If you too a minute to look back at your life and career, would you look at things differently, if you were to retire today?
"If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world."
I had lunch today with my mentor, a retired CEO and he was sharing some valuable insights on how your perception changes after retirement. He stated "I was so caught up in trying to hurry up and drive for more business. I always focused on pleasing the client at the expense of working all night and for what? Why did I put myself through all of that? When you look back my focus should have been on learning life lessons and building relationships with people. Often times, you are so entrenched in the busy, you lose sight of that."
The top rated three career regrets:
1. Some professionals stated, "I wish I hadn't taken the job for the money." The biggest career regret were those who pursued high-paying jobs resulting in dissatisfying careers. Another consultant said, "I'd love to leave the stress behind, but I don't think I'd be good at anything else." Many people feel helpless and completely stuck. They have been accustomed to a specific lifestyle, commitments and income in which it more scary to change jobs than to endure waking up daily dreading to go into work. *
2. Many wished they had quit earlier to pursue their passions. Eighty percent of people are dissatisfied with their jobs don't quit when they would prefer to. Said one sales executive, "Those years could have been spent working on problems that mattered to me. You can't ever get those years back."*
3. Some CEOS stated they wished they would have hired more staff sooner. They did not realized how much pressure they were putting on themselves and their families until they got some help. Some CEOS find themselves struggling under an incredible workload to make ends meet not understanding the toll it takes year after year.
It is healthy to take an occasional inventory of what is working and what hasn't. After all, we are here to learn life lessons. It is all on what you want to focus on, for example if someone had a regret such as 'If only I had not dropped out of school;' or as a regret about an inaction: 'If only I had stayed in school.' It seems like more people are more regretful of an inaction or a perceived missed opportunity of the "what ifs" in life.
Regardless of where you are in your life's journey, you can always make a plan of action to pursue your passions. Just remember, it's never too late to be true to yourself to honor your dreams. There is no time like the present.
Source: *HBR.org report, businessinsider.com