Fighting the five-year plan


bachelor in commerce

It’s healthy to have goals, isn’t it?

“I want to be the CEO by the time I’m 30”. “I planned to be married and having my first child at 27”. “I will be running my own successful business as soon as I graduate”.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had these thoughts. Whether you’re completing a degree in law, IT or education, the concept of a five-year plan isn’t entirely a foreign concept. For some of us, it becomes a blueprint for our lives.

Yes, having goals is healthy but when our plans don’t materialise, we can be left feeling like a failure. It’s why psychologists suggest that we rethink our fixation with these plans. This determination to achieve certain things in a set order can prevent us from appreciating each day as we should. It can also take our sense of pride away from smaller, less notable achievements.

“The concept of a five-year plan isn’t entirely a foreign concept. For some of us, it becomes a blue print for our lives”.


According to the experts, this idealistic way of life can do more harm than good. This is especially clear in a digital world where we base our own worth on what we see on social media. We become disappointed that others appear to be reaching their goals and fulfilling their five-year plans. How could we have fallen so far behind?

The psychology behind why we do it is also interesting. Some of us create these plans because we’re unhappy with life as it is right now. Through our list of goals for the future, we believe that we’ll be more accomplished and much happier as a result. The downside is not always the failure to achieve these expectations. It’s often getting to the top and realising that we didn’t actually want what we thought we did.

For example, take someone with a degree in law. They might have graduated top of the class and come to run the business management law division within a huge firm. This was totally in line with their five-year plan but they feel like something is missing. They soon realise it’s because they gave up their younger years to build a career, so they lost time with the ones they love most. As a result, they’ve drifted from family and friends.

Whilst that is merely an example, it paints an important picture for those with a five-year plan mentality. Don’t wish your life away. Enjoy your now and be present. Not everything in life can be controlled. Sure, someone you admire achieved their goals in a particular order within a certain time frame. It won’t make you a failure if you don’t replicate it.

The truth is, there is no perfect life and certain way to success. Every path is different. That’s the beauty of it. Don’t miss out on fully appreciating today and all of the days that follow. By focussing on what you could have that’s better, you never really appreciate what you have.

At The IIE’s Varsity College, we keep our students motivated, grounded and focussed on what they need to take life to the next level. With a balanced approach to student life, graduates leave prepared for the working world and for what lies ahead. If you would like more on the IIE Bachelor of Commerce (Law) at V.C please click here.

Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). South Africa’s leading private higher education provider that’s registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training, and accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).