My son, Timmy, listened patiently to my complicated description of a tough decision then asked me three simple questions:
- What is my goal?
- Why is that my goal?
- What will I have to sacrifice reach that goal?
This fall I will turn 70. Seems a good point to ask myself those three questions again this time about what I want out of the rest of my life.
- A high-functioning business support system in my home county
- Scale our foundation’s engagements in mentoring first gen college students and funding entrepreneurs
- Curate our family’s history in letters, photos and videos in a way that will be easy to access
- Because I want to honor my father and mother who raised the ten of us here and I enjoy serving the community of people who have meant the most to me in my formative and retiring years
- Because we’ve learned so much in our first 15 years of mentoring and banking that I believe we can set a sturdy, sustainable model that will last beyond my lifetime
- Because in studying bits and pieces over the years I have found we (my siblings) along with our parents and their parents have a story worth telling
Which brings me to the last of Timmy’s questions, what must I give up in order to achieve these goals?
The first and easiest one for me is to retire from the Vistage speaking circuit. Not easy because I loved, loved, loved the work and the Chairs and members I served, rather it is easy because it will get me off the road for 120 days a year.
The hard part is to give up all the other things I’d like to pursue and accomplish.
For example, I’ll have to wind down my writing by simplifying the format of these monthly missives. I’ll share more on that next month. Another is I can’t take on another major venture, something I’ve done at least every five years since 1987. Finally, I’ve had to decide that I cannot write the business history I’ve long wanted to write.
Maybe I’ll get back to some of those things later but for now, and against my natural inclinations, some things have to go or I will not accomplish the three things I most want to do.
As usual, I’m sharing my own process to infer that perhaps these three questions might work well for you, especially if you are facing a big decision or, like me, a pivot point in your life.
Let me know how it goes.