We all get the opportunity to shape our own lives.
We can choose to take full advantage of our education … or not.
We can choose a career that we find fulfilling… or not.
We can choose to put in the required effort to be successful … or not.
We can change the course of our lives at any time and it is never too late.
I don’t suggest that changing your life is easy … in fact it takes hard work!
I have made some very poor choices along the way … but I chose to change things in my life and despite being a “late bloomer” I am very happy with my life.
Here are some truths …
1. IF you decide to change your life it will be hard.
2. The BEST things in life come from hard work, tough decisions and sacrifice.
3. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take“, Wayne Gretsky
4. You don’t need to give up everything for success … it is very possible to have a life beyond the office. See my blog entry about Life Balance.
5. Here are some examples from my life …
I went back to school at age 23, after 7 years in the Royal Navy.
I chose to change my career at that point to get into computers which I felt offered a good future.
I emigrated to Canada at age 27. My family all still live in the UK.
It took me a few years to begin to change my attitude to work … making it an integral part of my life, not a chore!
I abandoned my technical career to move into sales. A conscious decision because I felt an executive role was more likely through a sales career.
I chose to work harder than most of my peers … but always made time for my family.
I was 41 years old when we started Eagle. My wife and I each had good management positions with industry leading companies, and a potentially bright career ahead of us. We chose to risk our careers, and all of our assets by starting the company.
Many of my business commitments have entailed travel, but I have worked things so that I could be back home for all of the significant family events.
I have taken “red eye” flights to ensure I was home to coach my kid’s soccer. At other times I have arrived at the soccer field from the airport, in my suit in time to coach.
I attended almost every parent/teacher event; hockey games & practices; birthdays and special occasions … but my work didn’t suffer either.
I missed my own soccer games sometimes, messed up my own workout routines, didn’t eat very well (travelling) and spent more than a few nights burning the midnight oil.
6. I have NO regrets about the choices I have made along the way … good or bad! I am who I am today because of ALL of my life experiences.
7. I repeat it is never too late to change your life.
8. If I can do it … so can YOU!
9. It takes a goal, and a plan to reach that goal … plus the determination to get there. The goal will change and that’s OK. The plan will change and that’s OK. As long as you are working towards some goal you will see progress.
10. Sometime you just need to make a choice and go for it… even when the choice is not clear. Things become clearer over time and making any choice is almost always better than status quo!
You only get one life, and your career/work is a BIG part of it, so why not get as much enjoyment/fulfillment from it as you can?