Self-improvement through time travel

If the “you” you were as a kid could meet the “you” you are now, what would kid-you think?

When we were kids, my twin brother and I read a book (I don’t remember what it was called) about a pair of identical twin boys who travel to a farm that has come into their family’s possession. Somewhere on the farm they discover a shed in which time progresses much slower than everywhere else, so that a year inside the shed is about equal to a day on the outside. The twins are competitive with each other over a girl, and one of them — “Twin A”, let’s call him — devises to spend a “day” inside the shed (a year, from his perspective) doing pushups and crunches (and I can’t remember but maybe also reading) so as to appear more mature and attractive to the girl, and really just to become generally undeniably dominant over his brother — “Twin B”.

My twin brother and I live quite separate lives: we have our own families, in very different parts of the country; we have very different careers, and many very different tastes and interests; we also lead very different lifestyles. I’m not sure which twin I’m like in the story. In different ways I’m probably like both; my twin and I are each in our own time-travel sheds.

I don’t remember how that book ended, but I think it would be interesting if Twin A emerged from the shed to find out Twin B had been busy improving himself as well, and had, in his own way, advanced further in a day than Twin A had advanced in a year. Maybe by getting the girl or something.

As competitive twins, the story seemed tailored for my brother and me, but really I think it’s a story about the choice everyone must make between allowing life to happen to us vs. taking life by the horns and doing whatever we can to better ourselves.

If there’s something you feel like you should be doing but aren’t, then figure out how to get yourself to do it. Stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t be doing. Nurture your inner drill sergeant. Become better than you are now — better than you thought you could be. Find your time-travel shed and put in your year there.

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