Designing your future

Designing your future

⽣ Life Design

A deeper look at the "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question

Recently, I watched a video by Ali Abdaal in which he mentioned 3 different exercises you can do to plan or idealize where you want to be headed in the future. The exercises were called the gravestone, the odyssey plan, and ideal week.

This got me thinking, there are overarching themes in the questions that were asked in the video. I will lay them out in today's post.

Who are you?

What labels do you want to be written on your gravestone? A father? A hero? A husband? A teacher?

What kind of person are you?

What will your friends say about you?

Note that friends might talk about your character at your funeral, not your accomplishments and accolades. They might say, "he was great to his family and friends, and hard-working". They won't say "he could lift 600 kg and won 3 medals" when mourning for you. Answer this question accordingly.

What do you want to have achieved?

On a biography of you, what would you like to be written there? What would you like to be known for?

If your life continues along the path it is now, what will one day look like, 5 years from now? What if you took a different path?

If your path is depressing you, maybe you can change it. If you're content, you don't need to change it.

If money, what people think, and societal expectations didn't matter, then what would life look like?

We tend to place value on what others think about us, or on money, but at the end of the day, what would make you live an ideal life if you were living the life of a king?

What do you dream your ordinary week to look like?

Make sure this is reflective of your ordinary weeks, not holidays or sick days; basically, it's a work week. Are there things you wanted to put in your schedule, like reading and working out?

What is stopping you from achieving your ordinary week?

Going back to the previous question, what is stopping you from having your ideal ordinary week right here and now? How can you change your lifestyle to align with that ideal ordinary week?

It is important to ask ourselves questions about our future and what our ideals are. These questions are not merely just for seeking a career, but about life in general. See if you can answer these exercise questions and whether your answers align with what you're currently doing. If your path is depressing you, maybe you can change it. If you're content with it, you don't need to change it. But if you're not challenging yourself enough, you won't improve yourself, but instead, that would be called being satisfied with the status quo.