Your ideal life 5 years from now: What’s it gonna be like?

What’s your ideal life 5 years from now?

It’s a question that most of us probably associate with job interviews. And maybe that one time we were at that retreat where we did that exercise where you had to, well, describe your ideal life 5 years from now.

The sad truth is, most people don’t plan ahead that far. In fact, I doubt that most people even have a plan for the next ONE year of their life.

Why is that sad?

Because it’s a waste of potential.

These are some things which you should know by now, whether through your own experience or not:

If you schedule something, there’s a much higher chance of getting it done than if you didn’t schedule it. We have calendars for a reason. It’s because we do a lot of important stuff which unnecessarily takes up more or less critical amounts of our mental energy. — Lest we get it out of our heads and onto paper, or any document of sorts.

 

“Well, I was all outta paper, and I left the charger at home, so…”

Apart from having freed up mental energy, getting our ideas out onto paper has another benefit — of increased accountability towards ourselves. Our thoughts is only one, often highly intangible version of our idea. But the written word brings clarity through its visibility, making our ideas much more tangible and compelling.

So the good thing is, when we PLAN something, it works the same way.

And when we map out our lives for the next 5 years, then, the likelihood of those 5 years playing out like that becomes much higher. Because we’ve effectively just added an extra layer of accountability.

But I don’t KNOW where I wanna be in 5 years!” Sure you don’t.

But here’s the funny thing…

– You know what you’d like to be doing in your spare time. Maybe it’s more of what you’re already doing; maybe you wanna add something else to the mix.

– You also know what you’d like to be earning, if nothing else then just a LITTLE bit more than you’re earning now. Don’t lie.

– You have a certain idea of how you’d like to live. Maybe it’s your current place that just needs some fixing up. Maybe it’s a whole other apartment or house, and maybe it’s in another city.

– You also have some ideas about what you’d like to be doing for a living. Maybe it’s your current job, or maybe your current job is just a pivot point towards your ideal job.

– You also have a pretty good picture of what you’d like your relationships with your friends and family to be like. Maybe you wanna see more of some, and maybe less of others. And maybe you’re missing having more friends than you do. Maybe you miss having a special someone, or maybe you’d just like to fix things up with your current one.

So…

I wage that you absolutely DO know what your ideal life 5 years from now would look like.

If you claim otherwise, you simply aren’t aware of it. — Possibly because there’s a part of you that won’t allow you to think in terms of actually getting what you want out of life.

No, but you don’t get it; I really DON’T KNOW what I wanna be doing!

Well, then here’s where I’d like to put a gun to your head.

 

Your ideal life 5 years from now will hopefully not look anywhere like this.
“Raymond! You’re going to die.”

Are you either A) the latest reincarnation of the Buddha, or B) literally getting ready to kick the proverbial chair? No? Well, then there’s something you want which will take years to accomplish.

Maybe it feels like you don’t know. But chances are, you’re simply scared of admitting it to yourself.

And here’s another thing…

For millions of years, our primal ancestors have survived predators, ice ages, and armed conflicts. While keeping their families safe and fed, and evolved to highly intelligent beings. Capable of building entire civilized societies, dreaming up mind-boggling philosophical concepts, creating a multitude of visual and auditory art, and examining ourselves and the world through highly advanced life-enhancing technology…

… And here you are. The pinnacle of human evolution, making it as one out of 250.000.000 sperm cells. And you “don’t know what you wanna do with your life”?!?

Seriously, fuck you.

But I didn’t have any influence on any of those things!

No. But you have influence on what you do RIGHT HERE AND NOW. And that’s the only 100% certain influence you’re ever gonna have. So quit squandering it by trying to cop out like that.

For all that’s good and great in the world, don’t let your ideas and wishes remain in your head. It’s only fear keeping you from carrying them out.

And if you allow your life to be guided by fear, things aren’t exactly gonna look up for the rest of your time here on this planet.

We’re here once, and theoretically, it could be the end any minute. The next 5 years are gonna go by whether you want it or not. So we might as well use them to level up instead of settling for less than we’re worth.

And no matter where you’re at in your life, you really, really have powers the likes of which you’ve never dreamt.


THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:

If you could have it all your way, what would your ideal life 5 years from now be like? What would you be doing? With who? Where and how would you be living? How much would you be earning?

1) Open a new document, or get some pieces of paper and a pen.

2) Set aside 15-20 minutes to write out your ideal life 5 years from now. Try to think big — go a little nuts with it!

3) Then go back one year, to 4 years from now. How would things need to look in 4 years if you’re gonna live your ideal life in 5 years?

4) Repeat until you’ve gone back to 12 months from now. How would things need to look by then?

5) Now, go back to the 6-month point. How would things need to look by then?

6) Do the same for the 3-month and 1-month points.

7) When you’re down to having set the status for the next month, do it for the next four weeks.

8) With the status for the next week clear in sight, plan out the next week day by day.

9) Lastly, think of just ONE thing that you can do right now to get started.

10) Congratulations; you’ve just put yourself ahead of +90% of the world’s population.

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What’s YOUR frustrated dream?

Tell me your frustrated dream, and I'll show you a way out of your problems.Behind every problem lies a frustrated dream”.

This fine little quote was coined by English philosopher and consultant Peter Lang. And the way I see it, it neatly sums up a huge part of what not only coaching, but also confidence is all about.

This way of looking at things, Lang calls “positive reframing”. And it simply means to focus on, well, the bright side of life.

 

If not a frustrated dream, Brian's life was, indeed, brimming with frustration.
(Incidentally, if you don’t know this reference, you HAVE no life.)

Now, I’m betting someone out there will try to think of exceptions to this theory. For example, you might call a broken foot a “problem”. And then what would be the frustrated dream accompanying it?

Well, like I’ve said before, behind everything we do, there’s a certain intention of feeling good. By attaining pleasure, and/or avoiding pain. And in the case of a broken foot, our intention is simply to be able to walk normally, and painlessly.

And of course, in this example, calling the intention a frustrated dream might be a stretch. But that’s not the point. The point is that we’re able to switch our focus from a perceived negative outcome or circumstance to its underlying constructive, positive wish or intention.

Now, on a scale from ‘confident’ to ‘non-fident’, can you guess where a mindset like this might be??

That’s right: The confident thing to do is focus on one’s desired outcome, or goals.

 

No frustrated dreams on this picture.
Sure, that and some cold ones.

Whatever we focus on tends to grown within our awareness, yeah? Pretty much the definition of focus, right there. So, if we focus on the roadblocks instead of the positive outcome ahead, our lives will become more roadblocks and less positive outcome. Pretty simple, right?

Well, however simple it is, we humans have a sorry tendency to focus on the downside of things. And it’s simply the way our brains are wired. But we have the power to circumvent that way of thinking to our advantage.

Yes: We obviously have to take care of our problems. If you’d kept walking on that aforementioned broken foot, boldly and defiantly ignoring the pain, things’d probably get pretty messy for you anytime soon.

But the point here is to make the outcomes our major focus, not what’s stopping us from attaining it. If we focus on the positive outcome instead of the roadblocks, our lives will become more positive outcome and less roadblocks.

So ask yourself…

What’s my frustrated dream??

Why is it frustrated? What might it take to unravel some of the frustration? And what is it that I really want?

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