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Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait Until You Retire To Do 'It'


The world we live in tells us that a great career and financial success will bring us happiness.  Many of us work forty to sixty hour weeks to pay the bills, with the end goal of retirement dangling like a golden carrot in front of us.   Is there anything wrong with that?

No.

And YES.

The problem is, if you wait to LIVE until you retire you will miss out on the very essence of LIFE.

When I retire I will __________ .(fill in the blank with your own dreams)
How many times have you heard of people retiring, finally having the time to do the things they never had time to do only to have no life left to do it?

Because there are no guarantees.

So, in light of that, these are my 10 reasons you should do it NOW.  What is 'IT'?
'IT' is whatever it is that puts a fire in you; a hobby, travel, writing, taking more time with your spouse/family.

In short; YOUR BUCKET LIST.

10 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait Until You Retire

1) You might not get to retire.

Maybe you work for a company for twenty years and them, bam! They go under.  That pension you were working for? Gone.

2) You might not be healthy by the time you retire.

The incidence of life altering diseases makes a steady incline the older we get.  Not trying to bum you out, just giving you the straight goods.  No one wants to climb Kilimanjaro with a cane or a walking frame now do they?

3) Life might be shorter than you think.

We have no guarantee how long we have to roam this beautiful planet.  I wish we still lived 900 years like they did in the early bible days but according to Genesis the maximum we get is 120 and the average is about 75, and given the way most of us treat our bodies, about 50 of those are healthy.

4) Doing the things you dream about gives you courage, confidence and excitement that you can pass along to encourage others.

I have NEVER regretted following a dream, pursuing a goal. EVER.  See? Now I'm encouraging you!

5) Life experiences make us HAPPIER.

Living life outside the box (even if it's once in a while, doesn't have to mean selling everything and moving to another continent like us) just makes for a fuller life experience, opens us up to new people, new surroundings and broadens our minds which is never a bad thing.

Taking risks is scary but growth doesn't come from stagnating, unless you want to grow mold.

6) Your life is a gift, so open it and USE it.

We've been given the gift of seeing, touching and feeling a world around us.  Often our fears and anxieties inhibit us from jumping off the hamster wheel to try something different or pursue a goal.  That's like being given a gift and never opening it.  What a waste!  Open the gift, see what's laying hidden in your heart to do/see and then start taking steps to walk it out.

7) Investing in your family while your family is young will change the course of your lives.

Invest.  We hear talk of investing all the time.  Real estate is a good, safe investment.  RRSP's, mutual funds.  What about people?  What sort of return do we get when we invest in the people closest to us?  It pays dividends and it's risk free.  Turn off your iPads, iPhones and TV's.  Take a day off of school and work and spend the time really being together.  Those little people who can run us ragged and suck the energy out of us are only going to want to be around us for so long, but I bet you money it will be longer if we show them they are WORTH IT...that they mean more to us than the 'things' we are spending time at work to pay for.

8) The 'stuff' we work to pay for isn't really important.  

That's right, you heard me.  Take a look around your house/apartment.  Really, look around you. Make a list of the things you ACTUALLY need to sustain LIFE.  Not a very big list is it?  Nuff said.
Spending less time working now might mean less stuff but you can't take your stuff with you, the memories you create with those you love leave a legacy long after you retire.

9) Doing more stuff means having less stuff-that's a good thing!

 Ever have a garage sale? Or cleaned out your basement, taken a load of stuff to the local charity shop?  There's a feeling of elation, a weight being lifted as you drive away and it isn't just because your car is lighter, it's because all that stuff was weighing you down.  Ever go camping?  When you're camping life is about three main things.  Sleeping, eating and hanging out.  Live like you're camping.  Simplicity brings a certain feeling of serenity.  If you are busy doing 'it' whatever it is, you are less likely to have as much stuff because you're busy doing instead of shopping.

10) Live a life without regrets.

A woman who spent years working in palliative care made a list of the things patients most often said they regretted at the end of their life (you can read the full article)

I have highlighted them:

1) I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not what others expected of me
2) I wish I hadn't worked so hard
3) I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
4) I wish I stayed in touch with my friends
5) I wish I had let myself be happier.

Print that list.  Put it on your mirror in the bathroom, your fridge, the homescreen on your cell phone.  Look at it every day and at the end of your days may you be able to say all of those things minus the 'I wish'.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Hope of Heaven

What is hope?

Hope defined:

Hope: a person or thing in which expectations are centred

Expectation defined:

Expectation: the act or state of looking forward to or anticipating.

Hope is not based on something that might happen it is based on something that will happen.

In winter we have the hope of spring.  Despite how dark and cold it is we know that spring is coming.( Read Blog: Promise of Spring)

If you have ever lost a loved one you undoubtably understand the feeling of longing.  Longing to see them 'just one more time'.

What if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would?  That the time would come for you to be reunited with all of the loved ones you've been separated from? That it wouldn't be just for a moment but for an eternity.

Would your suffering and pain be eased? Would it be easier to part with those you are losing?

That is the hope of heaven.

It's an expectation, a hope, the promise of what is to come.  Spring always comes no matter how dark and cold and long the winter has been, the hope of spring is a promise.

Having that assurance, that hope of an eternity with loved ones, without pain or sorrow doesn't cost a penny.  It's free and it's yours for the taking, you just have to ask for it.

"God, I want your promise, your hope in my life, I open my heart to you".

It's just that easy.  What are you waiting for?

He's waiting for you.