“That would be awesome, I wish we could do that”
This is what a colleague told me recently when I told him the plan that Susanne and I have to sell our home here in Colorado in the next nine months, buy an RV and spend at least the next year working across the country in various places we want to live.
When my colleague responded to me in this way, my reply was simple, “why can’t you?” After a few seconds of silence, the expected excuses came one after the other. He spoke about the kids, the job, the house, time, <insert your excuse here>.
As I listened there was one thought that kept running through my head and it was this, my friend has allowed life to design him and not taken the steps to design the life he and his wife want. As Paul Adams of Sound Financial Group calls it, he was living an “accidental life”.
I find this is true for most of us and what happens is we slip into a life that just happens and rather than live a life where we thrive, we live a life of just getting by, of a life that is consistently mundane. Given that life is short and we only go around once, this is no way to live at all.
I don’t believe that any of us intentionally set out to live a prefabricated life. I believe it is something that we gradually allow ourselves to accept and then one day, ten to twenty years down the road we begin to ask if this is what we really wanted or expected from our lives? And rather than make any changes to begin living life fully, we settle and accept what we don’t have to and this is when life becomes dull and bland.
I know this drill so well because for years I lived it and the most regretful thing about it was it left my family living on what Susanne calls “the promise of someday.” I was living a life that for some might have been what they were made to do, but for me was not right. Falsely, I believed this is what you do in life; work, build a business, put all you have into the growth of that business and keep running faster and faster on that hamster wheel in the hopes that it will pay off. I can attest to the fact that oftentimes, it doesn’t, and when it does it is often not worth what you exchanged for it.
Here is the thing, if you can relate to some or all of what is written above, you do not have to continue to let life design you, you can begin to design your life, the way you want it. I am not suggesting you pull a Jerry Maguire and get on your next Zoom call and ask who is coming with you but you certainly can begin to design your life to give you and your partner the life you desire.
I know for the last number of years Susanne and I have spoken about numerous things from traveling across the world, to ways we could work, to various areas of the country we would want to live. We have talked about what we want from life, what experiences we desire, and as we move into our 50’s what do we want to do together, and what opportunities do we want to explore? Oftentimes one of us will say “I’m just spit-balling here, but what if . . .” and the conversation starts with nothing off-limits. Our friends Ron and Carla Johnson call these “Board of Directors Meetings.” For us, at least for now, that has resulted in an RV in our future and eager anticipation to begin our adventure.
So what designs do you have?
What life do you want to live?
What would it look like for you and/or your partner to move from “I want to do that” to “We are going to do that?”
Rather than let life design you, take the steps and begin asking the necessary questions so you can begin to design your life. What’s holding you back?