21 Apr 2017 Create A Life From Which You Don’t Want To Retire
I read that quote a few years ago on Twitter and was instantly drawn to its meaning. I crudely wrote it on a post-it note that still sits above my computer in my office.
It meant something to me – maybe because I had chosen to leave the corporate world and face the challenges of the entrepreneurial life instead. When I worked in the corporate world, I faced challenges – like we all do. But something was very wrong with my mindset. I remember sometimes having literally no energy to get out of bed in the morning. Zero motivation some days. I regularly experienced that Sunday night feeling of dread and sinking feeling as you realise the weekend is over. I was unaware of mind and body connections back then. I was not yet consciously acknowledging to myself that I was not living the life I wanted and this was affecting my body and my health. When our mind and body are not in sync, there will be consequences. Illness can follow. Stress certainly will. If you are dreaming of retirement, something is wrong. If you are liking (or posting) the many social media comments I see every week such as:
“I need Monday motivation” or “it’s hump day Wednesday” or “yes it’s almost the weekend” or “but first coffee” I believe something is wrong. Now I’m not judging anyone because I’ve been there. I lived for my weekend – but that is not a way of living. This is our one chance at life – are we going to wait it out, only enjoy life when we are not at work or really take this gift of life to live it with passion, energy and love?
As an entrepreneur, I decide what to focus on, what my dreams will be and how I will set out goals to achieve those dreams. Work as a 9-5 no longer exists and work and play become merged. I call it work-life integration. In this photo, I’m spending the afternoon at my parents’ house with my boys, chilling in the garden on a rare sunny evening, but I had a quick idea for a new book I wanted to capture. I grabbed the iPad and noted it down. Literally 5 mins of creative thought, a new idea that drives me forward. There is no weekday or weekend for me – it’s all about what I love. I love writing, informing and sharing my ideas with people – I am so grateful I have now found my passion. I’m grateful that you are taking the time to read this now.
My mum recently passed away in March 2017. When it became apparent her illness was very serious and not curable, we had a conversation about how she wished she had trained as a massage therapist. She had often spoken about this over the years – the first time maybe twenty years ago. Yet she did not follow her dream – she got caught up in the ‘every day’ of life and routine. But as she faced the end of her life, it was a regret that came back to her, a missed opportunity. I knew in that moment, that I do not want to have any regrets about what I could or should have done with my life.
The entrepreneurial life is not for us all. It can be lonely and difficult sometimes. But whatever path we have chosen, it must have a purpose that means something to us. It doesn’t matter what that is – it’s personal to you. Please rediscover a life that you too do not want to retire from. Don’t let your happiness be governed by what day of the week it is. You decide what makes you happy – not a calendar. I truly believe everyone can find the life that they have no intention of retiring from. Listen carefully to what your mind and body are trying to tell you. They are always right!