What ever happened to ‘Finishing Strong’?
A year ago, I had a vision for my life. It was summed up in the phrase, ‘Finishing Strong’ and I used it for a time as the byline on this blog. What it meant to me was making the last years of my life a statement about life, not accepting conventional wisdom and pushing myself with every fiber in my body to make my last years the best and most fulfilling ones. Taking all the lessons, I learned, all the opportunities missed, every one of my screw-ups and applying them to create the retirement lifestyle that would give me my perfect day. I vowed to reject limits and embrace possibilities,
So, how’s it going after a year?
I may be too close to the program to be objective but I think I’m making some progress. I have a much clearer idea about what my perfect day will be like. Better still, my wife is part of the program. It isn’t just my fantasy. We share the same vision. It’s a different vision than I started with. I always wanted a house at the beach. Now I’m not so interested in owning things. I want to travel and spend time in interesting places, lots of time. Ownership is just a complication
I became more focused.
This made me aware of the two dimensions of my life that most limit my dream- money and health. If I want to travel without hardship, I need more income. Even more important is that if I don’t manage my health, travel is impossible. I didn’t understand what my perfect day would be like one year ago. I was taking my health for granted and I was taking a very passive role in increasing my income. Getting more precision to my perfect day vision mad me more committed to eliminating the barriers. I’ve been taking my health seriously, committing to daily core strength routines and I have made some commitments about making the income happen now.
But there’s more!
I wanted to create a community of people with a new perspective about retirement. I hoped that through my blog, I would find other people committed to outrageous retirement- which is how I characterized my mission. I didn’t expect that everyone would want my perfect day. What I hoped to find were people who were not settling for the lifestyle they were stuck with and were willing to do what it takes to live their perfect day. I know that there would be many varieties of perfect day. I wasn’t interested in finding people who wanted to live mine. I wanted to find people who weren’t going to settle for ordinary. After a year, it’s clear that my community building skills need improvement. I know that there are many people who are wishing for more and willing to step up to make it happen. I’m just not doing the right stuff to find them.
Age is not the defining qualification.
Part of the problem was my definition of the potential market for that community. I accepted the old retirement definition as making sense. I thought that retirement was related to age. I was trapped by the conventional thinking about retirement. Now it is clear to me that retirement lifestyle is a reality for anyone at any age. It is a way of thinking about life and taking control instead of being controlled. It doesn’t mean that you stop working and live on your savings. What it means is that you decide how you want to live and then design the lifestyle components that create it. You work. You play. You stay alive and vital. And you enjoy every moment.
So, after a year, I no longer associate retirement lifestyle with age or not working. These days I’m working and enjoying it far more than when I was an employee satisfying somebody else s mission. I don’t want to sit around watching television or even playing golf. I’m on a mission and to get my perfect day, I’m going to have to work. I don’t think that everyone should do what I do. What I hope is that everyone is working to make their perfect day a reality- whatever it is. And when your days match your perfect day, then I call that outrageous because you didn’t accept what life throws at you as acceptable. You decided to take control.
I’m not in control yet but I can see my perfect day coming and the work I put in to make it happen just makes me more confident that I’m on the right path.
Now it’s your turn.
What I’d like to hear from readers is what you are doing to make your perfect day happen- or better yet tell me that you are already there.