Are life plans a necessity?

June 29, 2012 9:02 pm

Should I be panicking, when a 60-something man explains to me on a Sunday night at my part-time job as a waitress, that, in the next year or so, I need to make sure all my expectations for the future are secure in my mind? He told me that without plans to do so, I may not give myself a proper chance with whatever it is I decide to do with my life.

I do, in some ways, agree with the stranger sitting at table three. Yes, you may think he was somewhat of a cynic (even though he gave me a great tip), but its people like him who make you see yourself in a different light. Should we all have a five-year plan? Should we be choosing the best life partner possible at the age of 20 to safeguard our security for the years to come? Should it be that our lives are planned from an early age and we need to do nothing more than follow a load of rules and regulations to fit into what, I perceive, society now sees as the perfect life (e.g. having a stunning suburban home with a comfortably well-off partner and three beautiful children). A high percentage of people decide that they want to adjust themselves as far away from the ‘ideal life’ as they possibly can. For example, the ‘rock-and-roll’ life-style and ‘the rebels’. There are a huge number of people who are more than happy to exist as they are because there is no time like the present! Get your bags, get up, and go. People with these aspirations dream up and are then daring enough create the life of which they can be incredibly entertained by when it flashes in front of their eyes the second before they kick the bucket. I praise those people; I really do. It might be easier to create a life that has already been set out by society rather than going against the grain and pushing yourself to do something outrageous.

However, I can’t. I won’t lie; I want nothing more than that typical life. It’s great to know where you’re going and to have a feeling that you know exactly the place you want to be at in five years time. It’s OK to want to connect yourself to whomever you think is going to be able to support you in the near to distant future. In basic terms, it’s absolutely fine to be selfish. In reality, everyone is… even the most adventurous person. Yet, having the belief that you can actually arrive at your goals is a completely different story. Wanting to achieve something particular and storing enough passion and drive to ensure that you get there is a ridiculous amount more difficult than planning even just one year of your life. This is why so many young adults are out of work or find it hard to encourage themselves to do anything aside from drink on the side of the street on a Wednesday night. You can shout and discourage them by telling them they’re useless as much as you like, but where are the speeches about passion and inspiration? My passion comes from set goals. I want to be, just like everyone else (including those kids you call a nuisance), a Somebody.

Even though I agree with the fact that having plans for the rest of my life is a good idea, I don’t feel as though the morals and expectations that I, or anyone else for that matter, have today will necessarily be the same as they will be in 40 years.

Trying is the route to succeeding and I will, as I hope you readers do, carry that particular theory with me for the rest of my life.

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