Calculating Your Trajectory: Dreaming Up The Future You
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Calculating Your Trajectory: Dreaming Up The Future You

"Where do you see yourself in 3 years?" "I don't know, I don't have 2020 vision."

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Calculating Your Trajectory: Dreaming Up The Future You
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One day before heading back to college to start the spring semester of my junior year, I sat at the island in the kitchen, eating breakfast with my parents at 5 am. We were all still suffering from jet lag having returned from a three-week trip in India a few days earlier. I had been awake since 3 am, mostly from my body-clock being out-of-whack or maybe from the anxiety I had of starting what would most likely be one of my hardest semesters of college. Either way, I was up.

As we were drinking our overly sweetened tea, a habit we had picked up in India, my dad was showing me his syllabus and talking points for a seminar he would be teaching every Tuesday night at a school of public health this semester. He wanted to start of the class by introducing himself and telling his journey of how he got to where he is.

“Look at what I found in my files,” my dad said, pulling out a Manila folder from underneath his printouts. Inside were multiple sheets of paper almost resembling a timeline highlighting important events.

“In 1983, when I was 20 years old, I charted out my future and what I wanted to accomplish. Medical school, Masters in Public Health, writings, a family, community work, spreading Jain values, teaching.”

On the last page of his diagrams, he had six goals he wanted to achieve in his life. As he read them out to my mom and me, it matched his current life today almost to the tee. It amazing me how at my age someone had their goals and aspirations so clear that they could follow through and achieve them over the next 30+ years. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here with my mom asking me what I wanted to each for lunch in a few hours and I’m at a loss.

Then I think back to how much my life has changed in the past few years, how my initial mindset and plan coming into college had already gone through multiple revisions. And depending on how this upcoming semester goes, it could go through many more.

But in the end it’s all about perspective. I’m sure my dad’s life took numerous twists and turns, high points and low points, but he still made it to where he wanted to be. So whether it’s for the new year or the new semester, keep the end goal and mind and don’t get caught up in the small things. If you stay true to your goals, you’ll get there one way or another.

As for me, I have one more month of being 20 so let’s see if my prediction skills are as on-point as my dad’s.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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