Or, Where is all this headed?
Everyone, including myself, talks extensively about being productive, managing time well, and how to make the most of every situation. I am so glad that we live in a society that values that sort of efficiency. However, what good is all this efficiency if we don’t know where we are going?
“Where do you see yourself in five, ten, or twenty years?”
My answer to this question has always been complicated. There have always been a large number of things I have wanted to accomplish and places I have wanted to go by a certain age. But when I sit down and really think about it, is that all that life is? Ticking off items on a list? I don’t think so.
If we measure our success in life by the amount of money that we make, the places that we go, or things we have bought, we will always be left dissatisfied. When John D. Rockefeller was asked “how much is enough?” he merely responded with “one more dollar.” We see in that quote that if the pursuit of money, power, or pleasure is our only motivation we will undoubtedly be found wanting for more and will not find contentment in what we have.
But what if we thought about life differently? What if we worked to enrich the lives of others instead of ourselves? What if we sought the joy of others more fervently than our own pleasure?
I guarantee the world would be a much different place. It would be a much better place.
So when you ask yourself the question “where do I see myself in ten years?”, take a look at your motivations. Perhaps you should measure your success more by the lives you have touched, the friends you have made, and the joy you have shared than on that new house in The Hamptons or the car that you drive.
It’s not bad to have goals for your career. I certainly do. But if we let material things dictate the decisions we make, we won’t find joy and we won’t find freedom.