My first long-term goal was developed at the age of three. At the age of 11 I knew I wanted to be “successful” after years of juvenile self-realisations, evaluation of the possibilities of what I could be. Pushing aside my other fond childhood memories of playing in the sands, smearing paints and solving puzzles, I was introduced to the noun “ambition” at a tender age of 3 in which it was, “to become a doctor”; this was lightly planted as a career-goal. But the intention was clear; I was being introduced to the concept of setting and achieving a goal.
This ambition later developed into “a scientist” at the age of 8 while watching a show on The Discovery channel, I was told that this profession pays handsomely, but I almost immediately lost interest the moment I realised this profession was too broad of a career choice, given the limited knowledge I had of it, let alone comprehend what sort of scientist I could be. I rebounded to my 3 year old pre-set factory-setting ambition, a doctor.
Here, I learnt that money is not everything, I learnt that I had to ‘dig’ what I want to do as a living. At the age of 11 I can safely but crudely say that I have begun to realise my journey at a higher speed. I wanted to be successful. “What is your ambition Atiqah?”, asked my classmates, “to become successful”. Little, or otherwise none of my friends could fully comprehend what I really meant. Regardless, I truly believed in it. At this point, I was absolutely sure I wanted to be successful no matter how vague that was, and I was damn sure I did not want to be a doctor. To become successful was crystal clear.
Growing up, I remember, my mom would ask very frequently, “sudah besar nanti mau jadi apa, sayang?” (translated, “what do you want to be when you grow up, darling?”) in daily doses from 3-6 years old, and weekly, and gradually less frequent as I grew and matured to know and remember my own goals and ambition. Although my answers have always been very consistent (with a couple of changes and recourse), the answers didn’t have to be the pre-set factory setting ambition, she was not too particular, it was as long as I have a goal to achieve.
Only in my mid-twenties I came to realise what the aforementioned exercise was. It was an intentional reminder of my goals and what I needed to do to achieve them. Today and tomorrow, always remember what you are aiming for. When you know what you want, you are always driven.
It was at the age of 12 when I was first introduced to the business world, and naturally this became an obsession, flesh, blood and thought process which snowballed through to the rest of my academic years, profession and life. When I was 15 I added “business woman” to “successful”. At 12 was the point where I went full speed, more assured of what I really want while my tactics gradually refine themselves. What have stayed for the past 15 years were my goals and vision.
Rarely tactics and strategies are set in stone, we are still learning everyday and “situations” change as we go, and we have to adjust accordingly. Am I still going to use the same tactic I have set 10 years ago to achieve my goal of financial freedom at the maximum age of 40 – given the advancement in technology and the internet since 2007 vis a vis now? Probably not.
Mom, thank you for everything. Thank you for the fire you have set in me 27 years ago. It has never gone out. I love you. You, made me the person that I am today. Happy mothers day! Everyday.
But, what does it mean to be successful? How would I know when I have achieved my goal? How do I measure my progress? What is my passion? I will tackle this in my next posts to come. Maybe not the next, but I will. So, at what age did you first have a long-term goal?