I have always liked the idea as viewing your time similar to currency. You get to decide how you spend it and what types if investments you make. Sadly, just like with our money, many of us make bad or misinformed decisions. Time is finite. There will be a time when it grows short and then disappears. Our children will only live with us a relatively brief time before they grow up and move away to begin their own lives. People we care about will run out of time and all that will remain will be the memories we made with them while they were still here. Our career will follow a natural arc and eventually our lives will be less about what we do for a living (despite our past accomplishments) and we will need to redefine ourselves. Knowing this, what can and should we do differently. I believe it all starts with priorities.
It is rare that things work out exactly as planned. We often attempt something with the best of intentions and then run smack into a reality not as accommodating as we’d like it to be. In all decision making or negotiation situations it’s advisable to have a plan B that allows you to adjust for shifting circumstances or differing points of view. We often don’t get everything we want, but to paraphrase the Rolling Stones if we are smart about it, “we just might find we get what we need.” It’s very important to be able to prioritize your objectives and know where you have some room for movement. In fact, it’s critical to build flexibility into your response strategy.
I doubt many of us end up in the exact place we thought we’d land as clear eyed confident high school or college graduates many years ago. We were so sure of ourselves back then on who we would become and what we’d accomplish. The path ahead was pretty straightforward and many of the major steps were already identified, then LIFE HAPPENED. All paths are somewhat crooked and bumpy at times. Just like the sea, smooth sailing won’t last forever. Your character will inevitably build over time (or not) as you navigate the rough waters and unforeseen obstacles. You will also uncover beautiful passageways that you were unaware existed and have moments of spontaneous joy and self-assurance that will linger for a lifetime.