Through a combination of coaching conversations, and reflections on my own life I have noticed a pattern. Many of us wish we were further along in our lives, careers, or relationships. We speak as if there is some place we should be, but we are behind in the race. We speak with regret and sadness as if we are currently missing out and life would be somehow different.
“I have been in this job for 6 years now and am in a rut and it feels wasted.”
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and moved from job to job and didn’t make progress.”
“School was not a focus for me, and I wasted those years. Now I have to go back again.”
“Just imagine where I would have been if I didn’t squander those years.”
These conversations made me think of that quote from J.R.R. Tolkien. Maybe it is okay to wander for a little while, because those years are not always lost.
Instead of seeing those years (however long it has been) as a waste, maybe a perspective change would help. Perhaps we could view that time as the Decade of Training.
The Decade of Training helped form who we are today.
The Decade of Training helped us create goals and start to pursue them.
The Decade of Training helped us try different things.
The Decade of Training helped us know that failure is part of the journey.
The Decade of Training helped us learn to get back up and keep moving.
Those years in the Decade of Training are not necessarily lost, unless you give up and assume that it is too late to pursue the goals for your life, career (or second career, or third career), or relationships.
Most of us today will live into our 90s. To put that in perspective, when we reach 60, we will still have 1/3 of our lives ahead of us.
The real question is now that you have been trained, what will you do with it?