I recently engaged in a rather insightful exercise with a small subset of my real close friends. These guys are part of an elite (!) group of people that I would imagine know me quite well.
Q. Where do you see me in 10 yrs?
After brushing aside the initial feelings that it might be a joke, they were all kind enough to indulge - Here's a subset:
"I see you back in Pakistan making a different to that society..."
"I think u will have your own business..something different..but not a non-profit..."
"You will be working as a VP in some multinational evil corporation..."
"I see you working in some high flying organization in dubai..having a place with a flamingo pink sports car..."
"You've built ur own company with a coupla other crazy dudes involved in lotsa different initiatives..."
"So i see you all cool and professional in the corporate world doing cool stuff, supporting lots of cool organizations.. giving motivational speeches..."
"i see you heading up a kick ass company that makes wicked money but is also helping to build capacity in pakistan so ur not making soap and plastic shit..."
"working for your own company in Pakistan, being involved in some good international projects together with your friends from all overthe world.. projects meant to bring peace..."
"I see you in south africa selling coal..."
Save for my last friend (lol!), everyone has similar thoughts about what my future holds. There's a variety if 'impact' elements, but everyone seems rather united in seeing it done through a particular path..
The shock really starts to kick in on the personal side of things -
"I think you'll have a girlfriend so you're not necessarily married. And she's not Pakistani..."
"you would be married to a rather desi girl with one kid (AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! =p)"
"happily married to a girl with "model" like features who your ami jee will select ! and ull be a content man..."
"freshly married :)"
"I would put my guess (on you being married) at somewhere around 30-31. i think u will make a decent husband but you will make an awesome father."
"with a f****** hot wife :)"
"you'll marry at 31 to a girl whose half pathani and half iranian...will have 2 kids...boy and a girl..."
Marriage? Kids? Really, guys?
The entire exercise has me rather confused. The confidence my friends have in me is rather fear-inducing. However, my future appears to hold no real surprises. Nothing unpredictable. Certainly, nothing outside-the-box.
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