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