Have you ever taken a moment in your busy day to imagine what your life will look like in ten years time? What will you be doing? What holidays would you have been on? Will you have children? What loving relationships will you be having?
What possibilities are awaiting you and will you have the time, relationships and money to be able take the opportunities when they land on your doorstep? Will you be living your life with fun, energy, and peace of mind because you have taken the small steps needed now to have the life you want in the future?
When I was in my 20s I connected buying a house with having to settle down and stop doing the crazy, spontaneous things I loved to do. I used to think planning would mean my life would become rigid, and everything known and with no surprises.
No way! Not me, thanks! I loooove spontaneity!
I loved being able to take advantage of opportunities to do things in the moment; being able to go somewhere or do something as it comes along; making the investment, then going off and doing it.
Whoaaaaaaa… back up a little. Light bulb moment!
The very thing that I didn’t want to do (planning) was the thing that was going to support my ability to be spontaneous.
Think about it. Planning is actually possibility thinking. With a little advanced thought and planning around putting some fundamental principles into your understanding, you can expand and open up your life to many more possibilities for being spontaneous.
Now, being spontaneous and acting without thinking can be great sometimes – and can get you into heaps of trouble at other times. Maybe you are not one of those spontaneous, impetuous people. Great. Would you like to be prepared for those sound opportunities that come along in life?
The four keys
There are four key things that we need to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
There is nothing worse than being presented with an opportunity to have that dream holiday and then looking at your schedule for the year and finding that you don’t have the time. Or worse still you have run out of annual leave because you squandered it doing something else that you really were not that into.
Now, there are plenty of spontaneous things we can do without have to spend a lot of money – things like deciding to have a picnic dinner by the sea late on a stinking hot day, or hopping on a train for the day with the kids to go to the museum. Yes, it is not all about the money.
These more cost effective things we do can be the most fulfilling and the ones that create the fantastic memories. They are great and valuable to keep life interesting from day to day, but what about when you see your perfect home up for sale? You know the one that you have always dreamed of owning. Or you have an opportunity to take advantage of a sound investment deal? What about when your brother, who lives overseas, is getting married and you want to be at the wedding? Or your best friend is going overseas and has asked you to go with them?
Do you have a reserve of finances to just go and do these things?
3. Health, fitness, personal development and learning
Energy for living life comes from looking after YOU physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In order to take advantage of opportunities you need to be physically healthy so that your time and money are not directed to poor health and you have the physical energy to go on an adventurous holiday.
Being a student of life allows you to grow emotionally and spiritually, to learn about your personality and why you react the way you do in the world. Development and learning extends also to learning the fundamentals about money, investment, time management and all the skills you may need to take advantage of future possibilities and opportunities.
So. On accountability. At the beginning I told you that in my 20s I gave no thought to the future except that I wanted a great one and I wanted to be able to spontaneously take advantage of opportunities as they came up.
Well this lasted until I was 34. I had a great time spending everything I had, when I got it, doing all the things that I loved to do. Suddenly I turned around and I had a family, and my son wanted a dog. My husband and I were still renting and were not allowed to have one.
Wake up call and alarm bells were ringing. I realised that what I really wanted was my own home, and that I had no understanding of how to go about achieving this.
Somehow, over the next two years we managed to move into our home and get that dog. Just. We had to make sacrifices around all the fun things of life to get there.
After that I met someone who was to become my coach and mentor. I realised I needed help if I was going to continue to live life full of possibilities as our family grew and my career put pressure on my time and money.
Most people need help. Finding someone to walk beside me and hold me accountable when I needed it has been the most useful tool to ensuring I plan for and live out my life’s possibilities.
The added benefit was having someone to act as a sounding board for my great plans and ideas.
In summary, sufficient time and money go hand-in-hand to some extent. These basic resources are needed to be able to live the life you would like to lead.
Health, fitness, personal development and learning provide the energy and the understanding required to step into future possibilities when they arrive.
Finally, having someone to hold you accountable and act as a sounding board helps you stay on track and avoid disastrous mistakes.
Imagine, no more, ‘I could have done that if only’…
We can all insert some reason in the space at the end of the ‘if only’ sentence. Maybe it was if only: ‘I had the time’, ‘I had enough money’, ‘I hadn’t been ill’, or ‘I was more educated about investment’.
There are lots of ways that you can become possibility ready. Maybe you just need someone to point it out for you so that you can get your own act together to plan into YOUR future possibilities, like I did.
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