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Fill in the blank

26 May 2023

Fill in the blank in the following sentence:

In 5 years time on the 26th of May 2028 it would knock my socks off to have __________ happening in my career.

Five years is the perfect time frame for writing a meaningful career ASPIRATION. 

Having a five year aspiration for your career is important because we humans are teleological creatures.  What this means is that we largely make sense of our present through reference to our future (rather than our past).  We need to imagine a future in order to take action in the present.

In the words of eminent psychologist Dr Roy Baumeister:

Present events draw meaning from their connection to future outcomes.

Having the above sentence will benefit your career in a whole range of ways:

  • You will find more enjoyment doing things today in support of your career when you see that what you are doing is in service of something in the future.
  • You will find it easier to choose among options.
  • You will have greater confidence in the decisions you make.
  • You will find you are more creative about trying new things. 

The ongoing value you bring to the world also feels more salient when you have something to strive towards, and you will have a greater sense that what you do will make a difference. 

A big benefit of having the five year aspiration is that it helps you create shorter term goals, and will bring more urgency to those shorter term goals. It is easier to figure out what you want to achieve in the next one to two years when you have a five year aspiration to frame it.

You will also take more consistent, courageous and grittier action when you have the hope of the above sentence pulling you forward to become this better version of yourself. Additionally the statement reminds you that there are other ways to move forward when one or another pathway is blocked. 

So, all up, there are some pretty compelling benefits if you want a career that is flourishing to fill in the blank in the above statement.

Now, writing the five year aspiration doesn’t necessarily lead to achieving it. That is not the point. Your future self probably won't even want what you fill out in the sentence above.  My recommendation, in fact, is that you hone and refine the above sentence every six months - consistently having an aspiration that is five years into the future.

Your five year aspirational sentence gives you courage to be the architect of your future.  It pulls you forward to learn how to be the person your vision needs you to be.    

After writing your sentence then do something to turn it into a tangible thing. Print it out in a beautiful font, paint it, do a collage, etch it on a mug, put it on the back of the toilet door… you get the picture. Put it in your environment where it can inspire you daily. 

If you need help crafting this 5 year aspiration reach out.

If internal saboteurs limit the thinking you can do in this area consider joining my Positive Intelligence Mental Fitness program.

As always, wishing you a flourishing career.


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