Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Happiness, Retirement, and Time

I ran across an article on retirement myths and clicked. It’s getting close to the time I can think about retirement, so I decided to sip a cup of coffee and see what someone had to say.

I immediately saw things I loved and hated, so I’m commenting on a few items here.

First, Hunter S Thomson is right, though he’s a bit of an extremist.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”"

Enjoy yourself and use your body. Take care of it to give it some durability, but use it as well. The same thing in your lifestyle. Don’t be too cautious or afraid. Expect things to go wrong. Enjoy the ride, the ups and downs.

19. Money is overrated. – True, money is a means to an end. Spend wisely most of the time, superfluously sometimes. Use money for an experience when you can. Travel, visit relatives, pay them to come to you, go see a friend or a place.

18. Time is your most valuable asset – True throughout life. I learned this after 40, but it’s true in work and play. Time is valuable, so use it. You still need breaks and rest, but time matters more than money. If you make the trade to get more money for your time, balance that out by taking more time away from money later.

17. Stop searching for happiness -  Just like not trying to buy your way to satisfaction with things. I love cars, and I’d like new ones, but I enjoy the one I have and appreciate it. Actually, I have fun driving rental cars, even that tiny Kia Soul. However, the bigger message is to learn to enjoy the things you experience. For me, recently watching my kids hike and get ahead of me. Even while I’m struggling, I smile at their success. Cooking dinner, and the experience of planning, cutting, assembling. I appreciate small moments. A good run down a ski slope, a nice lap swimming. A minute staring at my wife and remembering how wonderful she has made my life.

There are still bad times, but get through them and appreciate the experience there. Learn to avoid some, but know you can’t avoid all.

16. Your bucket list is crap. – It’s a poor title, and I disagree a bit. Making a list could be deferral, but not making a list if worse. Make a list, and make goals. I used to try and knock off one thing a year. Just one. I had big and small things. I’ve gotten away from the list, and can’t decide if I want to put another together. I feel the pressure of the list, and that can be good, especially as my kids grow and I have more time with my wife. I’m more willing to spend money on life, not things now.

15. Comfort is overrated. The magic in life takes place at the edges of our comfort zones.

I need to learn this better.

14. Go with your feelings. You don’t have to intellectualize or justify everything you want to do.

I really need to learn this better.

12. You get to choose what matters. True, but for most of us, it’s not just us. It’s also our partner, our family, our friends. Balance that out, making yourself important, butt also learning and enjoying the relationships in life.

10. Let it go. Everyone has regrets, but don’t live a life of sorrow.

I really think about this in business. Once we’re in, we’re in. I read this about the NASA SLS rockets and thought, most people are thinking we’ve built some rockets, invested $xx, so we should consider that. Not really. Whether we use them or don’t, that money is gone. Look forward from here, ignoring the previous actions.

Same in life. Move on, learn from the past, maybe have regrets, but they can’t drive you and you can’t dwell on them. Of course, I’ve had a great life and I’m in a great place. I wouldn’t take away any of my mistakes because I wouldn’t then end up here.

7. Ambition can be a killer

Maybe, but be ambitious outside of work. Be ambitious in many ways. See things, meet people do better in lots of ways.

5. It is okay to fail. Failure is part of life even in retirement. Failure teaches valuable lessons.

I agree. Fail fast, fail small, but take some chances. Don’t expect perfection, from yourself or others. Especially your kids.

1. Even though you are retired, you don’t have enough time for everything.

This is really about making choices. Choices are hard in many cases, because we want to do everything. Now.

We can’t. Make choices, accept them, circle back and tackle something else later. Those are good choices.

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