How many times do you find yourself “looking forward to ______”? Maybe it’s the weekend, a trip, or something simple like sleep. Taking it a step further, do you fanaticize about retirement? Do you feel that all of life’s work is rewarded when you hit a certain age? Is retirement when you feel life enjoyment can really start?
For many years I made it through every week looking forward to the weekend. Many times I remember focusing on just getting through a day. I lived in a world where “vesting”… hitting age 50… was the promised land. At that point I could expect to collect retirement payments someday and really live. I found happiness many days looking forward to someday.
I remember buying into the retirement message… just make it XX more years and life will all be taken care of. I felt that I couldn’t pass up the financial security for myself and my family. In many professions retirement is a lost concept, so it’s really valuable for those who are fortunate enough to work for an organization that offers it… Or is it?
Retirement is an example of the many traps we can find ourselves in that make us feel that we aren’t supposed to love what we do now. These traps tell us that work is exactly that… work. It’s not supposed to be fun, fulfilling, impactful, creative, etc., and we need to do it as a trade-off for the promise of something… someday.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we should all float through life without productivity, challenge, and stress. I’m suggesting that finding our callings and doing our lives’ work will allow us to feel like we are floating through life even when we are highly productive, facing challenge, and need to get things done. I’m suggesting that if we wake up every day and spend our time dedicated to something that we are doing only for the promise of someday, we need to seriously challenge ourselves. Maybe we can change our thoughts to find fulfillment in what we do, but if not it’s time to move on… time to answer the calling… time to live today!
If you’re still reading this, my guess is that you want to live today. You may be in the spot I was a year ago… not knowing where to start. What follows are five actions that empower you to live today.
Have a life vision… What do you want your life to look like? What is your life vision?
Know your passions and gifts… What are you doing when you’re at your best? Think about why and what, not how. What is the best you have to offer to the world and why do you do it?
Take responsibility for your financial stability… Take responsibility for your future financial needs. If you end up getting retirement payments at some point that's great, but don't depend on them.
Embrace uncertainty… Use uncertainty to create energy to propel you forward. Approaching the future with some uncertainty is powerful and allows you to live in the moment, listen to your intuition, and create unique and amazing paths forward.
Live your vision… Living your vision is an evolution… it takes time. Take steps, no matter how small, each day to live your vision. If you take steps each day, one day you’ll wake up living your vision fully and loving life!
How about instead of thinking about making it through one thing to get to the next, we think about how awesome it is to do our life’s work today? How about loving what we do so much that we don’t look forward to it ending? How about instead of looking forward to someday we do what we love today? How about making someday today?