49 and back

I’ve got 16 more years before I turn 49…

And since I’m usually goal-oriented I thought it would be an easy exercise to work backward from the age 49. I was so wrong. Not only did I not struggle but it took me more than 2 months to complete this assignment. In fact, I just finished it an hour ago.

What was so difficult? Everything!

You think you’ve got your life sorted (almost or are at least trying to) but when you list down the aspects of life that are important to you (relationships, health, career, finance, and learning — those were my focus areas) blanking out is almost common. Most of my peers who’ve gone through such an exercise (or a variation thereof) would agree with me.

It’s not just a simple matter of listing down points on a piece of paper or a powerpoint deck. One can surely feel a churn inside the head. It’s difficult, after all, to acknowledge where you are right now to where you want to be. And most importantly, it takes a lot of thinking to understand how would you bridge the gap from “here” to “there.” What about milestones? They’re important too. After all, there has to be a measure of success for whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Else, what’s the point?

This is a simpler version of what people might call “the wheel of life.” I would highly encourage you to take one just for the heck of it. Here’s an explanation on how to do it in much more detail.

My recommendation would be to “begin with the end in mind.” It’s more powerful and will help you visualize, change your course and probably set the right goals and expectations for your destination.

Kind of like choosing your own adventure with a lot of flexibility built in. While reflecting I realized why it’s important to ease up a little and most importantly life would go on despite our best intentions to hold on to our memories.

Yours may be a little different but it sure will be revealing. I hope you do experience this powerful exercise.

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