I always seem to have this conversation with new soldiers. It looks as though we are not teaching about goals in school anymore because no one seems to have any. Many of us are just living in the moment going day today.
I think this happens when a young soldier goes from living at home in high school to suddenly being on his own in another state, fighting for his country, collecting a decent paycheck. They think they have it made. This can be such a huge lifestyle change in a short period that causes a soldier to lose focus. Why worry about the future? This is not that hard at all, right?
It seems nice at first, but this sudden change in lifestyle may only happen once. Soon you will become bored and have the desire for more. You will someday want to own your own home and go on vacation and will have a family to support. If you get out of the military, then you will need to pay for your own health care. Also, many civilian jobs don't get a four day weekend every month, nor do they give you 30 days of paid leave a year.
Your new life in the Army will grow into something much larger over the years, and when you decide you want to get out, it may not be all that easy anymore. Maintaining the same lifestyle will be costly, requiring you to work long hours in a field you hate.
You can prevent this by starting to think about what you want now. Think about what your dream job is and figure out what is involved in becoming successful in that field. If you want to be a music producer, then start researching everything about it. If you want to own an auto garage, then begin to learn about business ownership, commercial real estate, locate successful garages and see how they operate. It sounds like a lot, but if you start now, then even if it takes 10 years to learn enough to make it happen, you will be successful. Join the military at 18, do 10 years of service, open a music company, and live your dream.