Beyond Your Years with Luis Martinez

Make It Happen

Ten years ago I was meeting with our financial planner in a small group to learn about retirement. Our planner, Jay, asked the group this question: “Pretend it’s ten years into the future, so pretend that it’s March 15, ten years from now. What are you doing? Write your answer down.” Everyone looked perplexed. How would they know what they’ll be doing on that day – in 10 years? I said to Jay: “Oh, that’s easy,” and I started writing my response. They all looked at me; on their face I could read their question: “How would you know what you’ll be doing in 10 years?”

When it came time for each person to read their answer out loud, I was eager to respond: “On March 15, 2017, I’m on my way home from a famous sports car race. I have many notes and photographs and I have a deadline for an article that I’m writing for a publication about that race.” In other words, when I retire I’ll be a motorsports journalist combining my love of racing sports cars with my love of writing.

Rolex 12 Hours of Sebring Race

One of my favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”   But how do you operationalize that phrase? In my case, it was a series of steps – many steps. I researched how to gain Media Credentials as a motorsports journalist. I learned that I had to: a) attend important races, b) write about them, and c) find publications that would take a chance on me and publish my writing and photographs. I wrote a racing story for the Brighton-Pittsford Post and for many sports car club newsletters. I also became a blogger for Gannett where I published 133 business columns. We know this: “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so I was busy building a portfolio of articles to gain credibility as a free-lance writer.

What do you have in mind for the near to distant future? Have you verbalized a goal or a destination? Can you raise the bar, reach a little higher? Will you get past those who discourage you from trying something new?  The present is good, but can some changes make your future even better? What is there to lose?  There are many reasons to postpone or give up on an objective, but there are also many avenues and approaches – and people who would be happy to assist you. It begins with you. How? “Begin with the end in mind.” Dr. Stephen R. Covey reminds us to visualize our goal, and then work a plan to achieve it.

And so it was that on March 19, 2017, ten years after that meeting with Jay to learn about retirement, I was coming home from the oldest endurance sports car race in America – the Rolex 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida. I had earned and used my Media Credentials for that racetrack, I had my interview notes, I had 413 photographs in my Canon DSLR camera and I had a deadline for my article. My article about that famous race was published on Friday March 24 by Motorsports Marketing Resources.

What will you be doing next week? In six months? In five years? Earl Nightingale once stated, “We become what we think about.” You can make it happen if you begin planning now.

Luis Martinez is a guest blogger for St. John’s. He is an active senior that likes to observe and write about how people work at their careers, guide their businesses, strengthen their families, stay physically fit and mentally sharp, and race their sports cars. Luis habla español. Follow Luis on Twitter @BeyondYourYears, or email


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