What do you want to achieve in the next 10 years? Really?

What do you want to achieve in the next 10 years ? measurementsuccess

That was the question from a consulting company in a job interview that I had in 2003.   That was the time when I was forced into a horrified and dramatic change in life,  That was the time when I realized the family that I thought I had was nothing but a part of conspiracy plan of my ex- and his family.  My heart was broken, the world that children and I used to know was broken, children and I faced the constant fear and pain.  Unexpectedly I learnt from life that there are so many unknown can happen in life and trust in relationship could be so fragile and thinner than a fine rice paper .

At that time I could not think about self-esteem or self-confidence; all I could think of was how to survive and how to protect my two children.  At that time, I was totally alone to fight for the family and for my life; the only person truly cared about me was my mother who lived far far far away.  The other thought was how to avoid bringing any shame to my family because of divorce.

At that time I lost trust on people, I did not know what other dirty tricks that my ex- (the father of my children) could possibly play next day or month, I was worrying how to manage the daily bread and food for children and comfort them through the painful period…….

At that time the word of “future” seemed so far and blur,  I could not think of any plan for life, except tried to cope with the critical development everyday.  When it seemed I have lost everything, I found my strength back from the upbringing learning from my family, with the practice of Daoyin Qigong and consistent efforts in promoting Chinese tea culture; the clear consciousness and honesty helped me to keep my head up and back straight.

When thinking backwards today, I’m happy that painful experience helped me to know myself better, it gave me a valuable lesson that nothing is more important than health, honesty, the inner strength and positive thinking in life. What’s tomorrow?  Tomorrow is based on the attitude and actions of today. I am still a dreamer, but now I know the importance of putting my feet on the solid ground.

When faced the question “What do you want to achieve in the next 10 years?”, I chose to reply honestly

What is achievement in life?  What and how can you measure it? Do you really know what might happen tomorrow, next month or next year in life?  My answer to your question today is to stay alive with good health, body and mind.  Instead of thinking about 10 years ahead, I would rather focus on now because it is not possible for me to accomplish anything unless  I can do my best now”.  

Were they satisfy with this honest answer, did I get the job? Of course not.  Because for them I was not assertive enough; they were looking for someone who were aggressive and assertive knowing what to achieve in the next 10 years.  They were not able to answer my question when I asked them “Do you really know what will happen tomorrow or in the next few month, or next year?”.  Because in their heart, they knew they too have many concerns and they did not have the right answer about what could happen in the future.

When people, consultant or corporate managers talk about ‘business development strategy’, I wonder what do they really see?  Logic and numbers that they can analysis based on the financial report?  In life we all have dreams or have ambition for future, but what is in the reality?  Can you really predict and control everything? Life is more than what logic can analysis, is more complex than any number can explain.

People probably can achieve the high position or wealth that they have dreamed for based on their efforts, but can they keep it forever?  What can these ‘achievements’ really bring in their life? Really?

copyright of Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Center / Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association 2015

copyright of Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Center / Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association 2015