It’s official, the 2nd half race to the finish line began in earnest last week. Those little internal alarms started to go off soon after the Fourth of July fireworks celebrations were complete. We now have less than six months to meet our personal, business and financial goals for calendar year 2012. This means more hard work and longer hours to get there, right?
With the prolonged economic downturn, many of us are working longer hours, much like our parents generation, in an effort to someday improve the quality of our lives and achieve our goals. However, what kind of lives are we building, really? More importantly, what values and traits are we passing down to our children and to future generations? Keep working those long hours and one of these days it will pay off for you. Well, how’s that working for you so far?
If you are not happy with your life’s direction today, maybe it’s time to change things up. Begin the transformation by deleting these four words from your vocabulary “one of these days” and replace them with NOW! Then realign your goals and plans to ensure balance. Reaching your goals in other areas of your life should be equally as important as career and financial pursuits, so make them a priority too, starting today.
My eldest son, Brent, said it best when I spoke with him recently. He said “Dad, Monica (his wife) and I are working more and more hours each month, and spending less time with the kids, so we can someday have the life we always dreamed about. However, by the end of the week we’re mentally and physically exhausted and don’t want to do anything but rest on the week-ends. So, what kind of life plan are we creating if we have no time to stop and enjoy it along the way?”
This scenario is all too familiar for many American workers and their families today. Working longer hours as a pathway to a better life is not the answer. Far too many Americans families have sacrificed their goals and dreams, and are in the survival mode trying to hold onto hope for a better life in the future. As a result, working class Americans have become a part of the one of these days crowd, much like their parents before them.
My parents were charter members of the one of these days crowd. They grew up in harsh times during the last Great Depression, and all they did was work from sun up to sun down. At times I would listen to them talk about their dreams for an exotic vacation, a new home, or the Cadillac my dad always wanted to buy. Unfortunately for my parents, none of those dreams were realized. Why, because most of their goals, dreams and aspirations were somewhere in the future and not in the here and now.
So, what is the message here?
It should be obvious at this point. Working long hours and putting a disproportionate amount of time and energy into one area won’t improve the quality of your life or help you achieve balance. To the contrary, spending too much time on business and career pursuits will only move you farther away from realizing your goals in other important areas – i.e. faith, family, fitness and fun. It’s not just about more hard work and longer hours, it is about focusing on what’s truly important and then realizing your goals and dreams in the here and now.
So, stop the mouse on the treadmill routine, unless of course this is part of your daily exercise program. Start enjoying the things on your bucket list today before you’re too old, too broke, too tired, too out of shape, etc. Don’t allow yourself to become a member of the one of these days crowd, get out there and start living your dreams today.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2012 John Carroll