I vividly remember an end-of-year b-school class – my leadership professor asked the class where they’d like to be in 25 years. Answers varied, but most sounded pretty lofty until one guy said what I suspect others were thinking: “This is all great, but I’m going to make as much money as I possibly can, then I’m going to buy an island and retire there.”
That wasn’t my dream, but I appreciated the clarity and the honesty.
The problem, though, arises after the first six months (or year?) on the island: then what?
I meet a lot of people who have had a great deal of financial success, and what I’ve found is that there’s a pretty low correlation between financial success and having a sense of purpose – that is, some people who are hugely financially successful have a great sense of purpose and passion; others don’t. I can’t seem to find any greater or lesser tendency amongst uber-successful people in knowing why they were put on the earth.
As we all live (hopefully) longer lives, we will at some point have to start on the work of figuring our our passions, what we love, what inspires us.
My friend living on that island will be starting that work in 25 years.
You could start it today.