My head is full of advice.
There is a lot of superficial advice about lifestyle success floating around. I have accumulated so much over my long lifethat now my head is so full of it that it is all I can do to keep it from ruining my life. Confusion and taking the wrong advice is more to blame for where I am in life than my intelligence,morals or my work ethic. My working life started fine but at different times drifted into dead ends where I often either denied reality or just accepted that I didn’t deserve better.
But I’m still confused
Today, as I build my retirement business and retirement lifestyle model, I am feeling discourged. The excitement of beginning a new venture is past. The plan is coming together. I know my goals and vision but I am in the Dip. Seth Godin wrote a wonderful little book about the Dip and what it means for success. Simply put, the Dip is the long period where you master your abilities and focus before you finally reach success. It is also the place where most people quit.
Am I in the Dip?
Right now, the work has started to become routine. I achieve moderate success with the pieces of my plan that are in play but I have a long way to go and it looks like work and not excitement. I don’t know how long I will be in the Dip and I don’t have any guarantee that I will escape. Should I interpret my status as hopelessly digging a hole and stop digging or get excited about my vision and lean into the Dip? The answer will make all the difference.
Straight talk about quitting
Quitting is a lifestyle choice for most people who habitually quit anything that takes too long or seems too hard. People who make it to the top didn’t quit when the going got hard. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t quit things that weren’t going to make them number one. The trick according to Seth Godin is to know which things to quit and which ones to lean into.
What to do?
I don’t think I’m in a cul de sac right now. It is possible, though, that I am spread too thin and that it is time to cull some activities out of my life- the ones that don’t contribute to getting me to number one.
There is still a place for quitting but as I build my retirement lifestyle and implement my business plan, I have to decide which of my activities contribute and which distract from my mission.
Is there a lesson?
I think the lesson for retirees is that like everything else in life, success doesn’t happen overnight. Changing relationships, finding focus and new activities and making new friends takes time. Along the way, it will be easy to quit and fall back into the easy routines and non-challenging behaviors that are comfortable. There is a price to pay for success and part of it is putting in the time and effort long enough to become great at something important. It could be as simple as making your wife happy when for forty years, you have taken her for granted and put her down. There will be a big Dip in that effort. Don’t make a mistake and quit when she doesn’t believe you.
Aim to be number one in your retirement lifestyle.
Lean into the Dip and persevere.