Life is fair, but not always the way we want it. Life plays by objective rules, but it does not consider preferences. We can tip the scales of that inherent justice in our favour if we know the rules and use methods that do not conflict with them.
Here are a few to begin the thinking process:
- You cannot have something for nothing forever. Maybe Mom wanted the last piece of fudge, but gave it up for you. The world probably won’t do that very often.
- You can only achieve the things you prepare for. Neuro-surgeons have a long and demanding learning phase. The best ones have another long and demanding phase wherein they gain complex experience. Delusional people imagine a good job, a good relationship, and a good life without paying attention to the factors needed to achieve that.
- Once you have prepared, you can only have what you can negotiate. A promotion, a better salary, better hours, bigger office, are some that come to mind. It applies to other areas in life too. Learn how to get a date. Learn to be a good shopper. Learn to deal with a group of friends. Learn to meet new people. Learn to build a network. Respect your value and the value of others.
- You can only keep the things you have if you look after them. Supportive relationships. Self development to support your career. Contacts within your network. An investment plan. Long term plans. All require discipline, and that starts at birth. Work at it. For some, the place to start is to work at patience. It is a precursor to discipline.
- Hold realistic expectations. It is not enough to merely want something and to seem to have the necessary skills. The world is vastly complicated and it changes interactions randomly. If you start out in high school to become a radiologist and by the time you reach the end of training there are no such jobs any more, do you have a Plan B. Learn the 3 R’s. Record what is happening, Review the recordings, Revise your plan as necessary.
All good plans evolve. There are few if any one-hit wonders in the life planning sector.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is now with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.
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