GRADS GLAD TO BE OUT; NOW WHAT?

#graduations #GraduationSeason #education #jobs #careers
It’s graduation season, and we tend to see it as an end.
But, it’s really a beginning.
Consider the adage: it’s the first day of the rest of your life.
Most grads have plans. Some will go to college, grad school or some other higher education. Others will get jobs. The main thing to hope for is that where you go next is someplace you want to go.
At graduation ceremonies, the exiting students will hear messages like, “find your passion.”
If your passion won’t pay the bills, exercise your passion, but also find something that will make you a living.
If you are graduating from college, hopefully you are not saddled with debt. If you are, hopefully your education will help you pay it off comfortably.
If you are graduating high school, hopefully you’ve thought long and hard about either college, work or some combination – say, work full time, school part time or vice versa.
Remember, too, that college is not for everyone. Make sure that if you go on to college, you are prepared in every way. It’s OK if you do not think college is for you. There are other endeavors you can pursue that will educate you and potentially make you a living.
Most importantly, always think about the future, no matter what you will do. One day, you could get married and have a family. One day, you will retire. On the latter, here’s hoping that you can do it on your own terms. Not everyone can say that.
Both of those life endeavors require preparation, financial and otherwise. If you have a job, set aside a portion of your paycheck — even $5 a week – for savings. Start with a bank savings account. As it grows, get some good investment advice and act accordingly.
Be disciplined enough not to dip into your savings for frivolous expenses. You want a good nest egg for your retirement. Those who retire comfortably had made good decisions when they were younger.
You CAN create a nest egg and still enjoy life now by watching where your money goes. That means prudent spending.
Also, whatever you decide to do, remember to give rather than take. As you give and help others, most of what you want will come to you.
So, as you go through graduation ceremonies, celebrate and enjoy. Then, give thought to where you go next. Work hard, but play, too. Form relationships. Make everything you do less about you and more about others.
No matter what you do, your potential is infinite if you make it so.
Go into adulthood with the attitude of setting goals and achieving them, no matter how long it may take and no matter what circumstances befall you.
It’s not what happens to you that matters. It’s how you deal with everything that happens. Finding something good in every situation is a good first step.
As stones cross your path, find ways to go over them.
Best of luck to all the grads.
Peter

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

#past #present #future
The past has passed.
The present is present – not absent.
What will come can become what you want it to be.
There are those who long for and, indeed, push for what was.
They see the past as their best time. They see the present as signaling a future of doom and gloom.
Therefore, they look for ways to bring back what used to be, even if that is impossible.
There are others who see the here and now as something to celebrate. Or, better yet, a good place to start.
They see it as a time to look for what they might become, and keep looking until they find it. They may think that what they have now is OK, but it is not entirely what they want.
They see the present as a springboard from which they can create a future.
Still others see a future of happiness, prosperity and dreams fulfilled.
Not only do they know it is coming, they plan to make it happen.
They have set up a plan not only to see themselves prosper, but they also see themselves as bringing many others with them – as many as possible. Those they will help may have different dreams and goals, but share a common desire to do what they must to achieve them.
So what type of person are you? Do you want to go back to the way things were?
Remember, the past has passed. Memories can be wonderful, even cherished. But, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to re-create yesteryear.
Look at the present as a time to dream, plan and execute. Then, go about creating the future you want.
The future is not what will happen, though things like a pandemic and other disasters will come. The future is what you decide to make happen.
So, you may be optimistic and ambitious. You envision a great future but are not sure yet what will take you there. Still, you are curious enough to look for something you can work on – something that you feel confident will get you to your goals, providing you do your part.
Fortunately, there are many such programs out there that can be the catalyst for the future you want to create. They require no specific background, education or experience. Instead, they require the desire to build a better, more fulfilling future, a mind open enough to see whether they are for you, and a willingness to ask for, get and provide help.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
The lesson here may be that the past can teach, but may no longer be in reach. The present can motivate, but will not be permanent. The future will be made.
If you long for the past, despise the present and fear the future, it’s not too late to change. For some, it may take more work than others to change.
Yet, in the future, all good things are possible for those willing to create them.
Peter

#retirement bust YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL SET, BUT …

History may judge the years 2007 to 2012, give or take a few years on either end, as the retirement bust years.
People not only lost jobs just before they were about to retire, but also their pensions shrank.
People who thought they were all set for retirement, with a nice, promised pension, got a rude awakening. The monthly benefit on their retirement documentation shrunk considerably.
It was a combination of the economy tanking, and companies contributing less, if anything at all, to their retirement accounts. Added to that, the stock market , which supports most retirement accounts, took a big tumble. The bottom fell out of thenNet worth of everything – companies and individuals.
Even the savviest investor could not prevent what happened in those years, short of taking his money out of the financial markets ahead of time. Any investor who withdraws completely is probably not that savvy. Savvy investors take the ups and downs of the market as an expectation, though no one expected what happened in those years.
So the question becomes not whom to blame for the mess. There’s plenty of blame to be spread around among Wall Street, government and, yes, individual decisions. But blaming wastes energy that should be focused on recovery.
We all have had to rethink retirement. Some of us have told ourselves we have to work until we die. Some of those folks may have other alternatives, but they are not seeing them.
Certainly, some of us have said we have to work past the age we thought we were going to retire. That’s fine if you are in good health personally. But don’t think for a minute that your job will be there for as long as you want it. Companies reorganize drastically and often. The younger generation of workers, when they retire, may brag about how many reorgs they survived, just as the older generation is thankful for the steady work they had.
Speaking of young people, they may want to think twice about ASSUMING they will survive every reorg. It’s great to believe, or even be told, how good you are at what you do and how your employer cannot possibly live without you.
But, you can’t always see into the future. The world changes quickly. Companies are constantly looking at ways to work more efficiently. Lots of good people have lost jobs they expected to have for as long as they wanted to work.
How do we avoid the instinct to cast blame and rethink retirement? First, work on you. Make sure you have a good and optimistic attitude. Remember, those who innovate are usually optimists. It’s tough to see the future properly without believing that all, eventually, will be good.
Secondly, think about the things you DON’T like to do – things that make you “uncomfortable,” or so you believe. Give them a try. Then, try them again, and again etc. This will take you out of your comfort zone, where you may have to go, eventually, to survive.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to look at something different. The people who lament that they thought they were all set, are many of the same people who tell themselves, “oh, I couldn’t possibly do THAT!”
There are many ways to fight this. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you leave your comfort zone to look at something new, you may lose the instinct to cast blame for your troubles, and find a way out.
This may not be your dad’s way to retire, but the world has changed. We need to be part of our own solutions, rather than focusing on how we got into trouble.
Think of it this way: the federal government bails out some companies because innocent people would get hurt if they didn’t. But they won’t bail you out as an individual if you get hurt. You have to bail yourself out. You might not only bail yourself out, but prosper in many ways in the process.
Peter

GREATEST FOUR-LETTER WORD

Jim Fannin has a favorite four-letter word.
No, there’s nothing vulgar about it, but he uses it with everyone he advises or coaches.
He discusses it at length in his book “Pebble In The Shoe.”
No matter what you have done – good thing or bad – you should always think of this word.
The word forces you not to rest on your laurels when you’ve done something good. It brightens your future when you do something bad. It allows you to correct mistakes, or proceed to add successes.
It doesn’t allow you to wallow, or over-celebrate. As certain as tomorrow follows today, the word ensures your future.
Love is a marvelous four-letter word, but that’s not what Fannin was thinking. Hate is an awful four-letter word, but that didn’t cross his mind either.
His four-letter word, which he uses to encourage after a failure, or curb enthusiasm after a success, is NEXT.
Think of the Disney World ads after the Super Bowl. Whoever the star of the game was gets asked what he’ll do next, now that he’s won the Super Bowl: “I am going to Disney World,” he says.
But the real “next” for that athlete is next year. You see, very few teams have gone to the Super Bowl in consecutive years. But that is always the goal. What will he have to do to get there? Certainly, after his trip to Disney World, he will begin thinking about it, and taking the necessary action to return to the Super Bowl.
In the National Football League, it’s tough to sustain that kind of success year after year. You might have the same people on the team, but injuries, age and other factors enter into play. The team might still be good the next year, but the other teams are even more motivated to beat them.
In sports, there is always “next” season.
Sometimes, life throws us curve balls. Even though they are hard to hit, we keep swinging. Success is not about taking what comes, it’s about dealing with what comes in the best way you know now. If you swing and miss, it’s OK. The “next” pitch might be a fastball down the middle, or another curve. Eventually, you’ll get a hit, even though it may not happen as often as you’d like.
Perhaps you’ll get a couple of consecutive hits. Great. Now, you look forward to that next pitch. You don’t sit on the bench and say, I’m done, or I’m out. You keep swinging.
A few types of mistakes can cost dearly. Most, however, are easily forgotten the “next” day.
The “next” day is a whole new turn at bat. Relish it, whether you struck out or hit a home run the day before.
If you are looking for new and different pitches to hit, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You will learn the value of “next.” You’ll know that you can’t mess up so badly for so long that you won’t ever succeed. You’ll learn not to quit.
If you have something good, stay with it. Your “next” may be awhile in coming, or it may come tomorrow. If you need something good, keep looking. Your “next” is out there. You may not recognize it immediately, but eventually it will come to light if you keep looking for it.
N-E-X-T is a great four-letter word. Use it as a guide. It guarantees a future for you.
Peter