REFLECTIONS - 4 things I am thankful for after 2 months of temporary retirement
It’s been a steady climb up the corporate ladder over the past 35 years. Some bumps, lots of grinding, blood (just kidding), sweat and tears. Most of all I reflect back with no regrets and the greatest satisfaction knowing I gave it my best and I am proud for the experiences along the way.
In this time of reflection, I have been busy, busier than I could have ever imagined. It’s been a hectic time catching up on the things I have neglected over the years. Those little things - maintenance, upkeep, fun, relaxing, friends. Did I mention, I am loving it? This luxury of time has caused me to think about what I am thankful for in preparing myself and my family for this chapter and I thought I would share them.
#1 - Pay yourself first. I wish I could have embraced this earlier in my life and career. When I joined HP I enrolled in the payroll savings plan for my children’s education. Every time I got a raise, their fund got the majority of it… we never missed it. We also enrolled into employee stock purchase plan and took advantage of the discounted stock. We also maxed out our retirement savings plan contributions along the way. It was never easy as a single income family with two kids, but it was an investment in the future and the future is now.
#2 – Sleep well, tell no lies. My father told me many years ago, if you tell no tales, you’ll never bear the burden of having to remember them. I hit the pillow hard every night and fall asleep within a minute because my mind is at peace with who I am and what I represent. What this also taught me is that it is humbling to accept accountability for your mistakes. Nobody wants to be that person to have to say I messed that up, but the lessons we learn through failure are often the best ones… be true to yourself.
#3 – Look down upon no one. Everyone plays a vital role. No matter what your position, you are no more or less important than anyone. Take the time to get to know the people you interact, transact and walk past everyday. Get to know their story. They're people and they have a name. Get to know them and make a difference to their day and I can guarantee you it will be an investment that has great returns. Integrity, kindness, humility and patience… never fall short in showing you care.
#4 - Be yourself. I struggled the most in life when I tried to be that person everyone had figured I "should" be. When I made the decision to just be me and be my best it brought me to the point where I could the person that I want to be. Perceptions and expectations don't help if they are not a part of the foundation of your dreams, goals and objectives. Work your hardest to achieve your best and you'll exceed the benchmark that others set for you!
Without the people I have met along the way, my family, friends, co-workers, partners, customers and community members, this journey along with all of the experiences, failures and successes would not have been possible. Thank-you!