I’m sure you’ve all gotten this question — in an interview, from your parents’ friends, etc.: “Where will you be in five years?” Honestly, I hate this question. There is so much pressure to know exactly where we are going in life and to have a specific plan to get there. The problem with this is that it creates very narrow expectations and only causes guilt and confusion if life doesn’t end up following that path.
When the Plan Gets Too Specific
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals for yourself and have some ambition. But when these goals get too specific, we often end up disappointed. For example, I know plenty of girls at age twenty-five who’ve said they want to be married or own a home by the time they’re thirty. Don’t get me wrong; these are great goals. But the problem is, we often don’t account for how much change & growth we experience in our twenties.
Things Change, You Change
The answer to the question of where you plan to be in five years is simply an educated guess. And if your guess is wrong, that does not mean you’ve failed. It means that you’ve experienced change and growth, which has led you to a place that makes more sense than what you may have guessed five years ago.
How I View My Future
Rather than creating a definite path for my future, I like the idea of setting goals based on my overall well-being. In five years, I’d like to (still) be truly happy in my relationship. I’d like to be able look back and see how far I’ve come and feel proud of my successes. I’d like to get genuine satisfaction out of my career every day. I plan to be a stronger person and know myself even better than I do now. I hope to improve the ability to listen to my instincts and go with my gut because I’ve learned just how far that can take me.
What’s your take on the “5 year plan”? Do you know where you’ll be in 5 years?
Photography by Andrea Posadas