“What do I want to do for the rest of my life?”
It’s a question most of us ask ourselves at some stage – usually in middle-age when we are heading towards retirement.
You wake up one day thinking you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’re in a rut, but how do you effect a life change ? How can you change your lifestyle and do something you really want to do for the rest of your life?
Inevitably, most of us will come to the conclusion that it’s easier to carry on the way we have been going because we don’t know, or can’t see, a way out – a way to something better. It’s impossible to change a complete lifestyle that’s taken 50 years or so to develop. Isn’t it?
Picture if you will, a pyramid of people with the majority packed into the mid to lower part of the triangle. This portion represents over 75% of the population.
The next 23% represents those who have broken through the barrier and know where they are going. The top three percent are the determined few who have reached for the stars and achieved their dream. We are talking here about the average everyday Joe Bloggs, not the fortunate few who have inherited their wealth.
Oddly, none of this has anything to do with happiness or satisfaction. These sensations may last for awhile but, for many who have achieved, or are achieving, their life’s goals, they are no happier than those below them in the pyramid – their joy was in the travel to the top.
Please do not go away taking these percentages as gospel. The figures are based on informed opinion and study – no one can say exactly, but every country has its surveys and statistics and these figures are a fairly useful guideline, an average. The interesting thing is that this same guideline/average applies to most other areas in life.
Take as an example those at the bottom of the pyramid and those at the top. The `have-nots’ are far in excess of the `haves.’ For example, in the US today over 46 million people live on the poverty line and, according to the 2010 figures, 3.1 million have between them 11.6 trillion dollars. According to the 2010 Census Bureau, the USA has a population of nearly 309 million. Work that pyramid out and you will see some common denominators.
The question is – Why the gap? What makes one man destined for riches and another for less?
Remember, happiness does not come into the equation. Happiness is a state of mind that everyone, rich, comfortable or poor, can enjoy.
I will endeavour now to list a few reasons for the gap but it will not be complete, simply because many will be classed as `others,’ those without a specific grouping.
Old money – People born to wealth; royalty; those whose families have for two or more generations reached wealth status.
Those who had a dream, who took risks, and worked tirelessly and determinedly to achieve them. A few did it dishonestly and some at the cost of marriage and family life. But success was their goal, regardless of the cost.
Luck money – winners of lotteries; beneficiaries of another’s wealth.
Mr and Mrs Average:
The hard-working middle, who strive to pay off their mortgage and educate their children while saving for retirement and the life change they hope it will bring.
Happy to be looked after by the government. Unmotivated, often of a negative nature.
Trying hard to do things right but often luck is against them. Often discouraged but ready to try again. Sometimes find themselves going around in circles.
The young and sometimes not so young individual who wants to succeed so sets goals, stepping-stones to success. They dream of a better life ahead and know they have to plan for it. They want success and are willing to work hard, take risks, educate and motivate themselves, to achieve it.
To sum up, we all need to define what it is we want for our lives and look for ways to achieve the goals we set. If you find your goals difficult to define, see my next post in this lifestyle blog and some tips to help you form a new lifestyle.