How I Traded My Life for Future Security
One afternoon last week I hopped on my bicycle and went for a ride to one of my favorite vistas, a beautiful lake overlooking the subdivision I live in. Much of my writing is inspired in nature; composed of things that either “come” to me when I open myself up to ideas, or often as the result of meditating on a subject and then writing whatever begins to flow naturally.
While riding over towards the lake it began to dawn on me that in life our experiences are actually much more about the journeys themselves than about arriving at any particular destination.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that I was so focused on getting where I wanted to go, I was ignoring wherever it was I happened to be. You see, one of the blessings I get to experience is that I live in an area with lots of older, unique homes, mature trees, brick streets, and in a community where people walk, ride, and jog along the main thoroughfare.
Tables at outdoor cafes are common, and so when heading from point A to B there’s a lot to experience if you don’t get so focused on your destination that you block it all out.
Catching myself doing exactly that, I was reminded of the career paths that made up most of my existence. Too often I traded in the richness of the experience for benefits I believed would accrue when I arrived at my ultimate destination.
My focus on the future was killing my present
My arrival at the lake provided a moment for reflection. As I looked back upon my career path, I realized that the shift away from enjoying the experience began in college, where after two years I changed my major from music to finance because I had no stomach for playing the role of a starving artist. Once out of college, I ignored jobs with challenge and high paying potential, looking instead for those that provided security and stability.
But I found excruciating boredom and developed a distaste for mindless routine.
I worked in an office full of people who kept retirement calendars pinned to their cubicle walls, counting down the years, months, and days until they would arrive at their ultimate destination…