Yesterday I had a chat with a friend about the concept of retirement and when (if ever) people should retire… and I really hope I’ll never have to nor want to… and I’ve got quite a few examples of extraordinary people who serve me as a constant reminder that when you love what you do, you’ll always be actively enjoying work and not looking forward to retirement. Here goes:
Brian Tracy - the man who’d never stop!
Brian Tracy is a legend as a business coach and inspirational speaker. He’s the author of many books, including my short-and-sweet favorite - Eat that Frog. I met him over 5 years ago in January 2014 on an ICE conference in Finland. I had a chance to interview him for my Productive Magazine! where we talked about retirement and what keeps him going.
But words are just that - words. Over the course of the conference he proved to me that he does practice what he preaches. Let me tell you why:
- He was on a conference in Finland in freezing January. I mean, come on - I’m sure by now Brian’s really rich so he doesn’t have to go to all these conferences and he can pick-and-choose - yet there he was - in January, in Finland of all places - where it was -20 C (or below 0 F) degrees outside. He showed up!
- He didn’t just show up - he was leading the way! Not only he had a keynote speech but he also had a half-day workshop (which I attended, duh!). At the age of 70 then, this famous multimillionaire speaker wasn’t pulling any punches. He was giving his best. Wow.
- He was still a student at the conference! This blew my mind. Many speakers would just show up, do their thing and go away. Not even stay for a coffee break to answer questions. Not Brian Tracy. He’d sit in the audience, listen to speakers and take notes! Yes, he didn’t come there just to teach and preach. He came for the conference to learn something new. It was amazing seeing him like this!
And bonus, he took the time to talk to me, which I’ll be forever grateful for:
My dad - VP of Finance at Nozbe
My parents are amazing. They always supported me in my business ventures and a few years back I convinced my dad to join me full time as my VP of Finance. Officially according to Polish law he’s at the “retired” age… but he’s helping me manage my company’s finances - and who to trust more with money than your own dad, who’s constantly rooting for you and wants what’s best for you? Yes, I’m very lucky! And no, my dad will never retire - I need (and want) him by my side.
But I don’t think he complains much - he’s working from home, has a great lifestyle with my mum, travels a lot and enjoys his age while doing something meaningful like helping he’s son run a global productivity company.
Me… and what I’m doing now to enjoy my life
I have three daughters so I have my hands full, but still I manage to enjoy my life a lot. Working from home and not having to go to an office helps. Doing triathlons keeps me in shape. I started introducing sabbaticals into my vocabulary - and last year I managed to stay off work for full 6 weeks!. We try to travel a lot with my family… and with my wife we’re having a honeymoon every year (just two of us!) and this year to celebrate our 40th birthday we went on to do a Camino de Santiago together.
Don’t postpone life - enjoy life now
That was our conclusion when we talked with my friend about the concept of “retirement”. Let’s enjoy life now and not postpone it for later. And let’s spend our entire life contributing to society and getting great stuff done!