This is something you might have seen before, but you have to read this until the end.
You’ve heard motivational speakers say that “life is a gift”, or “you only get one life don’t waste it”, but I want to share a personal story with you.
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If there was a timeline of what an average life would look like, it would look something like this…
From when we’re born up until around 18, we’re developing, we’re learning, we’re going to school and trying to figure out what we want from life.
Now normally from 18 all the way until you’re 65 (or even 70 now), you work. You work to make money, you pay taxes, you get a pension and then you inevitably you retire.
When you retire, you’re free. Right? You can do what you want, when you want, you don’t have to worry about getting up before sunrise to commute to a job that you don’t really like and you can FINALLY do whatever you want to do with your time…
But when you look at the timeline, that timeline of how you could be living your life, you’ll see there’s something drastically wrong.
Spending such a big part of your life merely ‘existing’ and working a job you don’t really like, doing it ONLY for the money and for the retirement, living for the weekend or working months to get excited over a two week all inclusive holiday abroad…
You can clearly see you’re wasting a lot of life.
Now my Dad worked as an engineer from the age of 16. The more he worked, the more experience and qualifications he got, essentially the more money he made.
My Dad was saving his money for an early retirement.
He wanted to retire at 50.
Therefore he worked hard, he went to work when he didn’t really want too, he got excited for the weekends and he was planning for an early retirement but at 45…
He killed himself.
My Dad took his own life.
My Dad existed for so long following the ‘norm’ but all of a sudden broke down, suffered with major depression and stepped in front of a lorry.
Honestly, this is still so hard for me to write.
Thinking back now I remember my Dad always talking about what he would do when he retired. He’d explain how he’d feel, the happiness he’d feel when he no longer had to ‘work’.
But my Dad never got there.
He ended his own life 5 years before his early retirement.
We often naturally find ourselves existing rather than living. Choosing to be, rather than choosing to do.
To live doesn’t mean your alive.
We’re gifted with life, but we often get caught up in false expectations and forget how to live.
Are you wasting a huge part of your life doing something that makes you feel unfulfilled but promises you a good retirement?
Are you existing rather than living?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or on the comments for the YouTube video here.
I hope my honesty and vulnerability helps you in some way.
Thanks for this Paul, my wife took her life in October 2016 after a short illness, I fought a battle for 14 months to make changes, I succeeded in my goals. I had a very dark period around Christmas this year and made a commitment to myself that I would retire by the time I’m 55, so only 48 months to go until that target is met.
Sorry to hear about your wife. Hope you’re doing well now Darren? Thanks for the comment.
Hey Paul, thanks for sharing the unfortunate story about your dad. I liked the part where you talked about “existing” rather than living. I read a book that touched on the topic, it talked about how doing more unique things allows us to live more and slow down time. Its called Slipstream Time Hacking if your interested.
I’ll check it out, thank you for reading Kingston.
Hope you’re ok.
I’m doing well Al 😉
Thank you Paul for this morning message. A great way to start the week. A great reminder there is so much more to living and enjoying TODAY than working to live tomorrow.
Glad you found it helpful Michael!
So true. My partner and I were caught up in the same retirement planning cycle. Too much planning for the future, working ourselves into the ground. Becoming more unhappy rather than enjoying the moment. Then a couple of years ago my partner died after a short illness. Now I get it. I commit my time to giving our young son the best childhood possible, everything else has to take a distant backseat. In a strange way that new approach is helping me manage my depression better. I only wish the penny had dropped so many years earlier.
Thank you for sharing Gary, so sorry to hear about your partner. I’m an email away if you ever wanted to talk!
Hi Paul, this is absolutely spot on. Thanks for explaining it so perfectly. We only have one life, why waste it playing the safe card! Thank you x