When I was seventeen, I crashed my first car right through our neighbor’s fence. I didn’t mean to do it. I was on my way home from swim practice, and it was raining just enough to make the roads oily. Being the genius I was at that age, I decided to take a 35-MPH turn at about 45, and I skidded out and smashed the passenger side into a horse fence.
This crash is what landed me my first summer job. Mr. Tucker, the owner of this particular farm, came out and stood by while I phoned my mom and told her what had happened. We gave him $100 and my services to help fix the fence, and he took a liking to me while we worked that day.
Working on his farm that summer, I mostly learned how to dig holes through clay, mud, dirt, concrete, rock, wood, and every other substance known to man. I also learned how important it was to be on time, no matter what job you’ve been given.
The one day I was late – the one day all summer – he was so disappointed in me I felt like a complete jackass. I’ve tried my best to show up five minutes early to every appointment since then.
There are so many things I could tell you about this old man. There are so many things you need to know so you can get the same amazing wisdom I got from him! But the coolest thing he told me about was what he said the summer of my Senior year in college.
Make a Life Plan
He told me to make a life plan. To get a piece of paper and ask myself, where do I want to see myself in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Thirty years? Write it down. That’ll help me decide what I want to do next, because I’ll do what helps me get to where I want to be.
Seriously, though – Mr. Tucker’s advice came at a time when I had no idea what to do with myself. I was on my way out of college with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Chinese, and I didn’t know what to do with it.
He showed me 3 things:
- It’s okay to have a long-term plan for your life. This may seem obvious when you hear it, but it was completely new to me to think ten or twenty years ahead.
- Writing it down helps a lot. If you put it on paper, you can see your thoughts in front of you. It helps you organize them so much better.
- I wanted to do business with China. I’ve wanted to do something with China since I was three years old, but when I wrote it down in my plan, it crystallized and solidified into something tangible.
That was the coolest thing ever. Mr. Tucker gave me the tools to single-handedly focus, shape, and re-shape my destiny as I see fit! Yes, I’m being dramatic, but that’s honestly how it felt at the time. I had a purpose, and you can too!
All you have to do is sit down, take fifteen or twenty minutes, and ask yourself: Where do I want to see myself in five years? Ten years? Twenty? Write it down. How do I get from here to there? Boom. Life plan.
If this sounds like a good idea to you, go ahead and do it. Don't worry, it wasn't my idea, I'm shamelessly plagiarizing from one of my mentors. Follow a wise old man's advice. Go make your life plan. It’s a great time, and you get to see the possibilities for your future laid out on a sheet of paper. It's a really cool feeling. As always, best of luck! I'm rooting for you!