Your 30-Year Plan
May 27, 2014
What is the value of planning long-term?
Thirty years isn't that long ... especially as life expectancy increases, each person will have THREE 30-year periods in life.
If you have lived 20 years, you are still trying to learn how things work. If you have lived more than 30 years, there is one thing you know ... and know very well: Things change. More than 40 years, you are really starting to figure out that actions create reactions. By 50, you can really start to put it all together and leverage your success for good. Your experiences are vast, your wisdom increases daily, and even your learning accelerates. You become an asset to those younger than you, and you start to see how it all fits together.
The benefit of living past that "midpoint in life" is that you start to figure out that long-range planning gets things accomplished. You are no longer simply living for the day like you did in your 20s, but you are seeing that planning and thinking is everything. Goal-setting is critical. You can really start living.
When suggesting to folks to plan out 30 years, they often look at you like you have lost it. But the truth is, once you have a 30-year master goal plan, you can then relax and pay attention to moving toward the final goal every day. Having your long-term perspective is so valuable, it eliminates the stress and worry of what you will do next, because it's already decided. That way, you are always on track, and have the confidence and surety it requires to really be in control of your life.
No one outside of you can control your life. You may meet someone or enter a situation that will send you off on a detour, but what ultimately controls you is you, and you alone. Get up, shake it off, dust yourself off, and get back on your 30-year plan.
About detours and changes in life: Certainly things come up in life that change everything, cause you to take small (or large) detours for a while, but you can always get back on your 30-year course once things settle down again. The 30-year plan is still there for you. I have been detoured I can't even tell you how many times, but the vision is still there. I eventually correct back to it, and I'm once again on the 30-year road. I know where we are headed, and what we will be doing for the next 30.
Sit down, get away from all the noise of life for a few days and write down what you want to achieve in life, sort of a reverse bucket list. This started for me in my early 30s when we would go on vacation for a week by the sea shore. I would sit there for a week and think about the future. Every vacation was used for planning (as well as having a great time, obviously), but I always got away and thought about the future and wrote down the goals and things I wanted to accomplish in my entire life.
By the time I was at age 30, from all of those annual vacations at the shore, I had a pretty good idea of where I would be at age 70 and 80, and what I would be doing, a real vision of the future. It's comforting and settling to have that knowledge. It's like you get an entirely different perspective, you KNOW where you are ultimately headed while you see others GUESS and you wonder why they would do that to themselves, put themselves in that unstable and uncertain condition.
What do you want to do, both professionally and personally, and even recreationally? What about family? How do you fit it all in? Write down every goal and start attaching achievement times to each of these goals. Remember, life is three 30-year periods. Know which period you are in, and what is going to happen in that period for you.
With a 30-year plan in front of you, that is when you can become focused on doing the best possible thing at every moment that will advance you to the next goal on your sheet, the next checkpoint. Where are you headed in life? Simple! Just take a look at your 30-year plan.
You are only given so many days on this planet, and as such, you will want to decide what you want to do, how you want to be remembered, and where and what you will be doing in your next period in life
Every moment is important. By doing the most important thing you can do every moment for the next 30 years, you will be an incredible success.
RETIREMENT? PLAN IT NOW
It's not 1951 any longer. Back in those days, you might work for the same company, work toward that magical retirement day, get a gold watch, and head off into the sunset to go fishing. These days, chances are you will either work for many companies through your lifetime ... and not have an official "retirement" ... or simply work for yourself. Or maybe, just make a transition from where you are to your next job, or self-employment later. It's all good and very exciting ... so what's your choice?
"Retirement" looks a lot different these days. Personally, I doubt I would ever "retire" because when you do what you love, you are not really working anyway. Barring any physical issues that might stop you from doing what you love, you just do it some other way at some other place and maybe with some different style.
Three 30-year periods. Anything longer is overtime. Plan it out ... and have a wonderful life.