As my time as an undergraduate student started winding down, I found myself asking what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. More than a decade has passed and I’m still asking myself the same question. Yet instead of being frustrated or fearful, I find myself excited. I am asking the same question more than ten years later because I have grown.
In my early twenties, I planned to start graduate business school. I had intentions of becoming a high-powered marketing researcher. I envisioned myself wearing suits and heels, carrying a briefcase, driving a convertible sports car, and making more money than I knew what to do with. While my visions for my life were ambitious, they were focused on external satisfaction and were quite frankly, selfish. Those plans didn’t fit who I was becoming. I had to change because what I wanted changed. It started to become less important that I appeared successful and more important that I inspired others. It was less important for me to succeed individually and more important for my life to impact the lives of others. As I grew up, my goals grew up.
You are designed for development and progress. That is why your goals alter and expand. Don't beat yourself up or feel that you lack direction because you are no longer fulfilled or driven by the same things. As you grow older, you evolve. Changing goals do not indicate failure, mistaken judgement, or defeat. When your goals change to align with who you are becoming, it is evidence of maturation.
What you desire for your life at twenty should not be the same desires for your life at thirty. What you envision at thirty should grow into more by the time you are forty. As you take on more personal roles (become a spouse, an aunt/uncle, a parent, etc.) and achieve professional successes, you will find yourself desiring more from life than you once sought. Don’t be afraid when your desires lead you down a different path and cause you to want more from life. Don’t misinterpret what those changes indicate. Welcome the growth and boldly take the steps needed to achieve your new goals.