What exactly is the successful lifestyle blueprint ? Are you living it ? And is it worth living it anyway ?
We’ve had an interesting conversation with a guy who is in his mid-70s and still working part-time in a supermarket. This guy is very much ‘old school’ and always wants to do the best work he can. Unfortunately though, his bosses do not appreciate the hard work he puts in.
Meanwhile, his young work colleagues (fresh out of school) seem to be doing the bare minimum to keep their bosses satisfied. This, of course, infuriates our conscientious senior friend.
At his time of life, he should be thinking about winding down and relaxing – having already experienced several decades of working hard in the ‘rat race’.
However, we do agree with his philosophy that he should keep active – not only physically but also mentally – and we can therefore understand why he continues to work, albeit on a part-time basis.
Successful Lifestyle “Blueprint” ?
This guy’s situation got us thinking about what the western world’s view of an ‘ideal life’ is and, in fact, how screwed up it all is.
This is what we are led to believe is the ‘blueprint for a successful life’ :
1 to 4 – we are totally dependent on our parents and therefore our every need is catered for.
4 to 16 – we go through standard schooling, being told to sit down and shut up and to take and obey orders. Generally speaking, our early free expression and creativity is discouraged or beaten out of us.
16 to 23 – we might go on to further education where we are again told to obey orders.
16/23 to 65/70 – we are told that we should work 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday (okay, times are a bit more flexible now, but you get the point).
65+/70+ – we are told that this is the glorious period in our life when we can sit back, relax and reap the rewards of all of those previous years of ‘hard work’.
Retirement Never Comes
Of course, life is what you make it, but the above mentioned blueprint isn’t ideal all. There are several ‘problems’ with it :
- Whilst medical science has moved on a great deal, there are still far too many people dying of illnesses, which can be attributed to stress caused by that ‘blueprint’.
- Many people don’t even make it until retirement age.
- For those who are lucky enough to actually reach retirement age, their bodies are so riddled with illness (stress again) that they’re not actually able to make use of their long-awaited freedom. Instead, it’s just spent going to and from a hospital.
- There is an ever-increasing group who might have a reasonably stable body, but their mind has just ‘gone’ (lifestyle stress again).
- Meanwhile, some people are reaching retirement age with barely enough money to live off – let alone have a ‘luxurious’ lifestyle.
What type of ‘success blueprint’ is that ? All work and no play just can’t be right.
Many years ago, I had the privilege going to the Maldives on holiday. Whilst there, I learnt that many of the local fishermen lead very simple lives.
They would do the same thing, day after day. They went out in their little fishing boats, caught their catch, sold it at the local market in Malé (the capital) and prepared to do the same thing the next day. Meanwhile, their wives made simple ornate gifts which were, ultimately, sold to the tourists.
The local people never ever worried about past mistakes, or feared about their job security in six months’ time.
- They lived ‘for the moment’
- They lived ‘in the now’
- THEY LIVED !!!
They did not know what emotional stress was and, as a result, they were always happy. Isn’t that how we should ALL be living ?
Of course this lifestyle is repeated in several cultures throughout the world. Who’s got it right ?
Yes, but don’t they have a shorter life expectancy ?
Actually no…… For the Maldivians “Life expectancy at birth stood at 46 years in 1978, and later rose to 72.” (From Wikipedia).
But even if their average life expectancy was still at 46 years, they could honestly say that they have actually lived for all of those 46 years. How many people in the western world truly ‘live’ anywhere near that length of time (Even if they’re ‘alive’ for 70 years) ?
So when’s the next plane to Malé ?
Of course we’re not suggesting that we sell our houses and live for the rest of our lives on one of their many beautiful islands.
What we are suggesting is that you shouldn’t just wait until those final few years we call ‘retirement’ to REALLY enjoy your life.
You can start being happy at any time. You can start relaxing at any time. It’s all just a state of mind. You just need to be shown how.
Successful Personal Growth will show you how to make the most of your life NOW, before you get anywhere near retirement age….. and without getting sand on your feet.
Image credits : watiporn(Key To Success)/Serge Bertasius Photography
(Elderly Couple In Park)/artur84(Maldives Written In Sand)