Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 Years? It’s something that many people will ask you, especially in a job interview. Its a question I was asked many times, and I would typically answer it like everyone else.. “I want to be financially secure, with a home and white picket fence, while having a great job, raising my five kids and driving that car of my dreams”. Maybe I answered it a bit differently from others; however, you get what I am saying.
Planning for your future is very important; however, no one can predict the future and how things will play out. Between now and that 5 – 10 years, anything can happen that can change the course of your life. At 45 years old, I am not where I want to be in life. I am nowhere close to where I wanted to be when I was asked these questions years ago. I was just asked this question last weekend while on a golf trip in Sevierville, TN, by a gentleman I played golf with. My answer to him was simple… “While I plan for my future, I am living for today as I have no idea what my future will be. All I can do is live today and be better tomorrow.” His reaction was one of confusion as he had his whole future planned out like it was on an excel spreadsheet, yet he wasn’t planning for the unseen or the unpredictable which no one can. I applaud him for having his life planned out, but if there is one thing I have come to learn is that no matter how prepared or planned out your life is, you cannot plan or prepare for the unpredictable or unseen.
See, no one told me that everything I was working hard for the past 45 years would be abruptly interrupted by one moment. One moment changed the course of my life forever. I have had my ups and downs during my adult life. I have managed to get good things going only to have them fail or be blown up. I have managed to get through all of the bad things that have happened to me to start planning my future and convince myself that this time things would be different. Then it happens again, and I start all over. However, while it was the one thing in my life I am not proud of, the one thing that almost cost me everything, it was my addiction to alcohol that helped save my life for my future.
Before I went to treatment, I was a disaster however, I nor anyone else around me could see it. I masked it like the Masked singer on TV. I was so good at convincing others how good I was doing in my life and business that it was by far the biggest Lie I’ve ever told. I mean, who wants to let others know just how bad they are doing in their 40’s especially when their friends and family are thriving, own a home, and take trips wherever they want. Not Me, that’s for sure. It wasn’t until I went into treatment and started the path to clarity, forgiveness, and openness that I finally could come to terms with myself and learn that today is a gift, today is another day, yesterday can’t be fixed but tomorrow I can be even better.
By following this new path, I have managed to do things I never thought were possible. I have stopped worrying about everything I did in my past, the pain and issues I have caused others, the stupid things I have done, and most importantly, I have stopped letting my brain get the best of me. For years I was always thinking about yesterday or things I had no control over. Things like how successful my brothers or cousins were, how they never seemed to have the difficulties I had, or how I screwed up something, consumed me so much I wasn’t able to live for today. All it did was create more and more problems for me and almost drank my life away. I have always tried to plan my life out, make it seem like reality, base it off others, when in fact I myself couldn’t even get through today.
One year and three months have passed since I decided to take control of my life. The results are amazing. I have money; I have a better business, a fantastic wife, and most of all, I have a better, more clear life path. I still have some issues I need to deal with, and I have some demons inside that are still waiting to be eradicated. I am far from perfect, and far from being where I want to be in life; however, I have made more strides and have gotten a lot closer to my goals than ever before—speaking of Goals. I have goals in life now, something I never had before. I have goals for tomorrow and next week. I have goals for next year. I have goals for my business. My appraisal business is better and stronger than ever in the previous 17 years, and its a product of my new path. I don’t have a 5 or 10-year plan because I cannot predict what will happen or where I will be. I have goals I want to obtain and hopefully in 5-10 years from now I will have obtained them. For now I will continue to learn as much as I can each day, apply it to my life, my business, and let it take me to wherever it needs to go one day at a time. I will no longer allow the past to haunt me, control me, or dictate my today.
I will live for today, forget the yesterday and be better tomorrow in all aspects of my life and business.