You can’t plan your whole life out. It’s just not possible.
In his book Stumbling on Happiness, author Daniel Gilbert makes the point again and again that humans are consistently bad at predicting what will make us happy.
Isn’t that funny? We’re simply bad at anticipating in the present what we’ll want and what will make us happy in the future.
So even if you could plan out your entire life without any unexpected twists and turns, you’d have created a stagnant map to a moving target.
This is something I keep coming back to when it when it comes to career planning and your life’s work. For most people, your life’s work doesn’t change very much, but what will change is how you go about making that impact. You can say that your work is about helping people in a certain way, but you can’t necessarily be sure how you’ll go about doing that work 10 years from now.
Some of the difficulty in predicting and career planning is that at this moment you only know what’s possible at this very moment. Possibilities open and close in sets. What’s available and even imaginable to you right now is based on where you are and what you’ve been exposed to.