I will be honest: it is difficult to concretely answer questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” I hated that question when I interviewed for a job! I just wanted a job at the time. I needed money, and I knew I wanted more money in 5-10 years. I did not understand that the employers with whom I interviewed were trying to determine if they were the ideal partner to help me along the journey I expressed in my interview. I learned I was not specific enough. If we are not careful we can fall into this trap where we allow life to happen to us, instead making the most out of any area of our lives. Whatever journey you are on, apply these key steps to ensure your journey leads to success.
Identify your Journey. Have forethought of your destination. A Global Positioning System cannot guide you properly unless you enter a location; likewise, you will not be able to effectively choose the right riding partner for your journey unless you have an idea where you want to go. If 5-10 years is overwhelming start with one to two years, and divide them into quarterly goals. You can gradually build up to planning further ahead as you grow. Just start where you are. You will go much further when you establish a destination and an action plan to get there.
“I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
Henley, William Ernest, “Invictus” in Book of Verses section Life and Death (1888) Lines 15-16
Make it Personal. This is your journey. Regardless of who comes and goes, you are the Chief Executive Officer of your life, and you have to be able to continue your journey in the face of adversity or when no one else can cheer you on along your journey. Self-motivation is key as you move toward your destination. Ask yourself, “Why am I on this journey?” and “How can I motivate myself when I get distracted?
Choose the Right Influencers. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn stated, “You are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Ask yourself, “Who (or what) am I spending my (precious) time with? A riding partner isn’t just a person in your circle. It’s your place of worship, literature, social media, videos, games, music, television and movies, etc. that have the potential to influence you. Conduct an inventory of the influencing factors in your life and strategically choose resources and people who align with your goals.
Protect your Journey. Too often we make bad decisions when we are distracted. Irrational decisions can be made based on emotions that derive from temporary turbulence during our journey. The enemy will strategize around those moments of distraction and try to persuade you (through solitude and your influencers) to self-sabotage your own journey. Ephesians 6:11 (TLB) tells us “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan.” Satan wants to destroy any chances of you reaching your destination, so protect your journey by reading God’s word and asking for wisdom and discernment. Always evaluate your self-motivation strategies and influencers.
Reach Back. Someone else is about to go on the same journey you’ve chosen. Be someone’s influencer. Be their riding partner and help them cross the finish line.