Where will you be in 10 years?
When I asked myself this question a couple of years ago, I was horrified to find that I had no answer; other than that I would still be married to my amazing husband and that we would have breakfast together before he left for work.
This threw me into a mild panic for surely I am more than a breakfast companion.
The first time I asked myself this question, I quit the practice of law for I realised that I had no desire to practice law in 10 years. Why then was I wasting time learning something that I had no desire to pursue and perfect? Only thing is, I did not invest the time to push myself to answer the question fully; I knew what I did not want to do, but not what I wanted to do.
This time, things were different, I was running my business, I was a pacesetter, a forerunner, doing amazing things. Why then did my picture of the future not have me dreaming about how large an empire I will have built, how I would have grown into the region; maybe even the entire continent? This was a warning – the road I was on would not take me to a destination I desired.
Having built a business for over 10 years, this was sobering.
In 10 years time I want to be …;
In 10 years time, I want to …;
In 10 years time …
Slowly, painstakingly slowly, the answers started to come.
In 10 years time, I want to be happy. In 10 years time I want to be intellectually stimulated. In 10 years time I want to have the freedom to visit with my friends and family and spend quality time with them.
Interesting, how none of these answers speaks directly to what I will actually be doing, but to my state of mind. This was an awakening – I could be all these things regardless of the career path I decide to take. This was both scary and exhilarating.
For the first time since I was in high school, I felt that I had possibilities; and that these possibilities were not tied to what I have been doing for the last 10+ years. How freeing! My mind went crazy! Do I want to try my hand at the corporate world, do I want to restructure and re-grow my past business, do I want to start something new?
… the possibilities …
If you noticed, each of the options involve starting something. Having had the privilege of starting and running my business, I also knew that starting and growing something is hard work. This time, I would be going in with my eyes wide open. I better understand the pain and joy of running a business, so I also know that if that is the direction I decided to take, I would only be happy to do it for something I valued.
So, I went back to my question; where do I want to be in 10 years, what do I want to be doing in 10 years? Whatever that is, THAT is what I want to start working on today so that I can look back at these 10 years I am entering and be satisfied with how I spent my time.
My journey has started and in the words of the Desiderata, ‘ no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should’.
Where do you want to be in 10 years time? Is what you are doing now helping you in any way to get there? If not then you are either on the wrong path or you have the wrong destination in mind.