Forrest Gump’s mum said that life is like a box of chocolates, but I think of life as a tube ride. Instead of passengers, this tube is packed full of opportunities and each station is a dream realised. As you travel from your starting destination to your final one, remember to mind the gap that threatens to keep you from the things you want!
I was thinking about my own journey the other day and realised that I’ve been running my own business for nearly 20 years. Twenty years! So far, my personal journey has consisted of a fair number of delays, some significant station visits, and even a few years where I wondered if I was even on the right train!
“MIND THE GAP”
We’ve all heard this famous announcement when riding the London Underground, but I sometimes think we should keep it in mind when we’re above ground, too. It’s a great reminder that we’re all on a journey and are somewhere between where we’ve started and where we want to go. If we don’t remain focussed and vigilant, we risk falling into the gap, and that can be a scary place. What exactly is the gap? It’s the place we find ourselves when the future feels a bit too uncertain and we stop travelling forward. And when you’re in it, it can seem hard to get out!
At some point, almost all of us have found ourselves in the gap, and it’s only natural that it has felt a little demoralising. I know, I have been there myself, but I’ve also climbed out and have learned a few things along the way that have helped me and helped our clients as they plan for their future. Maybe they’ll even help you!
GET TO KNOW THE GAP
When one of my sons is afraid of something, I always suggest that they learn more about it. Knowledge truly is power, and to gain power over your fears, you need to confront them and learn about the thing you’re afraid of.
If you’re worried about the future and how you’re going to get to your chosen destination unscathed, I encourage you to take some time to develop a clear idea of where you want to end up both personally and financially.
- What does an ideal life look like to you? Is it a house in the country with plenty of room for the whole family? Is it a flat in the city and a job that allows for long lunchtime runs? Is it a life packed full of travel? Really visualise what you want. Write it down, feel it.
- Consider the money. How much are you likely to need for this ideal life? Be realistic with this and break down what you would need to spend each month to maintain your dream life. Factor in what you’ll have to pay big money on– things like replacing a car, going on holiday, or buying scuba diving gear.
- Compare your current self & future self. How close are you currently to what you want to have in your ideal future?
Personally, there are still loads of things I want to stop off and do. Properly learning Italian, providing great educational opportunities for my two young sons, and spending time in south-west Africa are just a few of the stations I’d like to stop at on my way forward. Be realistic when you think about the things you want to do and then plan out a course so you’re sure to hit all those stations.