I’ve been thinking a lot about life priorities lately, especially in the wake of some missteps that took me away from my focus on the truly important things along life’s journey. So you can imagine my joy listening to a recent podcast with Cynthia Covey Haller, the daughter of Stephen Covey, about her new book Live Life in Crescendo, Your Most Important Work is Always Ahead of You. I found myself saying, “Yes, that’s it!” and writing down key phrases while listening, much to Enzo’s consternation. It was truly a series of aha! moments. I haven’t even read the book.
“Success is about contribution, not accumulation,” Haller said, noting that a service-oriented mentality is part of living a crescendo lifestyle (in music, a crescendo is the highest point of the increasing volume of a note). “There’s nothing more successful than helping others succeed,” she added.
I found myself applying these concepts to what Judy and I are already doing, realizing that, to a large extent, we’re already focusing on what’s ahead, not behind us. I chuckled when Haller said, “If you keep looking behind you, you’ll run off the road!”
Without fully knowing it, these are the things that have been bubbling in my mind, particularly as I approach my 62nd birthday. I’m often asked by neighbors, most of whom are fully retired, when I’m going to retire. I always tell them I’m having too much fun working. And it’s true! I really enjoy doing what I’m doing and I’m paid well for it. I work with a great group of folks, my work has purpose and meaning, and I’m serving my country. In a recent annual review, I chuckled as I told my boss that as long as I am intellectually challenged and enjoying my work, I would be contributing my usual 150 percent.
When Judy got back in the car, I mentioned some of the things I had heard and written down. “Find your voice, then help others find theirs” particularly resonated with her, as that’s what she’s been doing with this blog all these years and especially this year of gratitude and joy. Writing about these things is a passion for her and comes from years of training and a career focused on telling stories. Seeing others find their joy is uniquely satisfying!
I’ll never forget what a neighbor once said to me: “Don’t retire from something … retire TO something.” That’s great advice and is a reminder to all of us to keep looking forward. Haller quoted Pablo Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the PURPOSE is to give it away.”
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Where will you go next in your life’s journey?
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