#work #careers #retirement4
Chances are, if you ask someone on his death bed what he wished he had done more of, he wouldn’t say “work.”
But Rory Vaden, cofounder of Southwestern Consulting and best-selling author of “Take the Stairs,” says, “work is integral, work is freedom, work is joy.”
If one asks his elders about work, he would hear things like, “I worked hard all my life.” Or, “you don’t get anywhere in this world without hard work.”
For many of us, if we look today at what we do for work, we can’t wait to be financially able to quit working, relax and do other things that we don’t consider work.
But Vaden, who discussed this in a Nov. 16, 2014, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, says the idea of “retirement,” and “leisure,” are changing.
We can see that in today’s world, without looking very far.
The idea of working at a job for 30 or 40 years, then suddenly “retiring” to do “nothing,” are pretty much gone. Today, many people are being “retired” before they want to be.
Staying at one job, or one company, for even 10 years is difficult because companies reorganize often, and bad managers are career killers.
We all would love to have jobs we enjoy, but we all know someone has to do the job no one wants to do.
If you happen to find a job you love, you are blessed. If that job lasts you most, or all, of your career, you are unusual.
Retirement planners tend to look not only at financial issues, but also whether a person is ready to retire. If you had all the money in the world, what would YOU do in retirement? As tempting as relaxation is, it will get old. When it does, boredom is not a pleasant condition.
Vaden quotes Timothy Keller, author of “Every Good Endeavor,” who quotes the Bible: “The book of Genesis leaves us with a striking truth – work is paradise.”
For many, work is paradise only if you don’t have work, and you need work. But, on the other hand, to paraphrase Vaden, whom do you know who hasn’t worked, or doesn’t work, who is worth looking up to?
Our work is part of who we are. It can also consume us. Yet, for most, work has a purpose in life, but it is NOT our whole life. Those who see work for what it is, and use it to make a good life, are perhaps the happiest of us.
The lesson here is to use your work to make you better person. If you are young, prepare for the day when your job disappears. You will probably never know when that day will be.
One way to prepare for a job to go away is to have a Plan B. There are many such Plan Bs out there. For one of the best, visit You can work at Plan B when you are not working at your job. If you work at it correctly, you can eventually fire your awful boss.
Vaden asks, “why do we subscribe to this myth that our lives would be much better if we had less work?”
The answer to that is different for everyone. But, when you arrive on your death bed, try to have as few regrets as possible. We should all work at minimizing our regrets.


We all dream.
Some of us only dream in slumber. Some of us daydream to alleviate boredom. Still others dream while conscious – and consciously try to make those dreams come true.
Some of us never recall the dreams in slumber. Some of us recall them vividly, then try to decipher what they mean. These are the unimportant dreams, so it matters not whether they are recalled.
The daydreams are usually fantasy, and are treated as such. Perhaps you are longing to meet that special person that hardly, if at all, knows you exist. Perhaps you are dreaming about what you would do if you were the boss. These events may actually happen, but the percentages are really low.
The dreams of the conscious can make your life what you want it to be. As Rory Vaden, author of “Take the Stairs,” and a self-discipline strategist advises, “Chase your dreams now.”
Vaden discussed dreaming in a Jan.26, 2014, column in the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
The dreams of the conscious are not dreams of fantasy. They are, indeed, purposeful dreams. The dreamers make them purposeful by writing them down, looking at them every day and setting achievement dates. Achievement dates are not deadlines, but are set to encourage urgency. With urgency, comes commitment and diligence.
Some say to the dreamers, “get real.” No “realist” ever finds greatness. Realists exist only in the world of the narrowly possible. Dreamers, to paraphrase a famous quotation, don’t just look at what is and say, “why?” They instead look at what can be and say, “why not?”
The realist lives in a world of what they believe has to be. Their dreams are but daydreams of fantasy. They are “grounded,” lest they be in the ground.
We certainly need a few realists to do some of the things that need doing. We can’t all be looking for personal fulfillment, or the next big thing, can we?
Perhaps we can be, at least to start, part-time dreamers and full-time realists. We never lose sight of our dreams, and we look at them, and their achievement dates, daily. But we know that they will come and we will not be realists forever.
So, said the elephant in the room, how does one achieve his dream once he has recorded it?
There are many ways one can achieve a dream. Perhaps he can invent something no one has thought of. Perhaps he can work hard, save his money, invest well and eventually see, if not complete financial freedom, no financial worries.
But real dreamers don’t settle just for “no worries.” They want complete financial freedom. There are several ways to achieve that freedom. For one of the best, visit
This dream vehicle can work for anyone, regardless of education, background or circumstance.
You see, dreamers can have “average” backgrounds – even poor ones. But they become above-average earners by having a dream, and doing what they need to do to achieve it.
Of course, you have to want your dream badly enough to go for it. But if you do, follow Vaden’s advice:
“Overthrow the desire deficit and chase down your dreams. You are the person. Today is the day. Now is the time.
Do it.”


“If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
This oft-quoted phrase hits home with a few.Those who have jobs they enjoy are truly blessed.
For most, though, a different, yet oft-quoted phrase is more applicable. “If it weren’t work, they wouldn’t pay you to do it.”
Rory Vaden, the New York Times best-selling author of “Take the Stairs,” talks about the “enjoyment requirement” many young folks have about work. They need a job they enjoy. They need work they are passionate about and wait — unemployed, living with mom and dad etc. — until it comes.
Often, they don’t know what it is they are passionate about. It’s, like, you know, they will know what it is when they find it.
As Vaden, who discussed this in a May 2013 column in The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, says: “There is no perfect job. There is no perfect marriage, there is no perfect life that you find; there are only perfect ones that you create by working your butt off to make them that way.”
His point is that those who “find their passion” are willing to put in the time to be successful. Tiger Woods and other golf professionals are passionate about their sport, so they put in the time on the practice range so they can play successfully in tournaments. Passions, like anything good, need to be nurtured with hard, unglamorous work.
Some jobs are nothing but work. You have to find things about them that make it palatable, if not enjoyable, for you to keep doing them. Perhaps what you’ll find is that the job is good because it serves a temporary purpose — it gives you a paycheck while you await your passion.
Other jobs might require you to improve your skills to the point in which you are so good at them, you become passionate.
Others still may have fulfilling purpose for you, but barely make you a living. So, you have to do something a little less fulfilling to improve your financial situtionn.
“Don’t quit your day job” is yet another oft-quoted phrase. If you have a “day job” or a “night job” and are looking for your passion, you may find it by visiting If you like what you see, know that a potential fortune is there — if you work at it. But, you can work at it while you are working at something else.
Perhaps you’ll adopt the oft-paraphrased mantra: work full time at your job and part time on your fortune.
Don’t wait for the ideal, Work for it, to paraphrase Vaden. You don’t have to love what you do. You have to create a situation you love. Or, in another oft-quoted phrase, “life is what you make it.’