Bob: Can I Retire Now?

Bob—a crusty media executive from Brooklyn—thundered into my office, slammed some papers on my desk and said, “I can’t take it anymore. I need to retire. I hate what I’m doing. Do I have enough to retire?”

I slid the papers back across the desk back without even looking at them.

“What are you going to do when you retire?” I asked. “You’re not going to chase your wife around the house all day and you’re not going to sit and watch TV. Tell me what your life looks like the day, the week, month and year after you turn in your employee ID card.”

His fierceness quickly faded as he looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, “I have no idea.”

“Then you can’t retire,” I told him. “Not until you have thought about your next.”

After the shock of my statement suck in, he nodded his head—he got it. His marching orders were to take the next 6 to 9 months and think about what will make his life full, rich and meaningful. Then we would match up his thoughts with his resources.

Sometimes, it takes that deer-in-the-headlights moment to rattle us. To make us stop long enough to consider whether the life we’re creating for ourselves is the right one.

In the space of a few minutes, Bob realized that it wasn’t about the money, not really.

It’s about building the life YOU define as rich.

And that starts with putting the energy and thought into considering your next.

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