I have been thinking a lot about my dreams and goals lately, mainly because the end of my PhD is nearing. I’m also starting to realize how incredibly personal dreams and goals are, and that your life’s biggest achievements will depend entirely on you. Some things may be easy for you to accomplish, while they may be very difficult for someone else. In this blogpost I share three of my current goals and why achieving them is so important to me.
1. Finish my PhD
Like I said, my PhD is nearing its end so I had to put this at the top of my list. I started my PhD in 2013 and to be honest, that was the last time I was 100% sure I really wanted something. When I applied for my current PhD position, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I wanted the job. It was all I thought about, all my energy went into it, and I already imagined myself putting an ecstatic post on Facebook stating that I got the job. Now, almost four years later, all I want to do is finish it. I am so proud of everything I’ve learned and accomplished and I will be even more proud when I finally defend my thesis in front of my friends and family (I can’t wait!). I remember when I took my first statistics course at university, which I literally never thought I’d pass, and first heard about doing a PhD. It seemed way out of my league. And here I am, about seven years later, about to graduate. It’s a huge accomplishment, especially for someone like me.
2. Starting my own company
This is a goal I never thought I’d have, but I think that’s partly because no one ever gave me the idea that it would be possible for me. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to say with this blogpost: our dreams and goals are so personal. I don’t just mean they are different for all of us, I mean that my greatest achievements are only great because they were achieved by me. That’s also why you should never compare yourself with other people, because that’s when you lose sight of your own journey and your own growth.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt
In the last two years I grew up a lot and did a lot of soul-searching. This made me realize that if there’s one thing I really want, it’s my own company. I want to be able to build something that’s mine, that I created, and put all my energy into it. At some point I realized that if I’m able to pull this off, it would be a huge achievement for me. You know what I could also be thinking? “Lots of people start companies. It’s no big deal”. Maybe not for them, but it is for me. I never thought I would, I never even thought I could. I am now starting to believe that I can and that’s already an achievement in itself.
3. Be financially independent
Let me just start by saying, that I have never been financially dependent, except for when I lived at home until I was 18. Ever since I moved out I have paid my own bills and I am currently also financially independent. But it still doesn’t feel quite right to me. Maybe this is how life is, but I still feel I live month-to-month with my money and I don’t like that feeling. I want to be able to feel 100% financially secure, so that if something happens I won’t have to worry about money. There’s enough to worry about in life without having to worry about money. It’s the one ‘worry’ I want to cross off my list, preferably as soon as possible. It has been my own goal since I was little. I never knew what I wanted to be, or what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to make my own money. I should be a little more specific though: I don’t just want to make my own money, I don’t want to depend on anyone else for money – and that includes an employer. This is also part of the reason I want to start my own company, so I can be in complete control (I am a control freak after all).
“Once you decide to work for yourself, you never go back to work for somebody else” – Alan Sugar
When I heard Alan Sugar (my hero) say this in a television interview, it hit me and I never forgot it. I suddenly knew what I wanted. I had no idea what I would be doing, but somehow I knew I would be working for myself. I had it figured out – a small part anyway. That is how it works isn’t it? You don’t need to know the whole picture.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Just throwing one more quote in there. It’s true! Most people’s biggest successes start small: with an idea, a small surge of inspiration, or a nudge. Perhaps seeing that interview with Alan Sugar was my nudge, who knows?
So here are three of my current goals, which I feel would be huge things for me to achieve. I have learned not to look at what other people are doing. Oh, that reminds me:
“Succesful people never worry about what others are doing”– Oprah Winfrey
The perfect way to finish this blogpost. Have you ever thought about what has been your greatest accomplishment so far? I’d love to hear about it – let me know on social media, or here in the comments!