Walking With a Purpose

Make a Life Plan

Posted by Jonathan Sekela on August 30, 2017

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Your Turn!

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!