When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the idea that whatever I chose to do at that very moment could change my life forever. I’m not talking about which sports to play or what to say to the cute girl in my class. No, I was focused on what would happen if I snapped my fingers or raised my left arm just because. Would that seemingly tiny gesture somehow change everything around me, and my entire life’s trajectory? As a kid, the thought seemed very heavy. As a result, I both tried to block that out of my mind and also not make any sudden movements.
When you add a few decades of experience, I suppose the gravity of any given moment seems to lessen and time begins to feel more fluid. While the passing of time can serve as a calming factor in some ways, there’s the harsh reality that each day that passes is one less that we have to enjoy. So, I’d like to invite you to take a deep breath and consider for a moment who you’ll be and what you’d like to be doing five years from now. Because while I’m not sure that a snap of the fingers can change everything, I am fairly certain that becoming clear about our longer-term intentions can have big, lasting impact for our lives.
Here are some primers to get you thinking about the five-year-from-now person you’d like to become:
- What do you love doing with your time that you’d like to do more of?
- Whom do you wish you could spend more time with?
- What unique strengths do you possess that could benefit others?
- What is the one deathbed regret you’d desperately like to avoid?
- Who could benefit from your help right at this moment?
- What knowledge could you gain in the next five years that might make you a more interesting person to interact with?
- What things do you do now that you do because you think people want you to do them, not what you think you should do?
- Where haven’t you been that you’ve always wanted to go?
For advanced readers, consider writing out your responses to these questions. Write at the top of the page: “Who and where will I be five years from now?” And don’t stop writing until you’re terrified that you might actually have to do some of these things. That’s the point at which you’re truly changing everything for yourself and for others around you.
You’re not alone in this; I’ll be doing the same exercise with you. No need to share yours with the class, but consider making the time to treat yourself to a future that you can be excited about.
All the best,
Adam Cufr, RICP®