In the US, it is common for job interviewers to ask, where do you envision yourself in 5 years from now? The question is meant to gauge how much ambition the candidate has, and if the candidate’s future goals align with the job they are currently applying for. Vision is important in life because without it we become undisciplined and don’t achieve nearly what we are capable of. If I envision myself as a healthier, more muscular version of myself in the future, then I am more likely to go to the gym today. Similarly, if I envision myself as a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer in the future, I am more likely today to hit the books and pay attention in school.
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,[a]Proverbs 29:18
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Where we see ourselves tomorrow is important, but what is even more important is what we do today. Life is all about change and movement. Every day, we are moving in a particular direction and becoming a certain kind of person. Even when we do nothing, we become more ingrained in our old ways, which, in itself, is a kind of change.
There is an expression in English, “Don’t miss the forest for the trees.” This means not to miss the big picture by focusing too much on the small details. This is an important lesson.
However, a lot of people have the opposite problem. They are so focused on the big goal, that they forget to live in the moment and do the little things every day that it takes to achieve it.
Once you have your 5-year goals in place, a better question to be asking yourself every single day is who will I be 5 hours from now?
Who will I be at the end of this day?