Why I've Forgone the Five-Year Plan
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Whether it's at work or between friends, questions about the future constantly crop up. When will you have children? How much do you want to be earning by 30? Where do you see yourself in five years? Here's what I think to these questions.
If someone had asked me 365 days ago what I thought I’d be doing in a year, I would have made a completely inaccurate guess. I would have probably said that I’d be speaking to my boss about taking a three-month sabbatical from my marketing job in January, packing up my flat in Leeds in preparation of travelling parts of the world with my boyfriend. Instead, I’ve just quit my job and am braving the world of freelance writing. Our travel plans have become honeymoon plans as we’re getting married in August and, we’ve just bought two new plants for our flat.
So, what is a five-year plan? Well, if you have a vision of where you see yourself in five years, whether that's in your career or simply life in general, the plan consists of what you'll do to ensure you get there. The term actually originated from government programs, designed to reach specific goals over the course of five years and now, it's something we're all being asked about.
Personally, in this day and age, I feel that the five-year plan can be limiting rather than motivating. Sticking to a specific course can mean you miss out on unexpected opportunities, things you might not have realised were exactly what you wanted and paths which may have led you to something amazing. This is exactly why for me, it just doesn't work. It’s 2018 and over the past five years, I’ve changed in so many ways, ‘grown’ if you will (what a w*nker), so my plans and aspirations have too, all of which I wouldn’t have been able to predict five years ago.
Now evidently, in some situations, a five-year plan is crucial. For example, in order to build a successful business, you must have targets and a structured plan. In order to buy a house, you must stick to a strategy to save money, but that's as far as I will limit myself. I in no way think that's the way everyone should feel - I have friends who have already mapped out their futures and have definite goals and aspirations whom I'm so happy for because that is what they want, however life in general is not something I want to plan.
I find the unknown exciting - not knowing what I’ll be doing next year, if or when a little Samber will stomp into the world (most likely with flat feet and an oversized head) or what kind of people I will have around me when I'm 30. I want to focus on the now, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said (according to Google), life is a journey, not a destination.