Monday, 11 August 2014

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS ??


It is scientifically proven that you can physically live only in the present. You can chip your nails all you want trying to dig out the past or fry some serious grey cells stressing about the future, but your body shall continue playing hockey with the present. No other choice man.

So now that we have established that we are residents of the present, I find it bizarre when someone asks me “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”. It is the most baseless, mundane and garbage of a question in the history of questions. You are supposed to have a six by six vision into the future and know exactly where your life is headed to. Anything less and you are a disgrace. I have battled this demonic question through school, college, job interviews and conversations with the enlightened gentry, being the friends of my father. My every answer rebutted the previous one and my conscious hid her face inside a used paper bag. This question truly needs to be eliminated.

I really don’t know where my life is headed to. I don’t know where I will be in the next five years. Maybe I would be soaring in this lawyer profession of mine, or maybe I would be married with a kid on its way, or maybe, I would be in a hospital undergoing a colonoscopy. I could be anywhere, doing anything and living anyway. My present is all I have to fret about right now. Yes, right now.

Now I have reasons to substantiate my aversion to that question. The validation is that not once have I lived the vision I saw of myself five years back. In school, when Shiny Miss asked me where I see myself in the next five years, I told her that I see myself studying to be a neurosurgeon. Of course I said that only to make an impact, because 11th grade came and I opted for commerce. Then came law school where the same question was repeated and the answer this time was “I won’t be a litigation lawyer. I see myself working in a top tier corporate law firm”. Of course, I became a litigation lawyer. I can hear the universe trying to stifle a giggle. 

There is nothing wrong in not knowing where your life is headed to. It is OK not to have a plan. You are allowed to let life take its own course. You are fine! I try treating my present well and I prepare for the immediate future which my myopic vision can see, i. e ‘What clothes should I wear for the upcoming wedding of the senior I hate.’ or ‘May be I should start a recurring deposit to save some money because I need to buy an iPhone next summer’. Sometimes, just sometimes I try to go a little further by exercising 4 times a week because I know that this body of mine needs to be healthy to pole vault over the insane hurdles that the future has charted out for me.

The past five years have changed me as a person. I do not hold the same interests, I do not carry with me the same mentality and I have very less in common with the person I was five years back. I have evolved and I have learnt. I have become an upgraded version of me, with many bugs removed. I did not foresee any of this. I did not plan. I am comfortable with myself.

I am not the Planning Commission of India to come out with a five year plan. Come to think of it, even their plans rarely work out.

Why kill a beautiful present?

145 comments:

  1. I have been asked that question in many job interviews and such over the years. I think that question should be banned permanently!

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    1. hahaha Thank you for being the first to read.

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  2. Wow! This is exactly what I wanted to read when my head was bursting with some nonsense future related worry. Thanks Red, every word of this makes sense :)

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    1. You are welcome... :p
      And I love u!

      Delete
  3. This is freaking relate-able. I always thought I'd end up a scientist, turns out I am a glorified content writer. But you know, people hate it when you openly say you are swinging it and lets just see what it hits. Oh well, to hell with the people.

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    1. U r a content writer? That is awesome man!!!

      Delete
  4. I don't know where I am going to be in "five" minutes from this very point, and they're asking for "five year" plans? Sigh! You and I, Red - we have a bond. No wonder I like you so much :) All this planning, executing....all that is beyond me. I am happy in the present where I now have a book that I'm writing. I wonder if that "future reader" can tell me if it'll be a hit? If so, I'll just stop writing and publish it. It's going to be a hit anyway :)

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    1. hehe Thankkkkkkkkkkssssssss!!!
      I know what I am going to do in five minutes.. 'EAT'
      And you should publish the book. No need for visionsss.

      Delete
  5. That is the question only God can answer !

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  6. haha...yes, yes none of us are the Planning Commission..!! I think none of us truly know where we will be five years later and frankly I find those that do a little boring :D

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    1. Me tooo!!! Too much planning is not my cup of tea!

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  7. I rarely ask this question to myself because I also don't like to "kill beautiful present."

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  8. Ask me what I'm gonna do the next minute...and the only ans you would get is a blank stare... so you could guess my reaction for this question. Planning n executing is something I have always failed in. Couldn't even schedule a post for a blog challenge... then how life? Awe.. I wonder. Moreover what's fun in living a planned life... we should be spontaneous na? ;)

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    1. hahahahah I like you...yes, we should be spontaneous only!!!!

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  9. Amazing post, Red! I hate this question so much. How would I know where I'll be in five years? I might not even be alive in the next five years. Or I might become a popular fiction writer. Anything can happen - good or bad. Why can't we just live in the present?
    I don't even know where I'll be in five days. (Actually, I do. Going back home for the weekend - weeee! But who knows what will happen there?)

    I don't know where I'll be five years later. I just hope I'll be happy.

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    1. You could be a popular fiction writer. I can see that!! :D
      and U are going home? Makes me so jealous :(

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  10. lol

    i cant stop myself from laughing uncontrollably and yes you made me think

    why these stereotypes questions...

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  11. I agree with Anita Jeyan up there. Do we even know what shall happen tomorrow? Let alone five years later.

    Its crazy that every corporate asks you this question in their interviews. I said I shall take over the CEO with a clear hint of sarcasm. I got the job :P

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    1. wow....brilliant answer indeed. Y wudnt they hire a confident woman :)

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  12. As usual, another gem from your pen! Loved it Red :)

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  13. I totally 'support' you in banning this question! People are too interested in future, and trying to predict it - consequently overlooking the present!

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    1. you said it. We forget that there is a present. we ruin it fretting over the future.

      Delete
  14. "The past five years have changed me as a person. I do not hold the same interests, I do not carry with me the same mentality and I have very less in common with the person I was five years back. I have evolved and I have learnt. I have become an upgraded version of me, with many bugs removed. I did not foresee any of this. I did not plan. I am comfortable with myself."

    This para totally stands out. And frankly only thing that matters is whether what I choose today will keep me happy tomorrow and not blame anything or anyone else for it!!

    Again a superb post!!!

    Keep Posting!! Cheers!!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading.
      All we should strive to be is happy..and how can u be happy if you dont enjoy ur present.

      Delete
  15. Red, excellent post!

    One more stupid question is...

    "Why do you want to join our organisation?"

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    1. hahahahaa that one is a masterpiece too. I want to join ur organisation because I have no other opening available for me.

      Delete
  16. Worst of all is, before appearing for a question like this, we google for answers!! hahaha
    Sometimes my plan for the day hardly works out, 5 years is a very long time. Chill. But do start a recurring deposit :)

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    1. hahah I have googled answers for it!!!! DAMN!!!!
      And yes recurring deposit I must!

      Delete
  17. There was something so hard-hitting about this post. Come to think of it everyone does ask you that question, and we build a picture of where we're successful and which also sounds pretty good. Alas! Nothing happens. It's just amazing to embrace your present and very few people have the power or rather urge to do that. Loved every bit of this Red :)

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    1. The funny thing is we all kick our conscience in the ass with our made up answers.
      Thank u so much !

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  18. Tough question with no definite answer. The funny part is once you give your answer, no one can counter question you! :P

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  19. You said it. Life is what happens to you while you are planning other things.

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  20. So so so true! The last lines made me laugh :)
    But then living in the present is quite a great quality to have. Most people find it impossible not to fret about the past or worry about the future. If you do have this trait in you, keep it up!

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    1. I fret and worry too...But I am learning that I shudnt do so. This post is a step ! :D

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  21. Wow..!
    To read this post is such a relief..!
    You re amazing Red..!

    Cheers

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  22. I have been asked that question in almost all interviews and in the last 3 I had the same answer. I told them I wanted to be in their chair asking that question to the person I will be recruiting and I always got the job :).

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  23. Where did my comment go ? :(
    anyway I was saying even the 5 year planning program doesn't function properly .:P
    like saif says in Hum tum - " Itni door ki planning maine nai ki hai :) "

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    1. hahahah SAIF ne ye kab kaha? wah waaaah!
      :D

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  24. A much dreaded question in all the stupid MBA entrance exams which I flunked :-P This is a very academic question and I'm sure even the interviewers must be laughing their heads off with the answers. Why they must base selections on such stupid methods even I'm seeking an answer to. On a lighter note, 'getting a colonoscopy done' cracked me up...inspired by Sheldon Cooper?? ;-)

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    1. When did Sheldon say that :O
      Thanks for reading babe.

      Delete
  25. Spot on as always, Red! No idea why people spent so much of time planning for the future. We should simply enjoy the present, as you said.

    And it cracks me up when people ask this question during interviews. Obviously, they see us working with them forever!

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    1. exactly...most illogical question ever. I wonder what there answer would be if I ask them the same.

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  26. Good one! Exaclty what I say. Man, I don't know what I will be doing tomorrow or if I will be doing anything at all, wait! Don't frigging know what I will do after writing this comment. Ain't good at pole vault business at all.

    I remember saying in one of my interview- "If you give this job to me, I might get started on my five year ahead plans for a better position in this company" :D

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    1. Tht is the best answer ever!!!!!!
      I am going to copy that :P

      Delete
  27. Like a friend of mine said, the farthest I think about the future is planning my next meal. Sometimes even that doesn't work according to plan. :D

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    1. hahahah I like that friend of yours. Intelligent :P

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  28. I think this is one of the standard questions that is used in an interview.
    Many will come up with some "rosy and happily ever after" answer, but deep inside they will have their doubts.

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    1. Oh I always have my doubts when I give the rosy answers.. :P
      Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  29. Haha... seriously!!! One of the silliest questions!!! I have no freaking idea what will happen tomorrow let alone five years from now!!!

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  30. Ha ha ha absolutely! I don't know where I will be in the next month, let alone 5 years. It is absolutely fine to have NO plan at all....

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    1. hahaha thank you so much for reading!

      Delete
  31. I think its a perfectly vague question that we use as a crutch when we have nothing better to ask. But what I do know is, we all wish to be happier and thinner five years from now.

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    1. Oh I definitely want to be thinner. :P
      Thanks Purba!

      Delete
  32. I think it is a silly question meant to make small talk. It falls flat most often because it is rather silly. I am not a soothsayer, I say normally.

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  33. haha..I am finally commenting on thy postuu.. :D you know this is so true. All through my growing up years I would be asked this question. In school,in college, job interviews. This is so extremely annoying. I don't know what I will be wearing tomorrow or eating for dinner tonight. Yet I have to decide what I will be doing 5 years down the line. I know you should have a vision and all that. But hey...it rarely comes true man. Why feel dejected later that you didn't stay true to your vision. As we grow up our ideas and thoughts change. So will our aspirations.So why can't people just let it be and let everyone find their own path. After all life is about discovering oneself. So let us fall, stumble,discover and rise. We all will be fine:)
    Good one molay. Cheers !!

    PS- It's meeeeee :D:D So hopefully my name will lead you to my new blog link. If not I have published it on fb. Go read and phallow like old timesu. It felt so good commenting here after like agesss.

    PPS-I totally sounded like one auunty in my comment no :D:D:D

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    1. YOU IZZZZ BACCCK? MEOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW? YOU IS BAAAAAAAACK!!!!
      I am so gonna stalk you :P
      Just like old times.

      Delete
  34. Really touching & so true, Red!
    "I have evolved and I have learnt. I have become an upgraded version of me, with many bugs removed." Ditto. Amen. May we continuously evolve & upgrade!

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  35. Brilliant post, this!
    I guess I will come back to read this post almost every year when I face that dreaded question. This post is a perfect answer, I hope you don't mind me borrowing it once a year :) ;)


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    1. You are generous. Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much :)

      Delete
  36. When I was asked this question in my first interview, I had this insane urge to say "I just hope I am alive at that time". If someone answers this question with a straight face, the answer is a well rehearsed lie.
    "I hope to be happy" makes a good enough answer but it wont make sense to most of the people asking this question.
    Nice post RED.. :)

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    1. Sad how humour, sarcasm, truth or philosophy never bags you a job :(

      Delete
  37. Bang on! Hate this question.
    Why don't people care to know what we are NOW than knowing what we MIGHT be ? :/

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  38. Thank you. I really needed to read this today since my life has suddenly decided to be a real time bitch. All i needed today was to read that I seriously do no need a five year plan.

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    1. hehehahe chalo this post was of some use :D

      Delete
  39. Truly one of the best posts i have read so far...spoken truly and straight to the point...no jiggery pockery...no baseless high sounding philosophies. You r heading right girl !! i say and hats off to you.
    Thank you also for stopping by at my post and thus letting me know that some soul like you EXISTS.
    Glad to have met you...if virtually but that's okay...there are none around me REAL LY . ;)
    Also i love the artwork on ur blog header...was wondering if that's ur work too...reminds me of someone i know...someone i love and fight with often.
    Don't amswer if u don't want to...thing is i wanted to tell u that it reminds me of the one who does work...outstanding drawings like this one on ur header . :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. How very kind of you ...and I am so glad we met.
      Welcome to my humble blog! :D
      This doodle header was made by a friend and an amazing doodler named NEHA...She has a facebook page named 'NOODLES BY NEHA' :D

      Delete
  40. It is the most baseless, mundane and garbage of a question in the history of questions.Hahahaha
    I laughed like hell after reading this sentence....

    Wonderful post Indeed...Why Kill a beautiful Present!!!

    PS: I hated that question and I still do...

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    1. HEHEHE...YOU ARE CUUUTE!
      Thanks for reading babe,

      Delete
  41. Red this was just brilliant! The punch line about Planning Commission is so true! I wish more people could learn to live in present and enjoy it rather than worry all the time about future which could sometimes take a U Turn, if luck is not by the side:)

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    1. I wish the same too. Why not make our present beautiful.
      We can keep short term goals too!

      Delete
  42. yaa...so true.. I had made statements about my five year plans too..ntohing of it came true... it's all topsy turvy... .and i totally agree when u say present is what we need to think about... past is gone, future, no one has seen, except if you are dumbledore!

    This post makes so mcuh sense.. I wanna know whatis colonoscopy.. sounds something wicked..lemme google :P :P

    u go girl..make ur present count.. u r awsm!

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    1. U are gonna cringe when you find out the meaning of the word COLONOSCOPY.
      Please dont hate me :P
      YOU ARE MEGA AWESOME!

      Delete
  43. Lolz...
    I totally agree with you... and also relate to you...
    In fifth grade i also told that I want to become a pediatrician... I took commerce in 11th...
    The, while doing CA, I kept telling that I will ONLY practice and never work for a company...
    And today, I am working in a company...

    So, I have stopped planning too...

    May be this is why Government's five years plan always fails!

    Sigh

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    1. hahahaha I like you!!! Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  44. In the poorvashram, while I was a born mallu, answered the interview question of "Where do you see yourself in the next five years?" as "In the mirror".

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  45. every job interview i have gone to the same question is asked, and i use to always find it really bizarre question, I mean I dont even know whats going ot happen tomorrow or whats going ot happen after the interview will i get the job or not and there is this guy asking me 5 years from now ..

    I have been growing up to be first as sportsman, always thought i would be in the india hockey team, that happened in juniors but that was about it , then it was i will be in army .. army army that went on .. but here I am in UK doing something completely different which i had never thought of .. and that too in a different country :)

    Bikram's

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    1. You are happy with yourself....whether ur plans worked out or not....so we dont need to plan :D

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  46. the question haunts me daily... I often ask myself where would I be in five years from now and it has only made me more and more restless... I wish living in the present was as easy as it seems... How do you do it Red.? I wish I could get there too....:P :P :)

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    1. I dont lose anything in preaching you see. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! :P

      Delete
  47. I dont do plans, I have realized whatever I plan, they eventually got dumped and life comes up with their own plans, I dnt even have a One year plan right now. I have a 4 months plan and I am actually happy about it :D

    Okay.. I have to ask this question since you are lawyer - What do you like more - Suits or The Good Wife ? :P :P

    Also, what is a Litigation lawyer.. I keep hearing it in all those lawyer shows

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    1. THE GOOD WIFE anydayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!
      Litigation lawyer is something who actually goes to court and fights a case...civil or criminal..
      Transactional lawyer is something who doesnt have to go to court and helps you with the legal advisory, Trademark /Patent registration blah blah blah.
      You can be either. dont need special qualification. I am both actually.

      Delete
  48. Lovely Red! Each one of us can relate to what you have said. As each day passes by our plans change, our goals change and we change. We don't know what tomorrow brings. I was lucky that I wasn't asked this question in my job interview :-D

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    Replies
    1. they did not ask you this question? HOWWWWWWWWWWW
      Thanks for reading babe.

      Delete
  49. "Why kill a beautiful present?" Rightly said, Red! 5 years from now...we would have evolved more!

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    1. thankuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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  50. ai yai yai... so true on two key points. One, there is no point guessing ahead - life can give some major twists and turns.. also, the point about changing priorities is so true. Things mattered so much 5 years ago are insignificant now to me. I doubt if I can even remember "that guy" from 2009!

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    1. I am sure u r happy with yourself. Who needs a plan. :D

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  51. This was heartwarming ... often we worry about the future, and in the process forget to live the present...very beautifully said :-)

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  52. I was asked this question. I answered: As your boss.

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  53. AGREE AGREE AGREE AGREE!!! Did I say I agree with every word. Oh yes I did like 'order, order' in movie courts :P I couldn't have imagined turning into what I have five years back. -_-'

    I have followed you on Twitter, using my 'other world' name. Can't have enough of your wit... I want you as my lawyer. :D


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    1. Tell me your other name.. so that I can follow you :P

      Delete
  54. I hate, hate, hate that question!! It makes no sense to me at all - there are so many better questions if you want to know what a person's goals and dreams are :)

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  55. hahaha.. i faced this question twice .. when last year placement drive was going in the college .. In Amazon i answered it in most common way people do like .. developing my skills to level. blah blah ..
    Wasn't selected

    In TCS .. I jokingly answered .. Utilizing my acquired skills such that no body can think of asking me this question again :D got selected ..

    P.S -The Most irrelevant comment of this post :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Atleast you learnt how to please them :P
      Not irrelevant. Highly amusing :D
      Thanks Boss!

      Delete
  56. hahaha. I belong to the category of people who even have 10-year planning done. But what I have noticed is that none of my plans work. Something completely unexpected happens. So there is no point in planning, but I still plan. :)

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    1. hehe well whatever makes you feel happy :D

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  57. Lifetime lesson for all of us :)

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  58. I hate job interviews because of that question :P

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    Replies
    1. I dont blame you! Thaaaaaaaanks for reading.

      Delete
  59. Hahaha!!! This is brilliant..

    P.S: Back on blogger after really long time.. So expect spam (Comments) on all of your Blog posts for the next few days!

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    Replies
    1. I would looooooooooooooooooooove that!!! Thaaaaaaanks

      Delete
  60. Just like me. I usually like to avoid thinking about what is to be :)

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  61. After giving numerous gd-pi for MBA this season I am really sick of this question. Sometimes I think that these type of questions are asked only to irritate me :/

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  62. So well said! Sometimes I feel that this question is asked by interviewers only because they were also asked the same question during their own interviews. Like a way of ragging a junior!
    When has anyone ever got a 'normal' or believable answer to that question anyway!

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    Replies
    1. now that explains..actually I might use this question if I interview someone too...because RAGGING THEORY. :D

      Delete
  63. That was just the best post in this whole week I have read. I love how you have quoted on personal ones...I agree with you hands down....Next time I hear this question at an interview, I would be much tempted to summon that person to your post....Should be legally banned ;)

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    Replies
    1. You are kind. Thank you soooooooooooo much for reading!

      Delete
  64. I wish more people were ok with not knowing what is going to happen in the next few years. But it's perceived as lazy, unambitious, and showing a lack of initiation.

    I would know, I stalled with school plans for a few months and more than a few people started giving me looks.

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    Replies
    1. You are cool. You are awesome. Who cares what people say.

      Delete
  65. This question is just one of these cliches, like "your strengths and weaknesses", and "why only this organisation". The sad part is that it can be used in non-interview settings too :-)

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  66. Hello, blog hopping and found your beautiful blog.

    Nice post.

    Please visit mine too and feel free to add comments.

    Thanks
    Rajiv
    www.magnificentdewdrops.blogspot.com
    www.magicalpresent.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. it's good to make plans. We musn't focus on them so much that we dont see the life passing right by us.

    Good post :-)

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  68. this is a routine question being asked even at stanford and harvard campus placements too coz corporates want to read your approach towards your profession or your way of thinking.we all do ask questions even when you fall in love to know your partner's mentality.same is with companies,its just a mind reading tactic.

    there is a funny scene in the movie the reluctant fundamentalist ,when the same question is asked to protagonist by his boss,he gives a answer that will define his competence to please his boss.when same question was asked by his friends,he says he wants to become a dictator to islam nation with nuclear capability.

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  69. To an extent, we should at least have a vague idea of what we would be doing, but when some people ask us if we've got it planned every day, I ask them how are they so sure that they will get up tomorrow morning and not pass away in their sleep. That prevents them from asking me such useless questions again and again :D

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  70. Typical question at the interviews and typical answers everybody has. But yes, your last few lines nail it. I wish we could all just live in the present.

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  71. Guess, we can never know where life will take us in another five years. My life been full of unplanned battles, victories and defeats. Honestly, I don't wanna know where I'll be but would like to be on a path of self-discovery and growth.

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  72. Frankly we don't know where we will be tomorrow.. 5 years is out of question :P Honestly I think things happen the best when they are not planned, because we get to experience life as it comes to us.. loved your view Red.. dont worry I am with you :)

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  73. HAHA, I felt like I was reading something I wrote about myself. I thought I will never take a job having to do anything with computers, and pfftt face palm. I am into software. I find that question truly silly. I dont think one can really or one should really plan for something that long! One lovely read!

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  74. HR people, please take note!

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  75. They are scrapping the Planning Commission, I heard. BTW, colonoscopy... hehehehe...

    I agree, I am a different person as compared to what I was 5 years back, with more grey cells and hair. Why plan, kuch future pe bhi chhod dete hai.

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  76. Next time, someone asks me this question, I am going to make them try out the cartoon answer. :) Good post Red. :)

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  77. Arey yaar, this is one Q which is a sure-shot for interviews. Something which every *interview coach* will tell you. Even make you 'rattofy' the answers for :P
    I don't even know whether I'll wake up on my side of the bed tomorrow. but yes, we all have some plans for the future, which may or may not happen. If it does, fine. If it doesn't, fine. We'll sail along.
    Somehow I have never been able to answer this Q in any way.
    Fully agree to what you've said here.

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  78. An excellent philosophy! Why spoil the present moment which is what is in our hands. Most people spend their time agonising over the past and planning for the future totally ignoring the present. The past is gone and who knows what the future holds- due apologies to all astrologers. Ofcourse some basic planning is good just to take care of emergencies but more than that, is a no no.

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  79. It is a stupid question.. I could never come up with an acceptable answer. Your write up is too good.. :)

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Spit It Out I Say !!!