My grandfather never did it. My dad did it but waited too long to do so. My father in law did it sooner but he also waited too long. My wife did it soon enough and I started doing it a couple of years ago. And every day more people is doing it too.
Yesterday I read a very interesting post at Penelope’s Trunk Blog: Brazen Carreerist, in which Penelope recommends us not to wait until retirement to start living the kind of life we want. A great idea that deserves much thought, however from my personal point of view, this does not apply only to work but to each and every single aspect of life.
I mean, my grandpa always smoked and worked really hard all of his life, my dad luckily enough quit smoking and started exercising and eating healthier but it wasn’t until he suffered a heart attack, and even though he is taking better care of himself he is still working hard to make a living. My father in law on the other hand planned better his retirement and today he has time to do what he likes, however he too waited too long and paid the price of high stress until his retirement.
My wife instead took another path from an early start and built a way of life that suited her values and priorities. (I sometimes wonder if she knows something I don’t).
Frequently people complain about what’s not working in our life. Its pretty common to hear many people say they don’t like their jobs, or are not comfortable with their weight, or that they don’t see their friends as much as they’d like to or they don’t pass enough time with their families, or that their health is not what they’d like it to be, they don’t have the studies they’d like to have or that they simply don’t have enough time to do everything they would like to do.
So why not do something about it and do it now? Why do we always have to wait until tomorrow to have a better life? “As soon as I retire I will take the classes I wanted for so long”, “I’ll quit smoking as soon as this project is over”, “I just need to go back home so I can start eating healthier”.
Here’s an idea: Today think about something you would like to do to improve your life and that you could start doing this very day. It doesn’t need to be a 180° changing action, but rather a simple, small act that represents a beneficial change for your life. “The longest of travels begins with taking the first step” they say, so why not take that step today?
Don’t know where to start? You think that you need to have a huge change to start seeing results?
Here are a few ideas to help you take the first step:
- Before you open it, ask yourself if that cupcake or bag of chips is the best food for you, and change it for something that really nurtures your body.
- Just before you light it, ask yourself if you can make it without that cigarette and put it back in its pack.
- Before you keep on suffering your job, ask yourself what are the upsides of having that job.
- And before you continue working there just because “you need the job”, ask yourself what would be your ideal job, remember your passions, your values and priorities in life and then ask yourself if such a job exists and if so what would you be willing to give up in order to get it.
- Before you complain because you don’t have enough time to study what you like, go visit a bookstore and get at least a couple of books on that subject and start reading them and studying by yourself.
- And right before you say that you don’t even have time to read, make sure you always bring a book with you everywhere you go. You will find that there are a whole lot of moments you can use to read and that soon your books will become a great companion.
- Before you say that you don’t have enough time in a day to dedicate some time just for you, try waking up an hour earlier and give that hour to you as a gift.
- Before you complain about not having enough time to spend with your family, make sure you make every moment that you are count by telling them how much they mean to you.
- Before you say you don’t see your friends as much as you’d like to, pick up the phone and call a couple of them, just let them know you are there for them.
- And right before you start complaining about everything that is not working in your life, just stop. Then write a list of all the things that are working out for you, list every single thing you know you should be thankful for. You will immediately see that things are not half as bad as you thought they were and that there are a whole lot more things in your favor than you thought.
But above all, before you say this is “bull”, treat yourself to the opportunity of trying it. Take the first step and don’t wait too long to live a better life.