The $10,000 question
Could you run an ultramarathon, solve a major scientific problem, or write a bestseller?
What if you had a deadline to do it by the end of June 2009?
Sound too hard? What if you placed $10,000 of your own money with an escrow service (say, a beefed up version of stickk.com), with instructions that the money is to be donated to an anti-charity that you strongly dislike, unless you provide proof that you’ve succeeded?
In my case, I’d be tempted to nominate something like the George W. Bush Memorial Library as my anti-charity. Maybe ask them to put my name up on a wall listing donors. (If I had more money, I could raise the amount to ten million dollars, and ask them to build the “Michael A. Nielsen” wing of the George W. Bush library if I failed. Mmm.)
I haven’t done this, at least, not yet. But considering the idea at length has sure put the question “Am I doing everything I can to reach my goals” into sharp relief.