"a lot of us are doing work we don't really like to make money for things we don't really need”.
I recently met two people doing this exact thing, and they made me think about a lot.
Man Numero Uno:
I was standing in the lobby of my building when a sweet man- early 50's-came around the corner. He was vibrant, excited, happy. His shoulders were back; he look proud, content, Starbucks in hand.
"Gorgeous day out, right?" he said to me.
I smiled back- he seemed so happy.
However, as we walked into the elevator he started to deflate. Halfway through the ride he turned to me:
"7 more years... then I can retire!!"
and then in the softest, saddest voice I've heard in a while:
"…and then I'll be saying.... what happened to it all?”
He was now slumped over his coffee... figuratively and literally HALF the man he had been in the lobby.
Man Numero Dos:
The other day I was going to get keys made at the locksmith. This is the 6th time I've been to the locksmith- haha, don’t ask- so this gentleman and I have developed quite the relationship. We were chatting it up and I asked where he had been last week (visit number 5), he said nowhere but that last year, he had gone to South America and had the best time of his entire life... but that he'd "never get back there". He’s 30 years old.
"Excuse me? You'll never get back there? Why not?"
“I just won't ever go back there... no money. Can't go no where with no money… I hate this job so much but I gotta pay the bills."
Need I say more?
These two men represent probably 75% (and no, this is not an official fact NOR do I think it’s an exaggeration) of people who are working in jobs/lives that don't inspire them, jobs that don't make them want to get out of bed in the morning.
Make one small bet
I went to a talk a few weeks ago through an amazing role model, Natalia Petrzela, given by Peter Sims. His new book, Little Bets, is all about the power of making seemingly small choices and how they can ultimately unfold into larger than life companies, experiences, etc. (Look up the history of Pixar, you'll be amazed). This talk solidified my determination to continue with a project that I'm currently creating in my life right now that will hopefully help to make it so that I’m not 57 and wondering where my life went.
That being said, the project I’m working on is hard and completely out of my comfort zone. Everything I’m working on is brand spanking new and every day I run into a problem or something I don’t understand. And every day, instead of getting frustrated by the five thousand snafus, I realize that with every problem I solve, I get closer to having the life I want. (please see about JillyP for an idea of what I’m working on :).
What to do
We all may have completely different ideas of wealth and comfort in terms of financial security and we all need money to pay rent, feed ourselves and clothe ourselves; we just have to start realizing that the road to wealth and financial security isn't set in stone or ordered.
You don’t have to work 9-5 to be “normal”.
You don’t have to just “put in the time” because everyone else is doing it.
Retirement doesn’t have to start at 65 when the majority of your best days are behind you (I don’t necessarily agree that life starts to suck as you get older, in fact I think it gets better, but I think we’d all prefer to start to play earlier rather than later, right?)
You just have to decide that you want a different, better, more inspired life right now, and that nothing will stop you from getting it.
Is there something in your life right now, a small idea, a grain of something, a "little bet" you could make? Possibly turn it into a side business or an idea that turns into a side business? Explore it, write it down, talk about it... do something.
Do. Not. Wait.
Here are a few examples of fantastic people who have decided to do things a tad differently:)
Laura K Roeder