🗺 Don’t make plans, make maps instead.
Recently I was having a conversation with a 17-year-old guy who reached out to me — he already knew what he wanted to do for his bachelors, and he also already knew what he wanted to do for his master’s.
However, whenever he shared his ideas with his friends and family, everyone around him told him that he’s too young to make a plan already.
He was super confused about what to do, and he asked me for advice since he could relate to me, and thought I would understand.
I could —
It was 14 when I had the idea that I wanted to move abroad, and it was when I was 17 when I had the idea that I wanted to study marketing.
Even though I stayed in India and studied Computer Science during my bachelor’s, I was clear that right after my degree I wanted to move abroad and study business/marketing.
It looked like a plan, but it was far from one. I didn’t know where I would go – which school, which country, which program – I had no idea.
Making maps instead —
It was more like a map. It was on my map to do this thing (among other things), but the path to it was unclear. However, since I knew where I was going, I could identify paths that could lead to that place.
That’s how when I found the HEC Paris Summer School in Luxury Management, I knew it was the right thing for me to do.
And it was, because it brought the existence of the HEC MiM degree to my attention. This one discovery made the path further clearer, just like when you discover new places on a map it becomes more clear. It even made me discover other alternative paths.
Or when I got an opportunity to work as a freelancer for an ad agency in Udupi (the town near Manipal), I took it. It made me discover other, different paths too.
How maps differ from plans —
Had I made a plan, it may have looked like this: I get x GPA, apply to y school for z program with a t GMAT score, and I do this within a specific time frame.
There would have been no point making that plan in my first year of college. It’s really too early.
But since I had a map instead, I could still be flexible and explore. I could try different things, and understand that there are multiple destinations on the map that I could visit, not just one.
I could keep moving, discovering new places and new paths and adding them to my map. And at the end of the day, I would have multiple different options to take.
For example, one of the side quests in my map of life (since I was 13 actually lol) was living in Los Angeles. And so when the opportunity came by in 2019, I grabbed it like there was no tomorrow.
Side quest completed.
Even now —
If you asked me my 5 year or 10 year plan, I couldn’t tell you. However, there are multiple different new places on my map, some big, some small. I’m not gonna tell you all of them just yet (some things are best kept a secret 😉).
But a few of them are:
Recording another music album.
Living by the beach in Manipal.
Writing a book.
I don’t know when I’ll do these, or even if I’ll do them at all, but they’re part of the map.
It’s on me to choose where to go, and discover how to get there 😊
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