“If I could only live to see it, to be there with you. What I wouldn’t give for twenty more years!“
The old man provides valuable insight into delayed gratification and effective planning. It made me think of where I would be in 20 years, and if I would I even be alive, much less successful in the goals I’ve set. If I don’t have a plan I know I won’t be.
I don’t know a lot of men with a long term plan. Sure the cops and teachers want to make it through their 20 years and retire, but that boils down to survival more so than dedicated plan. I think with age the ability to plan long term arises, but by then it’s too late. Most of the mid 20′s men I know barely have a 2 year plan, and what they do have only concerns their career. If you ask them where they will be in 5-10 years, it’s the rare man that can give a definitive answer. Of course circumstances change and unforeseen opportunities arise but even a general sense of direction will help. That’s where the lofty goal comes in. Like a far off lighthouse guiding you through the mist and rough waves of life, the goal acts as a beacon. How you navigate the various obstacles is up to you, but the direction is always clear. An oft used example would be Odysseus and his adventures on the way back to his beloved family. Years and thousands of miles separate the man from his home, but possession of self and mental fortitude forge a rugged attitude, “nothing will stop me from my goal”.
My advice on planning is distilled in a quote spoken by Dwigt D. Eisenhower. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” I know and fully expect for problems to arise. No plan survives first contact and by expecting issues and allotting both time and resources you can effectively overcome them. Think back to when you waited until the last moment to write a paper for school. You find out there’s an extra section to write, the printer doesn’t work, traffic on the road, internet slows to a crawl. You didn’t plan for the problems and paid the price, now extrapolate that for life.
Many men think they have the world of time to accomplish their vision. “Just as soon as I finish school, pay my loans, move, etc…” I’m guilty of it too and I fight everyday to stay on track. You’re mortal, you will die, and you probably won’t see it coming. There isn’t time to reminisce on missed opportunities, neither is there time to drag your feet in fulfilling your goals.
Sit down and write out where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, where you want to live, where you want your family to be (financially, physically, etc…) I don’t know what diverse goals you have set for yourself but charting a road map is the only way to success.