It’s Your Choice

Recently I was talking with a number of my retired clients.  They were offering me their perspectives and experiences.  The conversations ultimately came to the physical nature of their working generation compared to today and to an old saying…

“There is no pleasure without pain” …. A well-known phrase that was once inspiring but is now almost met with disdain.

The world is fast becoming a society where children cannot fail and there are no winners or losers.  Parents want to be a friend to their children, not a parent…it is easier.  As adults, anything tough – physically or mentally – is procrastinated on or, worse, avoided altogether.  With this attitude comes a new world of “wimps”, of people who take no accountability (see last issue).  I believe we have to exercise certain disciplines on a regular, consistent basis to help us, our children, and grandchildren avoid this type of behaviour.  We need to ensure that we instill a sense of purpose in life, not one based solely on entitlement.

The following seven points may assist you on your journey.

1.) Focus on what Counts – There is so much information that it can be overwhelming.  With new ideas coming at us all the time, we can sometimes jump from one priority to the next.  Try to identify the 20% of the activities that will give you 80% of your satisfaction.

2.) Communicate with Clarity – The electronic age has opened up the realm of communication in various ways – Facebook, email, Twitter, etc.  Communication has become more frequent, less personal and more ambiguous.  It is vital that you communicate with clarity and that you have the foresight to know whether it should be verbally, electronically or face to face.  Emotional ambiguity is electronically rampant.

3.) Build and Nurture Relationships – Whether it be with your family, friends, or associates.  Even some of my most solitudinous friends understand how important it is to be loved, respected, and to share experiences with other people.

4.) Stay Active – This may sound like another Mike Andrews broken record – and it is.  Staying active is essential to your health, happiness, and your longevity. Period.

5.) Keep Learning – Not only is this important for our well-being, it also makes us more humble because we always have the mindset to learn, not to believe we already know it all.  Another compelling quote is “Be an interested person, not just an interesting person.”

6.) Be Disciplined – Establish goals; focus on doing the right things, not just the easy things.  The occasional lack of discipline is fine.  Yes, we are all human.  An ongoing lack of discipline, however, will cost you in the long run.

7.) Be Passionate – Besides your relationships, care about something – whether it’s your career, a community organization, a philanthroic cause, or all of them – put your heart into it.  Not only will it make you feel better, you will be setting a positive example for the next generation.

As John Rohn said, “You have two choices – the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment” – the choice is yours.  Decide wisely.