Last week I appeared on BNN as a guest to talk about Victory Lap Retirement. You can see the interview here.
BNN was doing a piece on “Why Canadians Are Putting off Retirement – and The Challenges They Face” and it looks like our book Victory Lap Retirement struck quite a nerve. You can see a review of the book here and here.
Blame It On Godin
It was the first time I have ever been on T.V. and while there, getting ready to go on I remembered something that Seth Godin had written that had stuck in my mind. Seth has a habit of doing that, sticking stuff in my head. On the cover of his book “Poke The Box” were the following words: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Thinking about those words and preparing to go on T.V. for the first time made me smile. To be honest Seth helped me get on this journey that I’m currently taking and as a result I’m trying many things for the first time. Call it synchronicity, law of attraction or whatever but Seth has the power to make me think and has changed my worldview for the better.
About a year ago I attended an event here in Toronto where Seth was the featured speaker and at the event they gave everyone a new book written by him called ‘What To Do When It’s Your Turn?” and boy did that book ever have an impact on my life. I thought about that book title for a long time and finally came to realize that because I had achieved financial independence or Findependence as Jonathan likes to call it, I had earned a turn to do whatever I wanted to and why would I ever waste my turn and just retire like everyone else. My turn is exciting and I’m learning and being exposed to new things all the time and best of all I get to help a lot of people in the process. Life is pretty good right now!
There Is A Big Difference Between Living And Existing
The last couple of years prior to starting my own Victory Lap I guess you could say I was living pretty much on autopilot. I was following the same old dull routines and was focused on only getting through the next day, week or month. I was surviving, I sure as hell was not thriving and I started to bore myself as well as the Contessa, truth be told. Life is not meant to be like this and it’s important to understand that people are not born to just pay bills and die. Thankfully because of the influence of writers like Seth Godin and Ernie Zelenski author of “How To Retire Happy Wild and Free” and “The Joy Of Not Working” I was able to awaken from the stupor I was in and start living again.
The danger we all face is that we fall victim to a routine way of living and the reason I was able to turn things around for myself was luckily getting my hands on the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. The book is all about self-awareness and after reading it I sadly realized that my life had become one big routine developed over the years and I was essentially living the same day over 364 times a year. How sad is that? Because I was routine bound I really didn’t have to engage my mind, as there were no new experiences to engage in. How did I ever allow that to happen and waste some of the best years of my life? Because I wasn’t paying attention I wasn’t thinking, I just let things happen and as a result I was stuck in a stupor. I was a dead head. But luckily I woke up when I began writing VLR with Jonathan and saved myself.
Thinking back on it, it’s easy to develop bad habits that will rob you of some of the best things that life has to offer. How many of us go to the same restaurants, order the same things off the menu, and spend our weekends following the same patterns. Toronto’s a big city with lots going on, but it’s invisible when you are stuck in your self-imposed routines. Stop playing it safe, take some risks and live life large because it’s the only life you will ever have.
That’s why VLR is such a wonderful concept. We are able to design a wonderful lifestyle for ourselves and continue to experience new things all the time.
I will leave you with this short video by Jed Jenkins, who came to the realization that routine is the enemy of time and as a result of his awakening quit his job and instead took a thousand mile bike trip from Oregon to Patagonia.
Something to think about the next time you find yourself sitting on the couch watching some mindless T.V.
I was lucky to finally wake up.
How about you?