Where Will You Be In 5 Years: The Definitive Answer
I never liked this question.
Remember? When you were sitting in an interview? The interviewer sits there and asks that question. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? The fuck? Are you serious?
Thought process commences:
“Well..I could be dead.”
“I could be in another country.”
“I could be abducted by aliens.”
“Or I could be working at this job, working my way up the ladder. Yeah yeah, that’s what I’ll say.”
Well, I see myself succeeding at [Joe Schmoe Company Inc] and building a great career.
Well isn’t that cute.
No you don’t. Well, most of you don’t. A couple of you do. But most of you see yourself in a different place. And guess what?
Life is something that we continue to grow through. It’s not a linear thing. It’s crazy, and wild, and terrifying, and beautiful. It’s so many things. It’s so many feelings. It’s so many experiences. At least it should be.
Here’s the thing. We really don’t need to know where we will be in five years.
We don’t need to know where we will be in five years.
I am such a dreamer and a visionary so even that phrase is a little wild for me. But it’s true. You don’t need to know what you’re going to be doing. Life is in the being, not the doing. Ok Daniel, that’s a load of shit.
Life is in the being, not the doing.
No, it’s actually not. I just recently listened to a wonderful podcast interview with Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins, and it was centered around the fact that fulfillment is much better than achievement. And I fully agree.
Let me say this again:
Fulfillment trumps achievement. Every damn day.
Here’s the example from Tony. Who loves Robin Williams? Pretty much everyone. He was beloved by millions upon millions of people. He made so many people laugh and gave them joy. He set out to make an award-winning show (Mork & Mindy) and he did it. He set out to become a movie star. And he did it. He set out to win an Academy Award. He did that too. He set out to make the whole world laugh. He accomplished that as well.
And then he hung himself.
His achievement did not fulfill him. There was more. He found something lacking. You might just say he didn’t feel fulfilled. I don’t believe he was.
What does this have to do with the five years thing? Everything. It’s good to have goals, but it’s also life-threateningly essential to be fully present. Be present in the moment. Be present to what’s in front of you. Be grateful. Love others. Do the little things that matter. Put your time and energy into things that matter to you. Then, and only then you will find yourself walking in fulfillment.
Live with a heart that is full. A heart fully alive is essential to living a life that is fulfilled.
I’m not sure what went through Robin Williams’ head as he decided to hang himself. We will never fully know. But we can learn from an incredible person. Yes, it’s ok to think about where you’ll be in five years. But it’s also ok to be present in the moment. That answer may not get you that job, but it sure as hell will give you the right perspective as you move forward in life.
As you accept that as being ok, you will grow into more of who you are. I hope we are all much different in five years. I hope my companies attain the goals we have set for them as well. I also hope that I am fully present then, and not always looking forward to what’s next.
Instead of asking yourself where you’ll be in five years — ask yourself how you are making this present moment count. After all, we only have so much time. We may not even have five years.
Make it count.