I called home one day in April, as my parents were packing to move to North Carolina, and my dad told me he found something really cool. It was my “career narrative,” some kind of assignment from my suburban high school to make me think about what I want to do in college and my life in general.
When my dad mentioned “career narrative,” I remembered doing it. But I completely forgot what I wrote. Luckily, the scanner hadn’t been packed yet so he scanned it for me. Check out 16-year-old Adam’s plans for the future below:
I think what is most telling about what I wrote is that I realized how exhausting a 30- or 40-year career would be. I wrote this in the heat of the dot-com boom and I was active in the stock market at the time. I thought the key to happiness was freedom. I planned to achieve that freedom by investing and achieving financial independence and retiring at a young age.
I did retire at a young age, the same day as my mom actually, but by no means am I financially independent. And I realize that financial independence would not make me happier right now. It has no bearing on anything, actually.
I also realized how important it was to enjoy whatever I end up doing. I can’t say that was the truth while at Schlumberger or Siemens, but I can definitely tell 16-year-old Adam that 29-year-old Adam is rocking this goal!
I can’t tell you how big my smile was as I read what I wrote so many years ago. In a post from last year I talked about write yourself a letter for the future. I did this by accident
If you aren’t living your ideal life, write your own career narrative with what you’d like to achieve and use futureme.com to send it to yourself in the future. More importantly, work toward achieving that ideal life. There is no time like the present, and you can make mistakes along the way (like me trying to find happiness working for Schlumberger and Siemens). The important thing is reaching your happy destination!