That’s right PF bloggers! We’re starting off this post with a quote from a Flaming Lips song. Even if that’s not what you picture when you think about goal setting, perhaps this perspective will help.
Retiring At 48:
Last June when the school year ended for my wife, one of her colleagues retired – at age 48. Yes, she reached the minimum age required to receive her full pension and she was out.
Depending on your perspective on retirement, some people would consider this far too young to retire. But to my wife and I, this was an inspiration. In fact for my wife, this is really only 13 more years away.
Even though we’ve both been at our jobs for about a decade, in many ways it feels like we’ve really just begun. Speaking for myself, there are still a great deal of things on my goal setting list that I’ve never fully experienced within my career:
• I’ve given presentations, but never to a jumbo-sized auditorium.
• I’ve been published, but not in a popular media source.
• I’ve never traveled to Asia (soon to be off my bucket list)
• I’ve closed lots of deals, but never one of those stereotypical ones like you see on TV where the boss makes you a junior partner immediately afterwards.
• I’ve received great raises and bonuses, but never the mythical BIG one!
Compare and Contrast:
One of the perks of my job is that I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to meet and work with people from all walks of life. More common than not, one trend I observe is how often people have no idea what they want to do (nor the ambition to make a decision). What was once reserved as a time of indifference for your first two years of college is now an epidemic of non-existent goal setting that follows these people into their 20’s an 30’s.
So … on one hand you have your peers who are drifting from day to day. And on the other hand you have a person who achieves financial freedom by age 48. My question is this: What are we doing with ourselves in between? Are we really goal setting and making the most of our time, or are we squandering it?
All You Have Is Now:
13 more years may sound like a long time to some, but it will simply pass in the blink of an eye. And once it does, what can you really say for yourself?
• What will you have accomplished with your career? Will you leave a legacy at work or just be another forgotten Warren Schmidt?
• Will you have strengthened your marriage to the point of being indestructible?
• What will your kids think of you once they’re adults, and what will you have taught them in preparation for life?
• Will you have made a difference in anyone else’s life but your own?
If we’re so lucky retire by age 48, will be able to look back and say we really did it? That we really accomplished everything we set out to do?
Goal Setting to Make the Best of Now:
None of things above will ever be accomplished looking back on your life after the fact. None of them will ever come with an invitation or a heads-up email. The only time you can ever affect the outcome of any of these events is to work on them now.
If you don’t want to pass up the most important opportunities in the prime of your years, you need to ask yourself: What is important? What are my priorities? What do I want to accomplish?
The only the request I have of you after you read this post is to look at your life in “real time” and see it in relation to how it fits with everything else in your goal setting agenda. Do your actions bring you closer to your priorities or take you further away from them? Only you can be the judge.
But before you cut yourself too much slack or are too lenient, just remember that all we have is now.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art