When is When?

There is a popular saying that floats around the real estate investing circle:

Do what you have to for 5 years so you can do what you want for the rest of your life.

Great saying right? In this business I see a lot of people get wildly successful, but it usually takes about 10 years. There are the exceptions to the rule though. What I don’t see is the “do what you want for the rest of your life” group. I can name on one… actually, I can only name one person I’ve ever met in this business who made a killing and now travels around the world doing charity work and meeting new friends.

Only 1.

Lots of people have business goals, but I don’t often hear about people’s life goals. I think life goals are way more important than business goals. Unless, the “do what you want for the rest of your life” is work. That’s not what I want for my life.

My buddy called me today and said his 66 year old cousin recently passed away. He’s 51. He said he woke up and realized he’s been working in real estate for the last 20 years and has basically been a workaholic.

The timing of his call was quite coincidental. Just last night I watched the unwatchable film While We’re Young with Ben Stiller. I don’t believe it was every released at the box office. Yeah, it’s that bad. In that movie he says, and I’m paraphrasing, “I’m 44 and I’ve come to accept that there are things I’ll never have in this life.” Wow. Very powerful statement.

After my friend called, I was thinking about that statement, and as I type this Nirvana is playing on the local radio station. Is it “things” we should be pursuing? That can’t be the goal in life. Maybe as a young person, I/you/we want things such as a large house, expensive sports car, brand names, etc., but do those things bring any quality to our life? I think not. They certainly bring more responsibility in terms of care, maintenance, debt service.

So, what are your life goals? Do you want to do things or accumulate things? Do  you even have any life goals? How about creating a life goal list and putting that up on the board over your desk? I’ve always had work goals. I have small things/events that I’d like to accomplish, but I think I’ll put some more time and energy into planning what I really want for my life outside of work.

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