Most of us look forward to retiring so we can live the life we dream of.
Yet when people retire, they often find that living the dream isn’t exactly what they dreamed.
When it comes to living your dream, do you really know what you want?
When asked that question, most people say they want more control of their priorities and their time.
When you retire you get that control and a funny thing happens; all of a sudden you have lots of time and you aren’t sure what your priorities are.
When you don’t have a schedule to adhere to, and can do whatever you want whenever you want, the responsibility for motivating yourself is all on you.
We also don’t fully realize how our career choices define us until we no longer have those careers! For most of us, our careers give us purpose. Without your career, what’s your purpose?
When you finally have time to travel as much as you want, go fishing, spend your time doing art or craft projects, be in your garden, be at the beach or at the mountains, spend time with friends, be with your kids or grandkids more often, play golf, go to concerts and museums, or whatever it is you wish you had more time for now, you may find that the dream has changed.
For me, living my dream has changed more times than I can remember. It’s still a moving target!
There are two constants, however, when you plan what living your dream means to you.
The first is money. Your dream will never happen if you haven’t financially prepared for it. That means you need to calculate what the cost of living your dream could be. And you need to plan for the unknowns. Like pandemics, and high inflation, both of which have impacted a lot of dreams the past couple of years.
The second constant is your health. If you aren’t in good health, it’s really difficult to make those dreams come true. There is much you can’t do if your body is challenged by bad health issues. And health problems can zap your finances. Making healthy choices when you’re young is the best way to be healthy when you’re older.
The big question, however, is, “Why are you waiting to live your dream?”
When asked at what age they will start living their dreams, most people say around age 50. That seems to be what most of us think of as the second chapter in life. But the best way to live your dream is to always do it. Regardless of your age.
To do that, instead of “wanting” more time to do what you want, “make” more time to do what you want. Take control of as much of your life as you can now.
If you feel someone else is in control of your life, did you let that happen? Every day you make thousands of decisions. Those decisions are the way you are in control of your life. Yes there are schedules, demands, commitments, and rules that you live with every day, but they are the result of choices you’ve made. When you make the choice, you’re in control.
Living your dream is about being happy. If you’re waiting for others to make you happy you have a very long wait ahead of you. Choose happiness every day of your life. Even if it is a crappy day, and others are severely testing your patience and tolerance, you can choose to focus on all the reasons you have to be happy.
Money. Time. Health. Take care of those three things and you can live your dream at any age, and continue to do it as your dreams change. Here are some tips to help you do it.
1. Think in terms of possibilities; not limitations.
2. Don’t measure your quality of life by comparing it to others.
3. Do something you enjoy every day.
4. Stop making excuses and pushing things into the future. None of us knows how much future we have.
5. Stop wasteful spending. Use what money you have to get closer to your dream.
6. Focus on those things you can control; let go of the things you can’t.
7. Spend time with people who add encouragement, positivity, and balance to your life.
8. Look for ways to turn obstacles into opportunities.
Most of all, find the happiness in everything you do. Even if it’s doing nothing. Happiness is not a gift; it’s a choice.
“If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?”Steve Jobs
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