by Carolyn Buck Luce

I have been a “ten year planner” since I was 8. This has allowed me to reinvent myself many times over – Diplomat, Banker, Company Executive, Strategist, Broker/Dealer, Management Consultant, Civic and Corporate Board Member, Professor as well as Mother, Wife, Grandmother and Friend.

Every decade I have dreamed ahead ten years to how I would like to be known and involved in the world – and then I have set out on a journey of discovery to get “here from there”.

This means creating a road map with milestones of what critical experiences I would love to have, what knowledge and skills would I like to acquire and who would I like to be in a relationship with.

What has motivated me has not been about “What position do I want to have in ten years?,” but rather “What is my purpose on this planet?”

Whatever “job” I have happened to have at the time is not actually my job description for myself. Instead, I see my job description as “Learn how to be a good one in service of my purpose” – and any job is a great platform to start the journey.

If you think about it, ten years of discovery – critical experiences, skills, knowledge, relationships, networks (before you need them!) – is a long time. In fact, it’s about 87,000 hours. According to Malcolm Gladwell, it only takes 10,000 hours to become a world expert. So imagine that you sleep for 30,000 hours. That leaves 50,000 hours to invest in learning how to be great in the areas you have intentionally decided to gain critical experiences, knowledge and relationships.