Where Do You Want to Be?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: I don’t like 5-year plans.  Lucky for me, I just figured out why.

What would you say to someone if they asked you where you wanted to be in 5 years?  Think about it.  What’s the first thing that comes to mind?  I bet you your first reaction something career-oriented. 

“I’d like to be in business for myself,” or “I’d like to be promoted to a coordinator position,” or “I’d like to get my college degree so I can get a pay raise.”

This is the precise reason why I dislike the concept of the 5-year plan.  It’s too focused on one aspect of “you.”  When someone asks you where you want to be in 5 years, it is as if they only want to know about a certain part of you.  The “business” you, or the “career-oriented” you.  If you were to respond to the “5-year” question, “I think I’d like to have a healthier relationship with my mother,” I’m sure you would receive some awkward, back-pedalling reactions.

There are so many more aspects of “you” than the “5-year” question asks for.

I was reminded of this while having coffee with a dear and absolutely lovely friend.  She asked me where I wanted to be in a year.  Granted, she is the type of friend for whom the “5 year” question never begs the standard response.  In fact, she’s the type of friend for whom almost any question merits a soul-driven response.  But my answer to her question was the typical business-oriented excuse of an answer.  I faltered; I stuttered.  Because really, the business-oriented answer was not the answer I needed… or wanted to give.  I just didn’t know how to answer honestly because until that very moment, I hadn’t considered it.

I needed to ask myself… “what relationship to money do I want to have this time next year?”  “What relationship with my family?”  “What sense of vocation do I want to develop?”  “Where do I want to be emotionally, spiritually?”

I’ve spent the hours since that lovely coffee date thinking about those very questions.  I can’t say I have any answers.  But I encourage you to think about them for yourself.  Take yourself out of “business” mind for a moment, and think about the entirety of your life.

Where do you want to be?


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