Are you aiming to be successful or significant?

Because we live in such a success-oriented world, when we are asked to choose between success or significance, it seems only natural to choose success.

Today, success is measured in material wealth, position, status and popularity. When young, we may dream of being rich and famous. That, we think, is the road to happiness. Wouldn’t it be nice never to worry about money? You bet! Wouldn’t it be great if adoring fans mobbed us and clamoured for our attention wherever we went? Sounds tempting!

How, then, do we explain the problem I encounter as I interact with executives and entrepreneurs who have achieved outstanding financial and career success, but who are Quote_ what matters is not your success but your significanceactually deeply unhappy and living miserable lives?

When it comes to material wealth, they have it all – one of these people was described by a colleague as “being so wealthy that his grandchildren won’t have to work.” But, in the next breath, the colleague added that this person was very unhappy.

As one is confronted by story after story of people living unhappy lives in many of the mansions scattered around upmarket suburbs, it becomes clear that, contrary to popular belief, money can’t buy love (Jim Carrey will vouch for that) and it can’t buy happiness (maybe Britney Spears could say, “Amen” to that).

If we’re making a mistake chasing success, what then should we be doing? What is the point of all the hard work and sacrifice we put in every day?

It’s important to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being financially comfortable or wealthy. Some believe that it is a sin to be wealthy and that purity and goodness can only be achieved by living a life of poverty and deprivation. Rubbish!

The key to realizing a dream quoteWhile it may be more blessed to give than to receive, if you don’t have anything to give, there’s not much fun in giving. It’s admirable to work towards financial success, BUT … if that’s all you’re aiming at, you’re setting yourself up for a life of emptiness while you sit on your comfortable upmarket furniture and drive your luxury car.

Every human being craves to be significant. We all have a desire to make some impact on the world in which we live and on the people with whom we interact. When young, we may be less concerned about significance – we’re in success mode. But if we chase success at the cost of everything else, we find an emptiness growing inside ourselves that we just can‘t fill.

And because we don’t understand the “Law of Enough”, we end up chasing the ever-moving target of financial wealth that will torment us no matter how long and how hard we run after it. That’s because some people incorrectly believe that they need to become MORE financially successful to fill the emptiness. Understand this: money can buy comfort and convenience, but it can’t fill a heart. Only meaning can do that.

Significance is therefore achieved by helping others not as fortunate as yourself in Quote on the true measure of lifeseveral ways. If you’re able, you could make regular financial contributions to a worthy cause or give of your time to help such a cause. You could also donate your skills and expertise to assist in an area of need (helping with the selection and recruitment of suitable workers or doing books and managing finances).

Think about what you could do to achieve significance. The world needs your unique personality, talents, gifts and skills. Don’t limit them to the walls of your workplace. Don’t put a price on them when it comes to achieving significance. Aim for success, but also strive to be significant. You will achieve a far greater sense of fulfilment and will leave the world a better place.

Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag. He is a recognised authority on leadership skills for the future and helps business leaders learn to lead with purpose and agility.

Bucket Wheel®

I had a recent chat with a RetiremeantTM client who, pre-retirement, had been very anxious about how to fill his time when he was no longer working. He mentioned that he is now so busy having fun that he hardly finds time to fit in all his activities. We had a good chuckle at how happily his retirement years are panning out, and the conversation left me pondering the importance of balance.

Jana Kingsford, author and blogger, says: “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” And that is why we emphasise the Bucket Wheel® – it’s all about creating a balanced life.

While having fun is important – and, well, fun – creating balance is crucial. On the flip-side, many of us simply don’t have time for fun. We get caught up constantly addressing urgent matters and forget to allow time for really important things, things that make us feel alive.

The point of the Bucket Wheel® is to ensure that we focus our time, not only on the urgent, but also on the important. It keeps our balance in check and ensures that we direct our energy towards what matters most. By spending quality time planning your Bucket Wheel® items, you will have started your journey to living a more balanced and fulfilled life in retirement where all eight areas of your life are considered: work, give-back, relationships, money, learning, health, purpose and play. In essence, the Bucket Wheel® integrates the idea of balance with your Bucket List and helps you stick to the plan.

Your Bucket Wheel® is also the best indicator of what money you will need and how your money needs to work for you. This becomes your blueprint, your plan for life in retirement. And it is this wheel that you can discuss yearly with your Retiremeant™ Specialist to make sure that your money enables your dreams and ambitions.

Watching the Wheel

As you feel you’ve accomplished something on your Bucket Wheel®, revisit it, slotting in new goals as you go. It is a constant reminder of what’s important to you while at the same time ensuring that you are mindful of all the important aspects of a balanced life. It is more than a list that just gets ticked off. It gives you a chance to reflect on how balanced you feel; what is working and what is not. And it adds so much value to your Retiremeant™ review meetings by allowing your Specialist to align your finances with your Bucket Wheel® items.

My final thought: don’t allow how much money you have dictate the type of life you want to live. Be master of your money and align your Retiremeant™ Plan with your Bucket Wheel®.

Enjoy inventing your very own, personalised Bucket Wheel®!

Warm regards,

Rising Strong

Living a brave life is not easy. It is impossible to be perfect; life itself is not perfect. Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong has inspired me in so many ways to keep trying, to give ‘living” a chance, despite the inevitable challenges and setbacks that life brings.

My journey to rising strong has not been a once-off event – learning and growing is a process. Brené’s book is a very personal and practical guide to embracing fear and failure and living a more courageous life. It often gives me courage when I find myself at a crossroad.

Those curve-balls life sends us

If we truly want to live and embrace life in its entirety, we have to be prepared for the eventuality that everything does not always work out exactly as planned. Setbacks are inevitable, and at times, we all get stuck in a place of fear, self-doubt and regret. It may just seem easier to accept defeat and retreat into a space that feels safe and secure … but Brené’s message is one of hope, of perseverance and strength.

It is in the acceptance of our vulnerability that we recognise that we are not powerless. In the space of vulnerability, we have time to accept our setbacks, time to reflect on our experiences, embrace them and practise the art of gratitude for the opportunity to learn from them. This gives us the power to rise up with renewed hope and strength to rewrite our future.

This was so true for me when I entered the financial planning industry. I have always believed that you cannot separate people from money and that a financial plan should support a person’s unique and personal life plan. With this perspective, I brought a new conversation to the traditional financial planning industry which predominantly only focused on investment returns. I knew intuitively that conversations about the client, the life the client wants to live and what their relationship with money is, were equally important.

When swimming upstream, remember your purpose

Re-thinking and challenging the way that financial planning has been done for decades, brought its fair share of criticism. I was constantly questioned by planners in the industry who referred to life planning as the “softer” issues and felt that these did not belong in the world of finances and investment strategies. I had moments of self-doubt and uncertainty and had to remind myself every day to persevere, to stay true to my beliefs and to keep on swimming – even though I was swimming upstream!

What made my journey worth it, and motivated me to keep on following my purpose, were the clients. Every time I had a courageous conversation with a client and saw how they embraced the fact that money can indeed enable a life of meaning, I felt inspired. And watching how clients design their Retiremeant™ as a fulfilling and meaningful next chapter, encourages me to keep rising strong.

I came to coin the concept, Retiremeant™ and define it as having the freedom to achieve your yet unfulfilled dreams and goals, on your terms and in your own time. Despite the challenges along the way, I am truly grateful that in my small way, I have made an impact on people’s lives. I am constantly moved by the stories clients share in Life Planning meetings and have come to realise that our combined knowledge and experiences are powerful stories and lessons that need to be told. This inspired me to start writing a second book, with our relationship with money as its central theme. I am also busy writing a series of e-books, a compilation of stories and lessons that our clients share around unexpected life events in – the Retiremeant™ What If’s.

We find strength together

This newsletter contains snippets of client stories and learnings shared in their journeys to rising strong – more of those in my upcoming e-books! Kate Turkington recently visited us at a Chartered Wealth Solutions and gave an insightful talk on her life in Retiremeant™. For me personally, Kate is a role-model on living Retiremeant™ to the fullest and I hope that you find appreciation and inspiration in her story. If you do have any spare time this weekend, I recommend that you see “Finding your Feet” which is showing in cinemas now.Brené Brown quote - we don't have to do all of it alone.

By sharing these stories, my wish is that you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Just maybe, one of these stories will touch you in some way, inspire you to live a brave life, through all your stumbles and falls, and give you the strength to rise bravely and strong.

Warm regards,

Kim Potgieter Hand written signature

Chatting with Kate Turkington at Chartered House

Out of adversity comes strength.  It’s a familiar adage, as are the variations on it:  opportunity, triumph and greatness are all optional outcomes.  The indomitable Kate Turkington, guest speaker at our recent Lifestyle Lunch, has her own version:  out of adversity comes the courage to live every moment to its very fullest.

Kate holds to the Buddhist wisdom distilled into these few words:  The past is gone. You can learn from it, but it’s gone. The future never comes.  So, live in the moment.

In Kate’s past lies the tale of two little girls, aged four (Kate herself) and six (her sister, Rita) who numbered among the million and a half children evacuated in 4000 trains over four days to rural England during WWII.  Out of these six months of exile came Kate’s resolve to savour the present, to live singing Carpe Diem. “You have no control over the past or the future, but you do have control over the present moment,” she affirms.

It’s a life philosophy that started with Kate’s mother, who had quietly pointed at the moon and told her children: “There’s the moon – if you want to go there, go for it!” (and this long before Neil Armstrong took that first giant step on 20 July 1969).

Yes, a Real Life

Kate describes her book, Yes, Really! as A Life, rather than a memoire. And it is not surprising to see why.  From the Dalai Lama to ghosts and angels to a talking dog … Kate has interviewed them all. One of the most memorable – and also one of the saddest – was a conversation with a man who counselled the dying; he said that most men regret not spending more time with their families, and most women wish they had done more with their lives.

“When you are young, you worry about what people think of you, what impression you are making,” says Kate.  “When you are older, you don’t give a damn. You know who you are, what you are good at, and accept what you aren’t good at.”  Her sage advice is not to leave money to your children.  “You have done your best – loved and educated them – and now, let them live your own lives … let them go.”

Kate also urges the freedom from material things: “You have one body, one pair of feet – you can only wear so many clothes or shoes at a time.”

Rather, Kate advocates valuing your relationships.  Recently, a woman in Franschhoek, having lost her husband, approached Kate.  She felt she simply could not overcome her feelings of grief, and had taken to staying in her home, disconnected from others.  “I don’t believe we ever lose anyone,” Kate explains. “We have their love, their memories – they are not lost to us. So, I advised her to accept her situation, then to get a pet. I have long and intelligent conversations with my two rescued Jack Russells … me talking, them nodding!”

Kate’s book offers so many opportunities to laugh (and laugh at ourselves), but it does not shy away from the shocking and difficult things.  “There are no secrets in our family, so I have shared honestly in my autobiography. We all have bad things that happen in our lives – and you have to deal with it,” she says.  “Forgiveness is not in my lexicon; it feels arrogant – who am I to forgive or not.  But, acceptance, that is my watchword.”

Ready … for South Africa, for anything

Travel has very much been a part of Kate’s life experiences, career, personal growth, and enduring joy.

“I was in nine different countries last year, mostly on assignment as a travel writer. Let me tell you, there is no country like South Africa.  We laugh at ourselves, our media is free, our Civil Aviation industry is globally superior, as is our Reserve Bank … there is just so much good we don’t always hear about.” Asked to describe her city, Johannesburg, in three words, Kate was clear: sunshine, energy, diversity.

At the time of her visit to Chartered, Kate was packing to facilitate a media training workshop in Ghana, her first visit back to that country in 48 years.  It was there that she discovered she was pregnant with her daughter, Tara, and now they will be together there again, so many years hence.  “You never know what is around the corner, so be ready for it.”

Kate vividly remembers a friend whose family had a sewing machine, but one which sat unused on the shelf.  Her young friend had been warned, “Don’t try to use the machine – the needle may go through your finger!”  It was an apt illustration of the danger of holding back from life for fear of a possible or imagined hazard.

Kate, in contrast, inspired her audience to live – really live.  “There are so many ways to do what you want – become an au pair overseas if you want to travel. Whatever it is, embrace it … live, and live now!”

Left: Chartered guests are fascinated by Kate’s charm from La Paz, Bolivia.  “We all need a little magic in our lives,” laughs Kate.

The cure lies in the cause

Wellness is not a point in time, but a continuous cycle. It is a continuum of cause and effect. 

Stress, anxiety and trauma are the most common reasons why people are unwell today.

It’s not the actual trauma or stress that causes your un-wellness, but how you respond or react to these events, the emotions that flow from your experiences, that impact on your well-being.

These are the health lessons presented by Dr Riaz Motara at a recent Lifestyle event for our Retiremeant™ clients.  To say I was inspired by Dr. Motara’s views on wellness is an understatement. I was so enthused that I immediately set up a follow-up appointment: I wanted to learn more!

Dr. Motara’s view on the correlation between health and our thoughts substantiates our Retire Successful philosophy that a healthy mind supports a healthy life. It’s about keeping your body fit, your mind challenged and your heart engaged.

Don’t discount the impact of your emotions
Dr Motara joins many other experts in the field of holistic health when he says that “fear” is the most significant emotion that underpins everything that happens to us as humans. It affects how we approach life, the decisions and choices we make, how we act or react – in fact, fear subconsciously steers almost everything we do.

The difficult part is that our emotions are not really a conscious choice to make. We feel, because we react to something in a certain way.

While fear is the core emotion, how we negatively react or feel, based on trauma, are derivatives of fear: hate, anger, disappointment, discontentment, abandonment, loss, insignificance – and the list goes on.

It all sounds so complex, doesn’t it? To explain, I shared with Dr. Motara that the therapist I was seeing after my third high-jacking told me that I brought all this onto myself. That made me angry! No – fuming! Then Dr. Motara explanation made sense: my negative emotions became my self-talk and all my efforts to heal after the trauma were based on overcoming my fear. I was so fixated with fear that I ended up attracting fear into my life. The stress and anxiety actually caused me to become unwell in body and mind.

It’s a matter of the heart
The same applies to your health. Being a cardiologist, Dr. Motara dedicates much thought and research to issues of the heart. He has actually found a strong correlation between depression and heart disease. He says that by treating patients holistically, and by delving into past experiences, he is able to determine when the heart disease started. For example, a client with heart disease also tested for low levels of serotonin. Motara discovered that the feeling of “un-wellness” and heart disease started hand-in hand, shortly after a traumatic life experience.

Motara believes that 50% of the cure of any illness is having insight into what caused it. Ask yourself:

  • When did it start? When can I last remember feeling great?
  • What did I get exposed to?
  • Does this correlate with how I am feeling now?

The answers are inside of us. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to access traumatic memories, but if you delve deep enough, and try to make sense of your behavioural patterns, you could probably pinpoint your health to a specific cause and reaction.

The cornerstone of complete wellness remains a holistic approach. It is essential to consult a medical practitioner to treat your symptoms, but it is also important to work on managing your emotions and dealing with all the challenges that life holds, which most commonly includes stress and anxiety.

So, this winter, while it’s cold and gloomy and early morning walks are not as appealing as in summer, why not spend some time exercising your mind towards wellness. I’ll join you in that!

Keep warm and well.

Challenging the term ‘old’

A brilliant article from The Economist in which the notion of being ‘old’ at 65 is debunked.

IN MUCH of the rich world, 65 still marks the beginning of old age. Jobs end, subsidised bus travel begins and people start to be seen as a financial burden rather than an asset to the state.

The larger the “65-plus” group becomes, compared with the population of working age, the more policymakers worry about the costs of their healthcare and pensions. By the end of the century the “old-age dependency ratio”, which tracks this relationship, will triple. Pessimists predict a “silver tsunami” that will bankrupt us all.

But does it still make sense to call 65-year-olds “old”?

The Oxford English dictionary defines “old” as “having lived for a long time”. It illustrates the sense with an accompanying phrase, “the old man lay propped up on cushions”: the old person as one who has made all the useful contributions he can possibly make to society and is now at rest.

When pensions were first introduced in Prussia, in the 1880s, this was probably a fair characterisation for anyone over 65. Not many people lived beyond this age; those who did were rarely in good health.

Today many 65-year-olds are healthy and active. Yet governments and employers still treat 65 as a cliff’s edge beyond which people are regarded as “old”: inactive, and an economic burden.

3 reasons why it’s wrong

First, what “old” means is relative. Life expectancy has gone through the roof since von Bismarck pioneered the Prussian welfare state. Today the average 65-year-old German can expect to live another 20 years; so can most people in other rich countries, meaning old age now arguably kicks in later than before.

Second, the term carries an underlying implication about health, or at least fitness. But healthy-life expectancy has grown roughly in tandem with life expectancy; for many, 70 really is the new 60.

Third, surveys show that the majority of younger over-65-year-olds increasingly want to stay actively involved in their communities and economies. Few want to retire in the literal sense of the word, which implies withdrawing from society as a whole. Many want to continue working but on different terms than before, asking for more flexibility and fewer hours.

All this shows that life stages are primarily social constructs.

Words like “old” and “retired” signal to policymakers, and to old people themselves, how they ought to behave and be treated by governments, businesses and employers. In a three-stage model of life’s cycle, children learn, adults work and old people rest. As a result, most institutions still treat 65 as a cut-off point for social and economic usefulness. But ageing is a gradual process, which people experience in different ways. While some may feel old at 65, nowadays most do not.

Acknowledging that there is a new stage of life between full-time work and old age would help everyone make the most of longer life spans.

Perfect Solution for Pocket and Soul

The Wheel of Balance is a great thermometer to take the temperature of your life – is it wholly what you want?

Chartered Wealth Solutions client, Michael Hennessy, shares the unexpected treasure he found in this familiar tool that allowed him to relinquish his worries about his future life and finances.

Having just completed our first annual review, I fell to musing on the many things that have happened during 2017.

In October 2016, I found myself peering down the barrel of a very threatening gun with the label “retirement” attached to it. Two aspects of imminent retirement terrified me the most.

Firstly, despite a long and very varied career, always involving some aspect of the resources business, it seemed to me that I was being put out to grass at a stage when I thought I still had something of value to add.

Had I been deceiving myself and was I really of no further value to my employer?

Secondly, the very fact of that varied career carried with it the horror that provision for retirement would be grossly inadequate. Moreover, my wife and I could place little reliance on any of her retirement funding: her career as a teacher had been as much impacted by being a stay-at-home mom and then living abroad, so limiting years of service.

Fortunately, we were introduced to Chartered Wealth where we were able to unburden ourselves from many of our concerns. The sequence of initial meetings was arranged in such a gentle and caring way that we could move through some of the clouds of fear. We were at the outset assured that with the financial provisions we had made, we were not in any desperate position. “Relax”, we were told, “your future is not bleak”. The plan is as much to help you with your life in future as to manage money.

Wheeling in wholeness

The budget plan that was in due course developed reinforced this – we could expect more than bare survival. We were then introduced to the Wheel of Balance, a concept that fascinated me, and a personality appraisal. I had, of course, been subjected to many similar exercises over my career, but the outcome of “Motivator” struck me as fairly solid. It became clear from our consideration of the Wheel of Balance that there were so many opportunities that would now be open to us.

The Wheel of Balance pointed to the need to manage our lives: fun, work, community involvement, learning and so much more. In particular, our Planner pointed out that with my long experience, there should be no problem of continuing as a consultant in the mining and environmental field. This thought alleviated both my sense of a lack of self-worth and a fear of inadequate financial resources.

Indeed, that is exactly how things worked out. I was able to join a start-up environmental consultancy and help it to expand to a much larger group. The new employees are all young, which leaves me as the grizzled old uncle offering guidance and, hopefully, wisdom.

As with all other places I have worked, I also try to bring a sense of fun to the office. One of the nicest things I have heard anyone say (apart from when my wife said she would marry me) came from one of the young women who said, “I wish I could fold you up like a blanket and take you home so that when I feel sad, I can take you out of my cupboard and wrap you around my shoulders so that you can make me laugh”. Not only such expressions of affection, but then I also get paid!

We feel we owe such a debt to Chartered Wealth; to the planners, who make up an important part of my retirement life; to the Retirementors, providing insights on meaning; to the client services team, who design such fun events; and still more, to those behind the scenes whom I may not meet but who are a crucial part of the whole edifice.

Our Planners did a superb job of talking us through the process and putting us at ease for the future – we love the sense of family we feel: it is so much more than a brusque money- related investment return approach.

The Bucket Wheel really helped us to look forward rather than backward.

Find and live your Flow

A challenge for you in 2018

For me it is going to be a personally powerful year. It’s the year I turn 50. Fifty is such a turning-point, a significant stepping stone that speaks to a life lived – and a life still to live.

Being the personality I am, I plan to celebrate in as big a way as possible. And what better way than to celebrate each and every decade – literally. Yes, I’ve come up with one “thing” for each of my five decades. I’m calling them my “five fabulous things”.

Here they are:

  • going on a cooking course in Greece with four of my school girlfriends (of forty years!);
  • listening to Andrea Bocelli on his farm in Tuscany;
  • working towards my dream of meeting Brené Brown (author of Daring Greatly, my favourite book of all time) come true;
  • throwing a dinner party in my home to honour some of the special people in my life, and
  • continuing to spread the message of the importance of exploring our relationships with money through the work and writing that I do. 

The point of sharing these details with you is that what is encompassed in my dreams for 2018 are three of the things I’m most passionate about: travelling, cooking and learning. These three things represent me at my most inspired. Because finding your flow is about what makes you feel alive. I love how Ariel Gore, author of Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness, puts it: “In a typical day that teeters between anxiety and boredom, flow experiences are those flashes of intense living – bright against the dull. These optimal experiences can happen when we’re engaged in work paid and unpaid, in sports, in music, in art.”

Be fearless to follow your flow

I was having dinner with some special clients recently. Five years ago we had had a meeting that changed their lives. They had come to see us because their life was at a crossroads – a difficult one. My client, a busy businessman (unhappy in the field he was in), was struggling with cancer. In our meeting, we were running scenarios of what working one more year would look like for him, the implications of restructuring his business – and of then downsizing it. At some point, I put this to him: “So, are you telling me that you’re going to carry on doing more of what you don’t like for longer?”

Hearing it like that changed the course of his life. It was his “aha” moment: right there, he and his wife started envisioning the life they actually wanted. They started to feel the flow into what saw him leave his job, move with his wife to a more peaceful place, change their lifestyle to a healthier one and be more in touch with themselves spiritually. Today, they are happy and healthy. And they’re grateful for all they have.

That is being in the flow.

If you are looking for your flow, have a look at my five ways to find your flow tips in the January issue of the Inflight newsletter … and let me know how it goes.

Warm regards

13 things to give up to be successful

Somebody once told me the definition of hell:

“On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous

Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person you can become, you don’t need to add more things — give some of them up.

Certain things are universal, which will make you successful if you give up on them, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.

You can give up on some of them as soon as today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others.

  1. Give up on the unhealthy lifestyle

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First, you should take care of your health, and there are only three things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Quality Sleep
  2. Healthy Diet
  3. Physical Activity

Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.

  1. Give up the short-term mindset

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day.

These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody. There is a difference between: “Working out to get a summer body” and “Working out because that’s who you are.”

  1. Give up on playing small

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   —  Marianne Williamson

If you never try and take great opportunities or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential.

And the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.

So voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.

  1. Give up your excuses

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”

― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures. Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting.

And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.

Own your life; no one else will.

  1. Give up the fixed mindset

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are pre-determined traits that cannot be changed. They also believe that talent alone leads to success — without hard work. But they’re wrong.

Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.

Who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.

  1. Give up believing in the “magic bullet.”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué

Overnight success is a myth. Successful people know that making small continuous improvement every day will be compounded over time and give them desired results.

That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day.

  1. Give up your perfectionism

Shipping beats perfection.” — Khan Academy’s Development Mantra

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much you try.

Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents you from taking action and putting your creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if you wait for things to be right.

  1. Give up multi-tasking

“Most of the time multitasking is an illusion. You think you are multitasking, but in reality, you are actually wasting time switching from one task to another “

— Bosco Tjan

Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is — a business idea, a conversation, or a workout. Being fully present and committed to one task is indispensable.

  1. Give up your need to control everything

“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” — Epictetus

Differentiating these two is crucial. Detach from the things you cannot control, focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something.

  1. Give up on saying yes to things that don’t support your goals

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”  — James Allen

Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues.

In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.

  1. Give up the toxic people

“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”

— Albert Einstein

People you spend the most time with add up to who you become.

If you spend time with those who refuse to take responsibility for their life, always find excuses and blame others for the situation they are in, your average will go down, and with it your opportunity to succeed.

However, if you spend time with people who are trying to increase their standard of living, and grow personally and professionally, your average will go up, and you will become more successful. Take a look at around you, and see if you need to make any changes.

  1. Give up your need to be liked

“You can be the juiciest, ripest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be people who hate peaches.” — Dita Von Teese

Think of yourself as a market niche. There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you.

This is completely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself.

The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of “haters” means that you are doing remarkable things.

  1. Give up wasting time

“The trouble is, you think you have time” — Jack Kornfield

You only have this one crazy and precious life. That’s why you owe it to yourself to see who you can become, and how far you can go. However, to do that, you need to ditch meaningless time wasters and stop allowing them to be an escape from your most important goals.

To do that, you should learn how to take control over your focus, attention and make the most out of your 24 hours within a day. Remember that you will die, so never stop creating your legacy and doing the things that will enrich your life.

Good Luck … the journey is a good one!

Published December 27, 2017 Michael McMahon, Director of MGM 1 PTY LTD

Finding Purpose and Passion in life beyond 50

The convergence of longevity and technology is changing the way we live, work and play.  None of us realised that we may live much longer than our parents and grandparents. Who would have been able to predict how technology has changed our world twenty years ago? These two major factors change how we need to think, save and plan.

Life often does not work out as planned. Let’s look at two scenarios.

Bewildering new workplace

Anne married young in the 1970s and did not work at her career due to her children being born soon after their marriage. Anne loved being home and being a full-time mom.  Sadly, at the age of 40, her husband died, and she was left carrying the burden of life as a single parent.  She had enough money in the early years to fulfil the role as parent and ensure that her children could complete their education. As the children left the nest and Anne wanted to start working to help build her nest egg, she found a workplace that had changed so much and felt quite disheartened.

Dissolving dreams

Bill and Mary married in their twenties and both worked throughout their marriage. They had a family and enjoyed life. They had saved diligently and were looking forward to a life of travel, pleasure and fulfilling their dreams at retirement.  They looked forward to grandchildren close by. Sadly, both their children left the country and live far away. A few years into retirement, life seemed to not match their dreams of what life would be like.

What happens when it’s not enough?

These two very different scenarios have the same challenge at the core. A life with not enough money, relationships or purpose seems empty and unfulfilling.

For each of us this picture will look different. We arrive at this season of life with investments, experience, relationships, skills and dreams. If our world has changed through personal loss or unfulfilled dreams, we need to step back and question what needs to happen to change our current world. Only we can do this.

So how do we do this?

It starts with working with a coach, learning, reading and discovering where our happiness and purpose may be found. It starts with us. We need to take control and action for change to happen. We need to understand some of the shifts in the world of work. This is never easy, but one may find hidden treasure and new relationships as you explore your options.

Find your purpose

I have found in my coaching practice that working with clients using these four circles can help to unlock and unpack some possibilities and ideas. The four circles exercise should be done as follows:

  • Take a sheet of white A3 paper and cut out or draw the circle diagram and paste in the middle.
  • Page through magazines, photographs and ideas that you are attracted to and cut out pictures and words that speak to you.
  • Glue the words and pictures closest to the circle they best represent.

Spend about an hour or two on this exercise.  You can also journal, draw and be creative.  It is almost the same as doing a collage or a vision board.

The result is that it opens ideas and thinking. Share your picture with a friend or your partner. Each of our pictures will look different because we are all unique and should be living life in this season building on our strengths, passion and talents.

Earning in this season has two currencies. Money and meaning. A reason and a goal to get up for daily is where we need to start to build and strengthen our vision for our future.  Experiment, volunteer, join a club or do an online course.

As you move forward with intent, doors start to open, networks grow, and you find that there is a reason to get up and enjoy today and tomorrow.

The process is dynamic, needs engagement and an open mind. Celebrate the process of discovering your purpose for this season.