Does Planning for the Future Work?

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Where do you see yourself in five years time? That’s a common question asked by parents and employers all over the world and it has become a little cliche. Unfortunately, it’s a question that does make us think. There are many variations of asking this question, such as “what do you want to do in the future?” or “how are you planning for your retirement?”. As much as we like to think about the future, the reality is that almost anything can happen that will snap our plans in half and we’ll feel like we’ve suddenly just lost everything we were living for.

Does Planning for the Future Work

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The reality of planning

As depressing as it can be to witness our plans falling apart, you have to realise that no plan is going to be a hundred percent sound. There’s no feasible way to plan for the future because it’s unpredictable, so by having a plan you are essentially trying to play with the future and predict it. You might plan something like “at 30, I want a house and a family” but unless you actively work towards that goal, it’s not going to come true. Plans are meant to be used as guidelines that point you towards your success—they aren’t wishes that you pray will come true.

In other words, you have to actively follow your plan it if you want to come true. There might be a few pitfalls or bumps along the way, but planning for the future can only be accomplished if it’s a realistic goal. In a sense, a plan is just another form of motivation. It’s structured so that you have an idea of the order you need to do things in order to achieve your goal, but at the end of the day a plan is just words or text in your mind or on a sheet of paper.

Planning for the inevitable

There are also plans we make for inevitable things in life such as growing old. When your parents grow old, are you going to hire elderly companion services or will you take care of it yourself? No matter what you decide, you’re going to have to actively work towards it. For instance, if you decide to take care of your parents yourself, you’re going to need a big enough house to make that happen and you’ll also have to learn about how to take care of the elderly.

People don’t stay young forever, so you’re going to need to plan your house around this fact. You will need stair lifts, easy access points to get in and out of the home, and you might even need to think about wheelchair access depending on their future conditions. There are far too many factors to consider even if something is inevitable, so what can we really do about this?

The Conclusion

Planning should be treated as motivation. If you are a self-motivated individual, then you can use planning to your advantage and zealously work towards your goals. However, if you have trouble motivating yourself then you can save your time and take on life as it comes. There’s nothing wrong with living every day in the present instead of planning ahead, but it’s important to keep inevitabilities in mind even if you don’t plan for the future.

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