Don’t wait until retirement, be happy now!
It is so common for people to say something like
When I retire, I will … spend more time with my family or my friends
When I retire, I will … travel more and discover different cultures
When I retire, I will exercise more in order to be fit in my old age
I know so many of us have those thoughts. People count the number of years before they retire and they can be happy. Because there is no way they can be happy now!
Quite often they look at me with a funny surprised and somewhat sad look in their eyes when I ask them about that they do on a daily basis to be happy in the now.
“What?” I usually respond.
You can only be happy after your retire? It is a long time before retirement and while years pass by very quickly, waiting for an undefined time to be happy, may mean that you will never have a chance to be happy… because you may die tomorrow without having had a chance at happiness.
Happiness is a Choice
Happiness is a choice. A daily choice. I choose every day that I am going to be happy. That it is going to be a good day. I have trained my mind to focus on the day and what I can do today to make it a good/happy day.
At that point, people usually try to justify their life choice.
Don’t miss-understand me. I am not judging those people, but I know being a coach, that you always have a choice. And that whatever justification is just excuses for not making a different choice.
So how can you make that choice? How can you make the choice to do something that makes you happy every day?
Well there is this 3 step process you can use.
Step 1: Make the list of all the things you will do when you retire.
Go on,… be exhaustive…. List all your dreams and wishes for when you retire.
- When I retire, I will buy a house on the Costa Del Sol
- When I retire, I will learn to play the piano
- When I retire, I will spend more time with my kids and my family
- When I retire, I will become a trained naturopath
- When I retire, I will do nothing but read about the sub culture of the aboriginal in Papua New Guinea
Really be as exhaustive as you can.
Step 2: Write the list of the things you will do when you retire that you don’t enjoy today but you do them anyway, despite the fact that they are totally avoidable and are wasting time in your life.
So for example, if you spend time watching TV in the evening, it could be that you add that to your When I retire list. Or say you spend your days trying to convince people to give you that promotion, you could add that to your When I retire List. So in essence your when I retire list will look like something like that
- When I retire, I will spend more time watch reality TV
- When I retire, I will spend more time trying to convince people that they should consider me for a promotion
- When I retire, I will get my revenge on these people who did me wrong and I don’t have time to get back at currently.
- When I retire, I will spend easily an hour a day worrying about finances.
As you can see, those wishes are things that we could easily avoid in our day to day life, and in doing so, we could “spare” some time to do more of the things that are going to make us feel good.
Step 3: Combine the two lists. The list of what you wish to do when you retire, with the list of what you don’t want to do when you retire and apply that list to your current life.
The last step in this process is to let go of the “Avoidable” list of things we do and are not productive. Could you connect with your colleagues around the coffee bar without gossiping about a reality TV star? Could you use your time more efficiently? Could you stop watching that much mindless tv program and spend it on things that make you feel good?
A little scary, but totally feasible.
I am sure that you can. I also know that it can be a little scary. So if you let go of your negative habits, you need to fill the void. That’s where your initial list comes into play. Go back to your initial list and remove the When I retire part and implement the wish into your daily life.
- How can you buy a house on the Costa Del Sol and make it work now!
- Get a piano and download an app to learn to play, and rather than worrying about money for an hour, learn to play for an hour every day.
- Spend more time with your kids now. They need you now, not when you will be ready, which maybe never. Find a way to spend quality time with them on a daily basis. Yes you can!
- Book an online course, to take that training you have been dreaming to do. Yes you may have to do it at night when everything else is done, but you will be motivated to go through your chores, because you have this exciting new element in your life that is just for you.
In short, infuse your life with things that make you smile and motivate you.
Take it sone step at the time. What can you do today to change a little? Don’t be dramatic, but be consistent.
I once worked with a company which had implemented a personal project in their objectives.
In order to achieve their yearly objectives, each employee had to choose and achieve something personal, like participating in a choir once a week. It forced the employees to focus on something for themselves, outside of work and that had to be mandatory. It worked wonderfully. The employees made it work, felt like they had to be (a little) selfish in order to achieve their objectives. They found the time, they found the internal resources to tackle the hurdle of lack of time.
I know that you will have many arguments for not implementing these little changes. “I don’t have time” being the most common one. Followed by “I don’t know what I want” or “I don’t have the energy”, ….
It is time, to put ourselves back on our “to-do” list and dare I say it, make ourselves a priority.
We have to learn to, once again, think about what makes us happy.
We have forgotten that little part. We have been conditioned to forego happiness and to focus on work, on challenges, on fixing what is not going right in our life.
That’s a shame because when we are happy, our energy goes up, we have more energy to spend on other areas of our life, (and maybe fixing it), we are more open to the rest of the world, and we are more likely to notice opportunities, to notice that person’s kind gesture. Or the fact that there are some aspects of your job that are interesting and make you feel lifted and upbeat and others that are not so good. Again play one against the others.
We all know that life has some bad parts and some fantastic parts, but it does not mean we should not enjoy the other areas of our life because one part of it is not working to our liking.
We need to make sure we have reasons to enjoy our life daily, even if it is because we had a quiet moment with a cup of coffee, looking out the windows watching the worlds go by while we are calm and cosy inside.
Consciously choose to be happy.
Is it going to be easy? No. Because we have conditioned ourselves to be short of time. To not enjoy our daily life and to postpone our enjoyment to retirement.
But I am here to tell you that you can have fun, you can enjoy your life, while working and that you don’t need to waste years waiting to be retired to be happy.
I dare you!
Be Happy today!
Build on this potential. Yes You Can!
If you want more information about how YOU can achieve more happiness in your life NOW, then, contact me today. Click here to book your free Discovery Session.