Where do you see yourself in 5 years? A Guide To A Brighter Future
I hated the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” when I was applying for a job and I was on an interview. Even though I knew why the person sitting on the other side was asking this question and I was prepared, my answer sounded really vague. My intonation and body language were both betraying me. It was obvious for a professional that all I was saying was bullshit. I was saying what they wanted to hear.
People interviewing us for a job are asking us different (stupid at first glace) questions because they’re trying to figure out where we will potentially fit into the company, how determinate we are, how exactly we will fit into the puzzle. Basically, are we the right cog for the big machine and how much time we’re willing to sacrifice for someone else’s venture.
Even though it’s a bullshit question, it’s a question a lot more people need to ask themselves if they want a brighter future for themselves and their family.
So if you never really thought about what will happen in your personal life in the next 3, 4, or 5 years, you don’t have to apply for a job interview at the local McDonalds, you can simply read this article.
It’s especially good for youngsters, people in college who are still trying to figure out what to do with their lives:
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In reality, we legitimately can’t know the answer to this question. There is no way of knowing where exactly we will be in the next 5 years. Heck, we can’t be sure what will happen in the next 60 minutes. Even though we might have an appointment with a friend to watch videos of girls playing in the mud, a meteor might hit the ground. Or, a car might forget to stop at a red light and eventually end up inside our car.
Life is an adventure filled with twists and turns that we certainly cannot predict. Still, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t plan our future to some extent.
If you never thought about this question it’s probably a good time to sit with yourself and think about what type of future you want to create for yourself:
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
What type of life you want to live?
How much will you weigh?
How much money you want to earn?
What kind of work you’re going to be doing?
You can go a bit further and even think about: What mark are you going to live on the planet Earth?
Yes, it sounds like a cliche to pursue higher meaning and shit, but in reality, what else we’re supposed to do with our lives?
Scroll through our phones throughout the whole day till our thumb hurts?
Drink till you pass out?
The possibilities to procrastinate these days are infinitive. You can waste a whole day of your life doing fun stuff for approximately 0 dollars: you can play video games, chat with friends, share pictures of yourself in different locations.
These simple activities that cost only time and a few bucks for a smartphone can give us the daily dose of dopamine so we can satisfy our cravings, but for how long?
Eventually, a moment in your life will emerge where you will say: Why am I lagging behind?
At this point, you need to slap yourself in the face, throw away all the liqueur, sit and have an honest conversation so you can find something better to do:
Where are you now in life?
Start with where you are now.
Unplug, take a few hours if needed to get sober from all the digitalization, alcohol, and all other prohibited substances.
Now, take a look around:
Do you like where you live?
Do you like the furniture, the design of your apartment?
Go in front of the mirror, are you happy with what you see?
Open the closet, do you really wear all of the clothes inside?
Log into your bank account, is there anything left?
Think for a moment about your daily routines, do you like what you do for a living? The job you do and the people you meet outside and inside work?
It’s surely not going to be perfect, but perfect shouldn’t be our main concern, think about your life in general.
Do you like your life as a whole?
If you do, congrats my friend, you’re one of the few. If you don’t, then welcome to the club.
People will most probably blame the government or their neighbors for their personal failures and the lifestyle they have. They will never look at what they are doing wrong. Why? Because it’s easier to blame others for your own setbacks and it’s hard to consider that something is wrong with you, us, whatever.
Where you want to be in the next few years?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions online. Along with the question about “What is my meaning?“
As you can guessed it yourself, I’m not capable of answering this question for you.
No one is.
We’re different people and we want different things from life.
“What to do with my future” is another thing you need to answer yourself.
“But what the heck Durmonski, you promised a guide that will help me figure out my life, step-by-step.”
Even though I can give you a specific answer, I can at least, hopefully, point you towards the right direction. Or at least a path you might consider right for your persona.
So bear with me while I look deep inside my crystal ball so I can predict your future:
How to Create a Brighter Future For Yourself?
Set a Desirable Destination
No one can’t predict the future and there is no point of trying. It will be only a waste of time. Rather, think about a place and a lifestyle you want to live.
If A is where you are now, B will be your future place. Your Dream Land full of unicorns and pink clouds.
Take a moment to imagine what B will include. And more particularly, what type of activities and tasks you want to do when you reach B. I already mentioned some of the questions above but here are some more:
What type of work you want to do for a living?
Where do you want to live?
What things you don’t want to do in the future?
For example, if you a car thief, and you want to stop stealing cars for a living, this will be on your list (please do if you are): To stop depriving citizens of their vehicles and do something good for society.
Ok, we’ve established what you want to do with your future, now let’s see what’s next:
Deconstruct Your Future Life Into Pieces
Let me give you a visual of what B, your desired place, might look like:
B will be a combination of things you enjoy doing.
A brighter future, a happier life, name it as you wish, is usually a life full of activities you like vs. such that is occupied with things you dislike. We already established our desired activities. Basically, our future life will be full of things we adore doing. Well, most of them. You still have to pay the bills and eventually go to parties you dislike but the idea is to have a life where the majority of the things you do put a smile on your face.
Put simply, we’re striving for a life where we do things we like and these things are enjoyable for us.
Map out a path
Since we established where we want to go, now is time to figure out what path we should take to reach B and leave A far in the past.
So if B is a combination of things we want to achieve, we should simply start doing these things. Implement them in our lives. It sounds simple and easy but in reality is hard and it takes a lot of time.
Let me give you an example a lot of people use:
If you want to become a best selling author, write a book and get featured in major sites and magazines. That’s your B. Your desirable feature. That’s a goal. So, the actionable steps to achieve B is simply to write. To write every single day.
Your path will look like this:
At first, you will be clueless about what to write for but that won’t be of importance. The simple process of writing is what matters.
Over time, you will get better:
Over time, the quality of your writing will increase. But this is only half true. If you’re not practicing this enough, the above graph won’t be enough. That’s why a 3D model is more accurate:
In reality, the quality of your writing will increase over time only if you’re consistent.
I know, a lot of graphs but I do hope they explain what you need to do in order to achieve what you want in the future.
By saying where we want to go and simply deconstructing it to small pieces we can easily be where we want to be. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
A lot of people fail when they start.
Why We Fail To Accomplish Our Goals?
In practice it sounds super simple: you set where you want to go and what you want to get from life and you simply execute actions daily.
If this is true, why so many people are miserable and aren’t millionaires?
It’s easy to set goals. It’s fun. You sit on your desk and your dream about this wonderful life. But it’s hard to actually reach the desired place and it takes time.
Getting from A state to B state, sometimes, actually most of the times, takes years of hard work.
Since we’re living in a world where we can do so many fun things our motivation fades away after a few months. Sometimes even only after a few days.
So, the real reason we don’t achieve what we want is our lack of consistency. Or put in another way, it’s because we’re lazy.
Yes, you heard that right, you want to become rich and get all these fancy things but you’re not up for the challenge.
But there is another reason:
We Start With Huge Changes in Our Lives
Here’s our usual to-do list if we want to lose weight:
Go 5 times per week to the GYM;
Hire a professional nutritionist;
Hire a GYM coach to count your push-ups;
But before anything else: Spend $300 (or more) on equipment, new shoes, new tracksuit, etc. Who are we kidding, we need those Instagram pictures in the GYM. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?
We fail because we try to transform our lives for a short period of time. We start doing so many things we haven’t done before all at once that we wore off quite fast. And only a few months after you started going to the GYM, we’re tired and we hate the GYM, we want to sleep till noon again. We want to eat a burger, with mayo, and a lot of fries.
Something which is quite normal, our body wasn’t prepared for this insane transformation.
Soon after we start we’re back to our original routine:
At this point, we convince ourselves that it’s impossible to lose weight, write a book or create a sustainable business.
Instead, start small
Don’t try to shatter your current lifestyle and change for a day.
Getting to where you want to be takes time. There isn’t such thing as overnight success. That’s why, start with small steps.
This is how your to-do list should look like when you decide to lose weight, get fit and become muscular:
Go one time per week to the GYM. You can even work-out from home.
Eat one salad per day, instead of what you were eating before.
Strive to be 1% better than the previous day. Do two workouts the following week. Then 3 and so on. The idea is to make working out part of your life. Eventually, you will do shorter training sessions but the frequency will keep your body in shape.
Do you see, achieving the life you want is not that hard. You simply need to start applying small changes to your daily routine.
A training session once or twice per weak and less social media are few of the things you might start with.
It’s not about “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” it more of “What should I start doing today” that will help me have a brighter future after 2, 3, 5 years.
The sooner you understand that your daily actions are the ones designing your future life the better.
I will leave you with this quote from the people’s champ, The Rock:
Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” Dwayne Johnson