Follow up on goals and ambitions

When I earned the Boy Scout rank of Eagle I had to write a letter of my ‘Life Goals and Ambitions’. I rediscovered this letter the other day and it was a real eye-opener. I said a lot of interesting things that I wouldn’t have guessed. I realized today it’s important to revisit your future plans…

Five years ago…

My life ambitions include reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, graduating from high school with an International Baccalaureate degree, going to college and becoming an entrepreneur … I want to study and obtain degrees and certifications in Computer Science. Of of my goals is to become a Cisco Certified Networks Associate. This certification will broaden my knowledge of computer networks and will provide a pathway to great job opportunities. I would also like to graduate from college with a Computer Science degree … I would like to study in California because I believe the technological environment makes it a great place to learn … I want to start my own technology business with the knowledge I’ve obtained. I feel with the new knowledge I will have, and my current skills, I can start and run a technology company. As time goes on, I might change my mind or I might have a different idea for the company I would start. But, I believe starting a business would provide me the opportunity to continue to challenge myself and exercise my leadership abilities.

That silly kid seemed to know what he was talking about. I talked about the idea of long-term goals before. I think it’s good to have direction and it’s obvious that I had one.

Five years later…

I look back and yes, I became Eagle, I graduated with my diplomas and I graduated college with a degree. But, I didn’t get it in Computer Science. In fact, I wasn’t even in the engineering school. I began an Information Systems degree and I even changed that to Accounting.

So what happened? I realized I didn’t want to remain technical. I decided job opportunities aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. There’s more to it (like enjoying what you do). I also saw what happened to technology companies in California. Times change, so could I.

Did I fail at reaching my goals? I wouldn’t look at it that way. I may not be a CCNA and I may not have my own business. But, I feel like I’m still on the right path. I’m still learning and I’m still gaining leadership experience.

Evaluate your goals

It’s important to see where you think you’re headed. At this point it’s like I’m on a road trip. I’m starting in Boston and I know I want to be on the West coast. I start driving and I hit a fork. At that point, I’ll I decide what to do. I have no map, just a sense of direction. Maybe I’ll detour down to New Orleans. Perhaps I’ll stop in Kansas for a bit. I don’t know. I don’t even know which state I’m aiming for. I’m simply headed in the general direction…

Do I still want to be a technology entrepreneur? I don’t know. I think I’ll sit down and write up some ideas of what I hope to do in a few years.

It’ll be fun to look back… again.

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