here do you see yourself in five years?’ I am sure you have faced this question at least once in your campus/job interviews. I don’t remember all the ‘sincere’ answers I have given to this question in the various interviews during my corporate life (the whole thing seems quite funny now). But one thing I am certain is all of the interviewers liked my answers, else they wouldn’t have selected me!
To be frank I used to hate this question. Since life is so unpredictable, how can I say where my life will be after 5 years?! ‘We don’t even know what is going to happen the very next second. In an instant, our life can become totally different.’ Like most others, I had heard and read these words many times. But when God took my Papa away from this physical plane an year back, only then I really understood the meaning of ‘life is so unpredictable’!
I don’t know about you, but my passions, dreams, and goals have been different at various stages in my life. My dreams and goals used to vary each year or sometimes every other month during my childhood! I was introduced to dancing at the age of 4 itself. Not the traditional classical dance, but the kindergarten dances which the teachers cook up for the annual day programme. The dance classes used to be in the school itself after regular hours. So, when I was a child, I wanted to become a dance teacher.
Then slowly a liking for the Malayalam language crept into my mind, and I wanted to become a Malayalam teacher. The medium of instruction at school was also Malayalam. I was fascinated with praasam, vrittam, alankaaram, upama, ulpreksha, and so on in the Malayalam class. (I understand the corresponding English words are rhyme, metre, figure of speech, simile, and metaphor). Papa had a good home library and the well-known books of Malayalam literature were all represented there, along with lots of engineering and English literature books. Thus I was introduced to a substantial world of literature in Malayalam at a very young age. But my regret is that I did not take advantage of it at that time.
When I reached high school I ‘betrayed’ Malayalam in favour of Maths which became my best friend. I was in love with linear algebra and I wanted to become a Maths teacher. The next ‘betrayal’ came during my higher secondary school days when I found Physics more interesting than Maths and wanted to become a Physics professor! Back then after higher secondary school, there were only two ‘attractive’ choices for students; either go for Engineering or take up Medicine. I was fascinated by the path of Engineering and the rest is history!
During my schooldays, I had the habit of collecting the pictures of things I liked. At one point in time, I had a picture collection varying from beautiful pencil boxes (with magnetic fasteners) to colourful, aromatic erasers to my favourite film stars. 🙂
Later I became passionate about interior decoration. I used to rearrange my home/room settings every now and then even as a child. Antique collection has become my favourite pastime in the last few years. During our home construction phase, I collected lots of pictures of interior decoration items. My daughter helped me to paste them in one of her old notebooks.
After a few years we relocated to another city and while packing I was just glancing through my daughter’s notebook with the images of my favourite interior pieces. To my surprise, most of the items in those pictures were there in my home by then, and even some of the minute details were the same! The design of the chains used to suspend the antique, wooden swing was exactly matching the one in the picture! I started believing in the concept of ‘vision board’ then onwards. A vision board is a board where we can display images that represent whatever we want to have, do, or become in our life. We can add images of anything that inspires or motivates us.
Nowadays, I do not collect paper cuttings and paste them in old notebooks. Instead, I have a folder named ‘My Vision Board’ in my Google drive. I add to it images of whatever I want to materialize in my life. I really want to inspire the world through blogging, writing books, starting a podcast, speaking at a TED event, to name a few! Unlike earlier, there are no film stars in my part of the cloud. 😉 Instead, my vision board is full of images relating to what I want my emotional, mental, physical, intellectual status to be in the future!
I highly recommend you to try creating a vision board. It’s really fun! List down all the goals in every area of your life, namely relationships, career, finances, home, travel, personal, spiritual, social, education, health. Collect and add images representing your goals to your vision board. I am sure this will motivate and energize you to achieve your goals.
I am not sure whether I will get all the things on my vision board. Maybe, as the Dalai Lama once said, ‘not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck’, and this has proven to be true more than once in my life. But I still love doing the vision board. It is fun. Also, visualization is nothing but daydreaming with a purpose!
Last but not least, I sometimes ask myself the same interview question I started this blog with, where do I see myself (and my blog) in five years? I am realizing the ‘depth’ of that question now. I kind of like this question now! I know that life is unpredictable but I think I can still dream and visualize the things I love to see and have in my life! Because the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!
So, do you know where you will be in five years? Do you have a clear picture in your mind where you do not want to see yourself in 5 years? Do you already use a vision board to help you with your goals? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Happy empty nesting! 🙂
If you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there’s some way to do it ~ Walt Disney