This time next year Rodney....

I got asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years time” now, it’s a standard interview question and you have probably been asked a similar question in the past and I reckon I could guess that a standard response would be “I don’t know”.

My response this morning was at first “I don't know” and this scared me as on the eve of going self employed, I don’t know precisely where I am going to be in 5 years time?? Goal setting is critical to building the life you want to lead and studies show that the lives of those who are most successful, are the ones that set clear and concise goals.

After trying a little bit of planning and envisaging where I want to be in 5 years time, I began to get a little frustrated. I was struggling to know exactly what my life will look like in 5 years time. So, I did the opposite, I reflected on exactly where I was 5 years ago. This was a brilliant thing to do for me and gave me a lot of joy. I think this blog may mean more to you if you were to reflect for a moment too and ask yourself, “what was I doing 5 years ago in March 2008?”

I was flabbergasted to find out that 5 years ago almost to the day I was about to embark on a very similar journey that I am about to embark on now. I was about to change career and life completely. It is only when I stopped and reflected on 5 years ago that I realised this: In 2008 I had recently returned from an arduous and dangerous 4 month tour of Iraq with my RAF Reserve Squadron and knew that life for me had changed forever. I didn't know what it had changed too, or exactly what I was going to do, but I knew that I no longer wanted to work at the company I worked at, nor did I want to work in an office.

To put you in the picture, here is where I was:

I was 25, I had a dog, no son and lived at home with my parents, I earned an average salary and had just handed in my notice without a job to go to. I knew I wanted to work with more freedom, not locked in an office and work with my creativity, but I had no idea how or why.

Now, lets imagine if someone would have sat you, or I down, 5 years ago and said “in 5 years time, this is where you will be and this is what you will have done.”

Would you have agreed to it?

Mine would sound something like this - “Paul, in 5 years time, you will be going to do the exact same thing with your career again, but Paul, you have a son, you work for a large building society and you earn double what you do now, you own your own home and you have not yet met the partner you will be with at that time. You are about to go self employed doing what you love - making the world a better place through life coaching, writing and speaking. You have spent most of the last 4 years studying and coaching people, to enhance their lives and now you are about to leave your well paid job behind and your security to go it alone”.

If someone would have said that to me 5 years ago, would I have believed them? Would I have taken it and said “yea sounds great, sign me up!” What I do know is I had NO idea where life was going to be leading me - but I went for it anyway.

This realisation for me on reflection is quite empowering, as it means that this is not actually the first time I have done this (does that make me crazy?) but the second. I survived the first time and actually doubled my income, discovered my path and began walking it and it has culminated in this amazing situation right now.

Am I still scared? You bet, but knowing I have done it once, means I can definitely do it again.

So, where do you want to be in 5 years?