Enjoy Life before It is over!

by Krantcents · 12 comments

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If you do not enjoy what you are doing, you should make changes! It is always old(er) people who give this advice and I qualify based on my age (67 years old) and experience (46 working years). Too often, people are stuck with a job or career they do not like because they need the money. You do not want to look in the mirror some day (today) and see an old version of yourself staring back at you! 

What I did

Where did my life go? It feels like yesterday, I was sixteen (16) years old or twenty-one (21) years old? Maybe I do not really remember exactly, but time goes by very quickly. I can remember when I wanted to be older. I could not wait until I turned twenty-one (21), twenty-five (25),  or thirty (30) years old. I went so far to establish goals with every age and had plans to make it happen. I accomplished a lot, but there was always more to accomplish. The glass was half full and half empty at the same time!

It did not stop in my thirties! I was thirty-one (31) years old when I put together my biggest goal. That was when I started to invest in income property as a way to achieve financial independence. I saw it as a long term investment similar to saving for retirement. My plan was simple, I wanted to have a choice whether I had to work or not. I surprised myself that my investment became a business and it generated a steady income.

The best part of accomplishing this goal was the financial freedom of working at jobs I enjoyed. It changes everything! When you are young, you want to be older and you think money will cure everything that is wrong with life. I am not going to say money is evil or you don’t need it. Just keep your expenses less than your income and you will be fine. I managed to save when my income was low and put it to work by investing it. Saving early helped me achieve my goals and much more.

Many people think that the frugal way of life is too restrictive e. Funny I never felt that I missed out on anything. I always bought quality clothes although I never had a lot of them. My children went to private school; we went on nice vacations at the beach, drove nice cars and lived in a nice house. When I bought my first house I looked for a bargain and had the savings to put a substantial down payment. Vacations were shared events with friends and it lowered the costs.

Do something now!

Waiting to do something means you will definitely find yourself in front of that mirror and wonder what happened! The reward is just waiting for you and you do not realize it! Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life. (Confucius). I am not implying that work is not work, but is much more enjoyable and satisfying when you like what you are doing. I know it helps me get through the parts of my job that I do not enjoy doing. Yes, not every career or job is 100% enjoyable!

I always enjoyed every job or career I ever did in my long career, but not all of it. Most people would be satisfied if not elated if they just enjoyed fifty (50%) percent of their job. I always enjoyed at least seventy (70%) percent of my job. In fact, I enjoy ninety-five (95%) percent of my current career (teaching) when I had a permanent assignment. If you do not enjoy your career or job, make changes now. Put together a goal and a plan and do something. It requires research and much more, but you need to do something.

Where do you start?

  • Start with your skills and talent – Careers in medicine, law and accounting requires skills and talent to succeed! Do you think that is true for every profession? I do! In most cases, you need training; it may be college or some other post secondary education training. Whether you want to be a plumber, hair stylist or actor, you need more training. What are you good at or interested in pursuing?
  • What did you want to do? – I always knew I wanted to something in business and I had great financial skills. My next step seemed obvious, I went into accounting. I was not the traditional accountant, but viewed accounting as the best way to demonstrate my skills. My approach was using the financial information to help run the business versus how most accountants think. You too can follow your dream!
  • A goal and a plan – I had a vision for my career! I wanted to gain experience and demonstrate skills that would eventually lead to self employment. If you can see a purpose for your education or career, you will get much more out of the experience. Some may think of it as concentrating on the outcome or goal. I think it is good to know where you are going which is what a plan does. It should lead to the goals you established. What are you doing to achieve your goals? 

Final thoughts 

Where do you start? Think about your interests, skills and talent. This is not just a classroom exercise, but a necessary activity to find out what you should do. I am always so surprised how many people spend so little time thinking about their career or their future. After all, you will spend all your working life doing something, why not something you like. It is always better to figure it out earlier than later! If you picked the wrong career, better to change after a couple years versus waiting twenty (20) years. What are you doing to find your passion? If you do not enjoy what you are doing, do something!

Photo by:  Flickr

 

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{ 12 comments }

AJ May 7, 2014 at 6:57 am

Thank you for sharing your experience and advice.
Unfortunately I’m already 39, but luckily have found some passion in a new gig (real estate investing) and quitting the not so passionate engineering career in a few weeks. Going to lay low with raising kids and landlording for a few years but definitely looking forward to what comes after that.

Krantcents May 7, 2014 at 7:05 am

Congratulations. Now the adventure begins. It is up to you to make it interesting.

Marie @ IRA vs 401k Central May 7, 2014 at 5:36 pm

I really want to study a short culinary course, I love cooking and baking, but I’m not really good at it that’s why I want to learn more. Maybe next year, I would enroll in one trade school here in our place.

Krantcents May 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I think there are some great opportunities for personal development. My wife and I plan on taking some classes in retirement just for fun.

Scott @ Youthful Investor May 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Presently, I am making the decision to transition from a better paying, lousy, heartbreaking job to one of lesser pay, in a field that is a passion and work I can take pride in. I cannot wait to put the finishing touches on it. Yeah, I’ll have a lot less money but, I really don’t need that much because I don’t spend much. I especially love my time though and I’ll be making a lot more of that.

Krantcents May 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I went into teaching for a variety of reasons. One of the perks of teaching is less hours. Compared my former role (CFO), I am semi-retired!

Holly@ClubThrifty May 8, 2014 at 5:17 am

After working many years in a funeral home, I can attest that life really can be over before you know it. It’s important to live and enjoy life while you can, without using that as an excuse not to plan for the future. It’s a balance.

Krantcents May 8, 2014 at 6:59 am

I agree! Carpe diem, sieze the day.

Alex May 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Great post and thanks for the advice. I am living a non-frivilous life, saving and investing in real estate. I don’t have a written plan that I follow but hope to achieve financial independence and work for myself some day. Congrats AJ for getting there! Perhaps you can share your journey on how you got there. I enjoy life, family and grateful for all that I have as well. It’s all about a balance as many have said.

Krantcents May 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

I think it is always important to write down your plan. It does not need to be a sophisticated document, notes are fine.

DivHut May 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

This is what I always say. True, live within your means, be frugal, save, invest, etc. etc. I get it but also don’t forget that life is short and not guaranteed. All we have is today and tomorrow may never come. So go out and live, enjoy, travel, see, feel, experience. I think of myself as a very frugal (some might say cheap) person but I do spend on travel. I have seen more of the the world than most people do in a lifetime (I put a list on my ‘about’ page). I realize that for me gratification does not come from any material item, cars, clothes, zip code rather the intangible such as experiences.

Krantcents May 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Absolutely! I love to travel too and have traveled extensively over the last 20-30 years.

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