The Light At The End of the Tunnel

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The Light At The End of the TunnelLet’s talk about retirement for a moment.

What does it mean to you?

Most folks believe retirement is a hard-earned reward for years of company loyalty and service. And when the day finally arrives, they’ll finally get to enjoy all those neglected hobbies, create lots of memories with loved ones, and take the trip of a lifetime (or two) with someone special.

However, retirement isn’t always that glamorous.

What seems like a dream come true, all-too-often ends in an unfortunate and avoidable way. It reminds me of that old saying:

"The light at the end of the tunnel is really an oncoming train."


Now, I realize that may sound a bit melodramatic.

Nonetheless, it’s a harsh reality for far too many people who’ve spent years in a job they didn’t love, only to discover they no longer have the health, energy or time left to truly enjoy what they worked so hard to attain.

It’s truly heart-breaking, isn’t it?

Absolutely.

And you just have to wonder:

Do we really need to endure many long years in a position we don’t love – for a few short years of relief, which may or may not even come to fruition?

Well, it’s easy to understand how it might seem that way.

After all, if you’re caught in the daily grind, you’re most likely slugging it out for some truly excellent reasons. Like providing for family and kids. Or saving for something big. So the mere idea of leaving a job before retirement would probably seem irresponsible and reckless to even consider.

Yet, here’s the rub:

I can’t begin to count how many readers have shared with me the misery they’ve felt over the years of drudgery spent in work that just doesn’t excite them anymore.

They tell me it feels like the same day over and over again.

Jolting awake to a screeching alarm. Grabbing a cup of ambition to go.

Crawling to work in the ant-trails of morning traffic. And surviving yet another eight hours under the buzzing fluorescent lamps.

Rinse and repeat.

Again, maybe that’s over-dramatic. Yet from my point of view, they’re living quiet lives of desperation. And they’d probably agree wholeheartedly.

But, they are still willing to stay heads-down until retirement sets them free.

Why?

What strange force holds them there?

Well, they often say the steady work not only provides income, it also gives them a strong sense of security, significance, and purpose.

And that may very well be true.

In fact, I know it’s true.

But perhaps it has also become a deeply ingrained habit – developed slowly over the years. Perhaps they’ve simply grown accustomed to the rhythm of clocking in and out. Or perhaps it’s just become "all they know".

Which reminds me, I’d like to ask you an important question:

If it were possible to have the freedom to do what you want now, without waiting for actual retirement, would you do something different with your time?

I encourage you to give this some serious thought today.

Because next time I’ll share some interesting ways to do exactly that.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.