Do you remember five year plans? Do you remember your high school counselors and motivational speakers telling you that you needed to have one, that you needed to see yourself successful all the way down each step of the path for at least the next five years? I remember being completely freaked out about not knowing what I wanted to do in the next week, much less, five years from now. I remember thinking I was not going to succeed at anything if I couldn’t pick something and see it through the next five years… what if I picked wrong? I’d have wasted all that time. Why don’t authority figures ever tell us to make a rough outline about what we want, in pencil, in case it changes?
Seth Lester went to school for Philosophy, and realized along the way, that the five year plan for that profession didn’t appeal to him at all. So, he scrapped that idea, picked something he wanted to learn more about, and now travels around the country learning about coffee, making a living doing it as he learns, and adjusting the plan when needed. Seth is a perfect example of what living in perpetual beta is about. It’s certainly not about a solid five year plan, and less about flying from the seat of your pants, but more about pursuing your passionate without the shackles of knowing exactly what’s next or even being completely prepared for it. I personally love all the metaphors I can draw from Seth ditching his car full of possessions and making due with what fit in his backpack. It makes me think, what I am holding onto that I can let go of to ease the pursuit of my own passions?
I’m thinking that instead of a five year plan, maybe we need to start advocating instead for a rough outline of a five year adventure. What do you think?