I've read “middle age” is when you begin considering the number of years you have left. I've also read men in their 50s are more conscious of — and worry more about — their remaining time than men in their 60s and beyond. It's as though an internal mechanism is triggered in our 50s to remind us we've put off some important personal goals, and it's time to get started.
In coaching farm and ranch folks, I've found they invariably have a dream of what they'd like to do someday. It might be a trip, a community project, learning a skill or helping in a third-world country.
Most, however, don't have a plan to realize it. They put it off until they “get time” or “can afford it,” not realizing most dreams are far easier to achieve than they think. All that's needed is a plan.
Europe on a shoestring
One couple's dream was to visit Europe and tour some organic farms. They'd switched to organic production six years before I met them, and they wanted to see how others did it.
They'd put off any planning because they assumed it was too expensive. I challenged them and within eight months they took the trip by getting creative and devising a couple of ways to save a lot of money:
A business executive they knew traveled a lot. They traded some grass-finished organic beef for enough of his air miles to get round-trip tickets. They connected with some organic farms in Europe through World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (http://www.wwoof.org) and volunteered their time on a number of organic farms in exchange for room and board. They toured a lot of country, learned more about organic farming and met some very interesting people on a budget less than half what they expected.
Some people I talk to gave up their dreams so long ago they don't think about them anymore. They say they're too old, it's too expensive, or any number of other excuses.
When I challenge their assumptions, they often realize they've simply been telling themselves the same stories their parents told them long ago. Maybe the stories weren't true.
The time is now
If you're starting to feel a bit anxious about your remaining time and have dreams or goals yet to achieve, this might be a good time to make a plan...
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