June 22, 2016
The Secret To Success: Begin
Famous Graphic Designer, Milton Glaser, once said, "You can't do [something] by simply thinking what you are going to do. So you begin. That's my entire secret: begin."
As someone who will read half a dozen books on a subject before starting anything, his simple statement resonated with me. Not too long ago I wrote about my dislike of being a beginner. Too often that feeling keeps me from following Mr. Glaser's advice - I don't get to the begin stage because I don't like the time I am stuck in the learning phase. Of course, as I noted, that is silly since none of us are good at much of anything without learning about it and then practicing.
Blogger Joel Gascoigne wrote that successful people always start with small projects. They begin at the beginning and then grow. "Try anything" says writer, Andi Cumbo-Floyd. Parenting advisor, Mary Kathryn Johnson, says we all need "Practice, Patience, and Perseverance." Author James Clear says, "Getting started is more important that succeeding."
Does all this advice relate to building a Satisfying Retirement? I'd suggest, "Yes." In the post, You are doing nothing wrong in your retirement, I argue that your retirement journey is, or will be, unique. Your mix of circumstances, life experiences, trials and troubles, and preparation will be unlike anyone else.
That really means you began at the beginning. Your whole life has led you to where you are today. You built a foundation and then added to it as you aged and matured. Now, you have constructed a unique path for your retirement journey. You didn't fear beginning because there was no other choice.
That should be an encouraging thought, even for someone like me who hates not to be good at something from day one. If I look back at what allowed me to retire at 52 and where I have journeyed in the last 15 years, I was constantly starting over, refining and readjusting.
I am beginning some aspect of my life, over and over, rather constantly. I am absolutely not the same person I was years ago. Emotionally, financially, and relationally, Bob Lowry is almost unrecognizable from my days as a DJ, new dad, workaholic-travelling entrepreneur, or new retiree.
"When there is a hill to climb, don't think that waiting will make it smaller." Or, from the Sound of Music, " Let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start."