My approach to life planning has long been to choose outrageously-huge goals which, when pursued, would create hundreds of challenging and interesting sub-goals, most of which would be enjoyable and satisfying on their own.

That way, whether or not I become president or start a band or become a famous author and filmmaker and actor or create a new educational system or bring back the drive-in or become a billionaire or run a marathon or yes, even write a Broadway musical, I would have a good time and learn a lot on my way there. And even if I never reached the pinnacles of my three dozen careers, I would get a lot of cool things done.

And it’s working! (“Finally,” he muttered under his breath.) Not only that, but it looks like I may even reach one or two of the actual end-goals someday. Huzzah! But there’s this one little huge tiny giant problem: I have the World’s Largest To-Do List.

I’m not currently allowed to tell you that it’s going to be in next year’s edition of the Guinness Book of World Records (because it’s not), but I will say that my to-do list was responsible for the harsh winter experienced in the U.S. this year. And I am sorry about that. They still haven’t figured out why for sure; the best theory has something to do with “geo-orbital displacement” or something. Basically, it’s becoming heavier than the Earth.

So even if I wanted to ignore the problem, I no longer have the option. I couldn’t live with myself if the weight of my insane ambitions caused the Earth to fly out of orbit and burn or freeze us all to death. And even if I could, my to-do list would be destroyed in that process anyway, so what would be the point?

Enter–the magical Mind Map! An amazing organizational tool, here from the future just in time to save us all from being thrown out of orbit by Lance’s impossibly-large plans!

Stare into its enchanted eye, humans! Your planet can be saved, but only if you believe…

…in the Mind Map!

“Will the wondrous Mind Map save the world from being destroyed by Lance’s mass-tastic to-do list?” “Will Mind Maps be embraced by the humans, or will it be more like that ‘District 9‘ movie?” “And what the heck is a mind map, by the way?”


These questions and more will be answered, or at least touched upon glancingly, in our next exciting episode of “The World’s Largest To-Do List”!

This column is featured in The Simplifier #5.4.