When I was 18, I remember being asked, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’
Five years later in 2011, I was 23 and realize that a lot had happened to me in that period of time, namely;
- I completed six internships
- I made two trips to Europe
- I was in three major relationships
- I graduated from college
- I lived in nine different homes among four different cities
- I had been employed at three jobs, and
- I lost two family members
If all this happened in just five short years, it was scary to think how much could happen in 20 or 30 years. But looking back on just five years, I realized I had experienced and learned a lot, but that hasn’t been without some hard lessons.
So now I ask myself; What are five things I learned in five years?
1. Know when to put yourself first
I’m a pleaser. I like to make other people happy, but sometimes that has come at the cost of my own happiness. So after a couple of bad friendships and relationships with people who took advantage of my good nature, I learned that it’s important to know when to put yourself first and when to put others before yourself.
2. Work hard to sustain good friendships
Good friends are hard to come by. You make a lot of friends throughout your life, but only some are worth keeping. My best friends are still the people I grew up with and that’s because I always kept them in my life and worked to sustain these relationships. True friendships are the ones that you work at to keep.
3. One thing at a time
My college roommate once told me to take ‘one thing at a time’ when I was stressing out about all the school work I had, and I never forgot it. Since then, I have applied this simple mantra to any situation where I feel overwhelmed. If you tackle individual tasks, the overall goal will start to seem a lot more manageable.
4. Distribute yourself evenly
It’s hard to balance all the people in your life. When I would try to please everyone, I ended up shutting down, and putting all my attention on just one person and neglecting all the others. But that’s not the way to deal. Make time for everyone, because if you don’t you could lose them all.
5. There will always be another…
After countless prospective job opportunities missed, failed friendships and relationships, it’s important to realize that there will always be another opportunity. When I was younger, I put a lot of emphasis on what I had lost, but I never looked beyond that and realized what I could gain instead. Now that I know this, whenever something doesn’t work out, I know there will always be another…
In five years from now, I’ll be 28 and I can’t wait to see how much more I will learn and experience by then! So now I’d like to know, what have you learned in the past five years?