Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

As most of India entered FY 2019-20 on April 1, my mind wondered into the corporate domain. See, I come from a stock broking background, so every now and then, I find myself thinking about those days. I wondered to the time where I conducted hoards of interviews, hiring people at multiple levels. That’s when this train of thought struck me.

No matter what the designation, or which side of the table of the interview you’ve been at; you’d be familiar with this question. It’s the age-old corporate question. Where are you going to be 20 years from now???? (I wanna test your ambition, get a glimpse of your hunger, pull at your motivation, and entice your greed, so tell me dear child!)

I have answered this question, and hell, asked it as well.

When answered, I’ve claimed something as inane as being part of the top brass at the organisation, when I have asked, I’ve heard a range of practiced bs—heading the division, running my own firm or working my way to blah blah blah.

But over time, and stepping out of a typical work scenario, I see how ridiculous this question sounds.


Well, because while it awesome to have ambition, and professional goals, but personal evolution also counts- a happy life. Because what you want now may be completely irrelevant to you in 20 years, when the ‘who’ you are has evolved too.

Why do you have to know NOW where you want to be in x number of years? Oh, the pressure.

And here’s the cracker, who is guaranteeing you will even be around at the time?

At no point do I mean for you to quit responsibilities and live on fresh air. Do your professional thing, be busy, but take a moment to understand, in this moment, what do I want? What is making me happy?

You will be shocked at how simple those answers can be– a dance class, a tour of an old monument, clicking pictures, cooking, painting, singing, writing, working out a crossword puzzle or simply working out, connecting with someone from your past, meeting people in your present and being present with them.

Don’t put these off for the next 20 years. Balance that shit out, man. Focus on the now. Gather you nanhi nanhi khushian (little simple joys)

Next time someone asks you that question, you can do one of two things:

  1. Give that practiced BS ambition that even you don’t believe
  2. Or you can carry this attitude in life, and waltz into your interview with– I am happy where I am today. Can’t say what tomorrow will bring.

Because satisfaction is a motivation in itself.

At the end of the day, do you want a career or do you want a future? LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE. What was your last nanhi nanhi khushian moment?