Make the best of your one life by making the best of each decade you're in, while planning for the next. Start today!
There is a very common statement: You only have one shot at life, so make the best of it. As I have worked with many individuals and couple across many countries, I have found that the same pattern emerges. At whatever stage of life I begin to work with them, and they start to design their life by decades, they reflect on how little they have understood about getting the best out of their current decade and how unprepared they are for the following decades.
When constructing a high rise office building, once the overall structure is in place, the Project Manger engages a team to build each floor simultaneously. Unfortunately, this does not work for building the decades of life. It is more like climbing and descending Mt Everest! Climbing from camp to camp for the first half of the journey, and then trying to descend without killing yourself for the second half. Tragically, many have not been prepared for or enjoyed the descent after the exhilaration and exhaustion of reaching the summit. Some, exhausted and ill-prepared, have even lost their lives on the way down after conquering the summit.
This is so much like life. People climb up from youth to becoming a young adult, to the beautiful chaos of a young family, to carrying the weight of bringing through teenagers, to having an empty nest, to the summit of retirement in their sixties. They are rarely prepared for the descent in the longevity of their seventies, eighties and nineties and further as more and more people are becoming centenarians.
I recently sat in with one of our coaches on a coaching session with one of his clients. The couple were in their sixties, near the summit. It was painful to hear their frustrated concerns as they expressed how exhausting their journey has been and how unprepared they were for their remaining decades. As we discussed their decades, their Everest journey may have looked like this:
In many coaching sessions with those in the early decades of adult life they have expressed how much they do not want the journey of the older generations.
In my case it wasn't until I got some trusted third party guidance (in my 40s), coupled with my drive and ambition, that I changed this picture. What if we could design our journey up life's Everest right from the beginning to be more like this:
Like I said, during my 40s I transitioned into this picture. As I was surrounded by dependent parents above me and dependent children below me, with help, I was able to move to Leading my family. And now in my 60s I would like to think that I am Thriving and will be able to complete the decent down Everest to leave a Legacy – beyond finances – for future generations.
So have a think about your journey of decades. Where on the mountain are you? What have the decades been like so far for you? How prepared are you for the coming decades to climb to the summit and descend with safety back to your loved ones, leaving a legacy by passing on the knowledge you have learnt through the climb and descent?
It would be great to have a chat and see how you are going. Feel free to contact me.