After all, she knew this new position would become her entire life. She would have to keep working long hours. Plus, she’d be responsible for some tough and stressful decisions, like hiring and firing entire teams of people, negotiating contracts, and deciding who gets put in charge of important projects and who doesn’t. What is more, traveling all the time meant she wouldn’t see her husband much.
It all made her wonder:
“Is this what I really want for my life?
She and her husband weren’t getting any younger. So she asked herself another pressing question:
“If the next ten years were all we have together, would I regret spending them on the road, away from my husband?”
After some deep introspection, she decided taking the promotion wasn’t worth it.
So she gave up her bid.
Why? Because she realized she’d only be doing it for the prestige, the social image of success – not because this was truly her dream.
What did Kate love, then?
She loved developing her employees – especially the women in her department who were going through the same challenges she once did.
So, what did she do?
She knew she needed to continue earning an income because she and her husband hadn’t built up enough money to retire just yet. (And, she enjoyed how working challenged her.)
Kate left her job, and drew upon her years of experience to develop a coaching program for female executives. Now she’s doing work that genuinely aligns with her values, and she doesn’t have to spend so much time away from her husband.
She loves her new “retirement” career and never again has to feel like a slave to a job.
However, the story didn’t end there.
Things just got better.
Her husband felt so inspired by her bold choice, that he left his semi-retirement to help build the coaching business with Kate.
Now, Kate gets to enjoy all the best things she loved from her executive career – but on HER TERMS.
Her decision delivered a new, more fulfilling, lease on life to them both.
It comes down to this:
NOW is all we ever have.
The future is unwritten.
Moreover, there’s no guarantee that our careers or lives will work out as we once planned.
When you’re still in your 30s and 40s, you can chase after prestige and money, and you can take on work for no other reason than the potential for higher achievement (and the related income that, for many of us, supports our children as they grow up).
However, when we get past a certain age, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about what delivers our fulfillment right NOW, instead of decades into the future.
As we all know, life has a funny way of throwing curveballs when we least expect it – especially as we get older.
There’s much wisdom in doing work that you find fulfilling because it means you get to live your dream now, rather than chasing a promise.
If you can see your way to a “retirement” career – like Kate and her husband then you too can live many of your retirement dreams 10-15 sooner. You can design a life that you never want to retire from.
Earlier in her life, Kate was satisfied with her work. However, over time, she evolved. Parts of her job didn’t give her the fulfillment it once did.
However, with all of her experience, she was positioned for another level of success. She only needed to figure out what that next big thing was and escape the noise and expectations pressing down on her in her corporate life.
So I wonder:
Does Kate’s story relate to your own life goals in any way?
Like Kate, you might be working in your career for most your adult life, but now you realize it’s no longer fulfilling and you’re wondering, “what now?”
It's okay not to know what's next or have that big dream– so don’t let it frustrate you.
Just thinking about it is a huge step.
If you can relate to this story, but you’re not sure what the next big thing might look like, I encourage you, to ask yourself: “What now?”
Even if you don’t have an immediate answer, it’s an important question.
So give it some serious thought over the next few days and weeks, because I’m going to share some ideas that could help you find your answer – and I’ve got an exciting opportunity to share with you.