Happy New Year! Just a quick thought today on doing (i.e. taking more at bats). One of the biggest retirement mistakes I see people make has nothing to do with money. It’s that they constantly defer their dreams. They just don’t do stuff. Everything is “someday” this and “someday” that. And I totally get it. It’s hard to decide what you really want out of life. It feels risky to put yourself out there to try stuff. But you absolutely have to do it.
The best advice I can give you for 2020 and beyond is to start taking some at bats. Right now. Even if you’re not retired. Especially if you’re not retired. The worst that can happen is that things don’t work out, you get rolled a little bit, so you dust yourself off and try something different. Ironically, that’s also one of the best things that can happen. Because that failure is feedback. It turns out we’re pretty terrible at knowing what’s going to make us happy. The more stuff you try, even if you don’t end up liking it, the better idea you’ll have of what’s important to you, who’s important to you, what you like, what you dislike, what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about.
All of those things help you understand yourself and they make you more self-aware so you can design a life that takes you where you want to go. Finding out that you actually hate to travel or you stink at gardening or golf is awesome. That means you won’t waste any time or money on those things during the prime of your retirement. Instead you can triple down on the things that you do care about.
So start taking some at bats today. Get out there and try stuff. Take a trip. Pick up a new hobby. Learn something new. Meet new people. Challenge yourself. Get outside your comfort zone. Sure, you might strike out a few times. But you’ll get better. You’ll figure out what you really want out of life and you’ll be doing something about it. And that’s what living an intentional retirement and an intentional life is all about.