It’s no accident that this site is called Intentional Retirement.
Being intentional with this brief, but beautiful life is one of the things I’ve tried to weave into the DNA of the site since day one. I preach that sermon every chance I get and I work hard to practice what I preach. I know many of you do the same.
One side effect of being intentional is that you start to tackle big things. You look past the low hanging fruit of your daily “To Do List” and instead set your sights on those big, intimidating goals that you’ve thought about for years, but have never brought to the front burner of life.
Here’s an example from my own life. As many of you know, I’m in the middle of planning my first Mini-Retirement. One thing I’ve learned so far is that ditching your job and traveling halfway around the world for four weeks takes a lot of planning. I know. Who knew? Right?
I’ve spent months working on logistics like accommodations, rental cars, airfare, event tickets, reservations, train tickets and daily itineraries. This is to say nothing of other important details like figuring out a way to pay for it all (Donations accepted. Just kidding. I’ve learned a lot about traveling less expensively and I’ll detail that in a future post.).
As I thought about all this, I had a flash of insight relating to doing big things. It’s the universal secret to accomplishing anything big in life, whether that’s a big trip, writing a book, having a great relationship, building a healthy marriage, having a successful career, getting in shape or putting a man on the moon.
Here it is.
The secret to doing big things is to do a bunch of little things. In other words, you don’t “write a book,” you write a little bit today, and then tomorrow and then the next day. You do that a few thousand times and then throw in a good dose of editing, pitching and publishing and Voila! You’ve written a book. This same process applies to anything big you want to do in life.
If I were to put that into an equation, it would look something like this:
Little things + Consistency + Time = Big Things
As you think about how you can apply the above equation in your own life, keep one thing in mind: The clock is ticking. In other words, the “Time” variable in the equation is getting smaller each day. Why is that important? Because if “Time” is getting smaller, then you need to increase the “Little Things” and the “Consistency” in order to still achieve the “Big Things” that you have in mind. If you can’t do that, then you need to rewrite your equation to get rid of the “Big Things” and replace them with medium or small things.
That’s why I’m so adamant about not waiting until your 60s to retire. It’s why I’m so against saving the best for last. Too many people follow the “traditional retirement” path and when they arrive, they realize that their equation doesn’t balance. They do the mental math and realize that many of their plans and dreams require a crazy amount of effort and consistency because they’ve waited so long start. This results in no small amount of discouragement as they let those dreams go and settle on smaller plans.
So remember that equation above. Dream big, but don’t wait to start. Retire today.
Have a great weekend!