australia. Bloody Margaret River, you almost held me back.

I tried drugs, I smoked. At 27, the life of an artist turned my head. I didn’t know where I was. Confused, lost, I feared, I fell, I got back up, like a child, I left, I laughed again.

I laughed in Prague street with my friends, I took baths in Budapest with my ex-girlfriend.

I partied, oh yes I laughed and I must say I shared some great moments with beautiful girls. I even shared a great experience with one of them on the beach of Koh Rong in Cambodia. An island where there is no electricity and no internet. I recommend this place, it’s good to reconnect.

I saw the temples of Angkor Wat, I talked with monks. I was dazzled, like in the streets of Ayutthaya, or like when I took a train in Thailand stopping in cities not known by tourists.

A stray dog in a dark street was following me, that night freaked the fuck out.

I played football everywhere, I put goals, I took goals. Sometimes you have to be behind the posts. I’ve learned tennis, I’ve learned to climb, and most recently I’ve learned to ski.

Oh yes, I forget, I also did vlogs during my travels, 30 in 30 days, oh dear, how hard it was. I’ll put the link here if you like: Romain Travel. I have a lot of respect for vloggers like Lost Leblanc. What a wonderful job, but just as challenging.

I’ve had fears, scares, laughter, happiness. 

I already had a brother and a sister and I have one more in this decade. 

I have forged wonderful friendships. I have spent magical moments with my family, with my friends, and even with strangers. There are moments that I remember, there are moments that I don’t remember.  

I have lived and I continue to live.

There were joys and sorrows, laughter and tears, and I don’t know which were more present. But God, it was vibrant.

As my father says, I have an atypical life. Yes, I chose it or it chose me. Whatever, we found each other.

But I’ve lived and passed on and that’s what I want to continue to do. Good for that reason that I also share with you this. Past decade review.

Because the more I advance, the more I dare, the more I am myself, maybe it will resonate in your head …

And so the more I get to know myself, the more I connect to life. I’m only 30 years old, 32 exactly, but in the next decade I’ll be 40. I’m not 20 anymore. Fuck, life flies fast. 

I’m very grateful for everything I’ve ever had, for everything I’ve ever done, for the wealth of memories and experiences, each one crazier than the next. I was spoiled but I fought to get it. 

I wasn’t alone. But even though I was often accompanied, in the end, life is often lived alone.

I would like to take this opportunity to also thank the people who were an integral part of this decade Flo, Thomas, Patrick, all my family, Auré, Ori, Pierre, Tancrède, Claire, Ludo, Yoh, Etienne all my trainees, Marianne, Mickael, Jasone, Marcelo, Master peace J, Sally, Tommy, David and all the others. 

Sorry if your name isn’t mentioned. It’s all love anyway.

To all the people who supported me, who saw me complaining and some who even gave me their shoulders to cry on. Cause yeah, a man cries. Sorry if the myth is broken. This one’s for you, Gégé.

So, a page is turned and life continues to be written. 

So many things I’ve done and nothing I regret. So many things I still want to do, like finishing my first book, like putting Pret-a-Train on another level, like climbing a piece of the Everest and vibrating to the ambient music of Buenos Aires. Like creating a library or a sports centre in Cambodia. Like having a team of happy people, offering work and keep sharing, keep living, keep playing. 

Past decade review, where do I go from here?

Ok, I’d like to settle down and sincerely talk to you who reads me.

I’m talking in ‘you’ because this is important and you need to understand. Maybe I’m talking to you, maybe I’m talking to myself.

So I just wanna say…

Be strong and patient, recognize the good moments. Be positive, and often put things into perspective. I’m not going to be a preacher. I’m a man and a coach and as such, I have to be honest and tell you that sometimes life seems shitty, over a day and maybe even over a year. And sometimes in a year it never seems like we do enough. But the moral of this little story I’m sharing with you is that in 10 years and in a decade we can achieve great and beautiful things. 

Past decade review, let’s hope it helps us for the next one. I see it better, I see it beautiful, I feel fulfilment, awakening.

So believe in yourself, marvel, as grandma says, life passes quickly. So live it, eat it. 

Scare yourself, get out of your comfort zone, because it’s often behind the greatest fears that the most beautiful joys are hidden.

Happy New Year and Happy Decade,


The show must go on.

Photo: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
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