It’s probably a sign of the times when you fail to find the external validation you need in just one thought, instinct or action. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my “future” and the single most popular answer or advice I get is to chart my way backwards – see where I want to be in 10 years and then start figuring out how to get there. It’s got a real fancy, hope-filling name that I just can’t seem to remember now. Backward mapping? Something of that sort that makes me seem more sure of myself than I really am.
The thing though is that I don’t know – who do I want to be exactly like? I wonder if there’s anyone in this world who has laid down a template for my dreams and goals. It’d be cool to copy and paste this template over my own life story. If I can find that person.
At one point of time I think to myself that maybe I want to do masters in an internationally recognized university. I started asking every person I knew who did the same course or studied in a university that caught my attention, if it was really worth it. Inevitably, you will get two distinct answers. I knew this. One group will tell you that it’s not worth it, that you rather get your hands dirty at the field level, start a band and hit the road. The other group will promise you that you will have no career without a sound academic background.
And what if by some good luck, I found said person with the perfect template for my life? Some artist, some fictional character who I look up to and see as the perfect specimen of talent, values and outcome – the one I backward map. Whatever the case may be, someone else will have a reason why they’re not even worth a passing glance.
It depends on who you ask.
I’m convinced that if you’re not sure of what you want, what you love, that means you can be talked out of it and that is a dangerous place to be in. I also know that nobody’s life template will ever lay evenly over mine. And in those times when they will clash completely, I know I have to walk alone, with confidence that I’m creating my own template, my own storyboard, made out of my own instincts and my own dreams and my own goals. And maybe if do it long enough, somebody will notice my new high-score and maybe someone someday will look to my story as the life to model theirs after.
Of course, some people won’t agree with them. It will all depend on who they ask.