It occurred to me recently that since we were all kids, we’ve been striving to get “ahead”. From that first day at school we started a lifelong conditioning process that sees us rise in the morning,
eat, commute, work, commute, eat, sleep, repeat….
When the weekend comes we ‘recover’ by trying to;
- catch up on chores like laundry, groceries and cleaning;
- catch up on relationships by spending time with family and friends;
- even catch up on exercise.
By the time we get to the evening at the end of the weekend we get that dull feeling that all the oxygen has been sucked out of the room and we drag our knuckles to bed as late as possible, trying to delay the inevitable return to the work week.
Sound familiar? So why do we do it week after week, year after year?
It would seem that we repeat this cycle in an effort to get “ahead”. It comes back to the age old conditioning process that leads us to believe that we will never get “ahead” if we don’t follow this exact recipe.
So where is “ahead”? While us Gen X folks have the capabilities to read a map, I’m sure my Gen Y friends would need the GPS coordinates to find this magical place. Even with coordinates, there really isn’t a clear understanding of what “ahead” is. Much like last week’s discussion on the definition of quality, “ahead” is that far away land that is defined differently by each individual.
Personally, I confronted this issue a little over 10 years ago. See, I love cars, always have. For some people “ahead” is that place you arrive in when you have enough cash to buy your classic mid-life crisis car – picture balding male in a Chrysler Sebring Convertible or a cougar in a Mazda Miata. Anyway, back to my story, I had this idea one day that I was not going to wait until I reached mid-life crisis stage to have fun. Fun should be had every possible minute of every day. So, I went out and bought (aka financed) a dream car, black leather, british racing green, a one of a kind in our town. I had fun. Every minute I drove to work, home from work, in between meetings, whatever, I had fun. Did it cost me a fortune? Yes absolutely, yet on reflection 10 years later, I wouldn’t change a thing.
For me, getting “ahead” is making incremental personal improvements every year in some facet of my life. Work and the ability to store piles of greenbacks in a bank vault is important, but it is not the only element of getting “ahead”, for me.
Let’s go back to the catch up on exercise note I made earlier. This is a great example of the problem with “ahead”. Exercise is not something to catch up on. It’s like breathing. You can’t hold your breath for 5 days and catch up. It’s like eating. You can’t fast for 5 days and catch up. Exercise is one of the essential elements in our everyday routine. Without including exercise into our daily routine, we risk getting “ahead” and not being healthy enough to slide an oversized butt into the bucket seat of our mid-life crisis car.
Have fun, get some daily exercise and give some thought to where you’re going to be when you get “ahead”.
Meagan Hill is a Commercial Real Estate Investments Specialist and Principal of NAI Jackson Hole servicing the Jackson Hole WY and Teton Valley ID markets.
For further information, contact Meagan at (307) 734-8700 or email@example.com