Future Dreams

While jogging with my wife a few days ago, we had a conversation that we haven’t had in years. We discussed our dreams.

It’s an important conversation for couples to have. What are your hopes? What are your dreams? Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 20? In 50? Planning for the future gives you a map for the present.

My wife and I hadn’t had this conversation in years. A few days ago, we did. Our life-goals are simple and achievable.

I want to leave the corporate world and support my family with writing and the training classes I do. I want a chunk of land outside of any major metropolitan area, but close enough for the entertainment and shopping. I want enough land to expand my classes on my own property, relying on no one.

My wife wants enough land to have some horses. It was unspoken, but I think she wants my goals to take off so they can support her goals, too.

We want a comfortable retirement and we want to help the kids with college.

We’re a bit behind the game for college funding. That’s ok, though. There is nothing wrong with a kid working his way through college and learning those life lessons.

We are also behind on the retirement. But, if I can support us doing the things I love, I don’t need $X million. Retirement isn’t a cessation of activity, it is taking the time to do the things you love on your own schedule. If writing a book while sitting on my private range is enough to fund our life, that’s the perfect retirement.

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4 Ways to Change Your Life for the Better

Everybody has bad days.   Everybody has horrible days.   That doesn’t matter.   The important thing is how you feel about your life as a whole.   What can you do to make your life more worth living?

1.  Get out of debt.   When you’ve got no debt to pay, you have more options and less risk.   If you’re paying $1500 just to service your debt, it will be $1500 harder if you lose your job.   If you’ve got no debt payments to make, the impact of losing an income stream is far less.    On top of that, you’ll have that much more money to do the things you love every month.

2.  Find something you love to do…and do it.    Everybody has to do things they hate.  For some, it’s cleaning up the cat’s litter box, for others, they die inside a little each time they punch a time clock.   Life isn’t all puppy dogs and ice cream, but it’s important to have a little ice cream in your life.  What do you love doing?   Is there anything you love that you can start doing?  Start a business, write a book, volunteer for a charity that matches your values, or grow the world’s largest pumpkin.  Whatever it is, it’s time to get started.

3.  Eliminate the things you hate.    Life’s too short to live with the things you hate.   If something is destroying the value of your life, get rid of it.   Now, I’m not suggesting you off your mother-in-law, but it may be worth ignoring the phone when her number shows up on the caller ID and skipping Sunday dinner with her.   If you hate your job, find another.   If you can’t find a way to eliminate what you hate, embrace it and learn to love it, or you will eventually hate more of your life than just the bit driving you crazy.

4.  Let the ones you love know you do.   Do your children know you love them?  Does your spouse?  Are you sure?   If a meteor fell on your head today, would your kids spend the rest of their lives wondering how you felt?   If your wife were in a car accident today, would there be anything you wish you would have said?   Now, today, this morning, this second is the right time to let your loved ones know you care.  Don’t wait.   If you haven’t made it a habit, it may feel awkward.   Get over it.  Your wife and kids will love you more knowing beyond doubt that you love them.    A tight bond with your family can’t be bought, it can’t be bribed, and it can’t be faked.  It is worth everything.

What’s one thing you could do today to make your life better?

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