Often for people today doing what they want to do might not be playing golf everyday, it might be working at a job they enjoy instead of one they dread each morning. It also might mean working at a job that pays less but allows them to live somewhere that they love.
Maybe they are willing to give up vacations and fancy meals out to be near family or in place where family and friends love to visit.
Nearly ten years ago I got to the point that I was tired of living in a world where the older you are, the less-likely it is that people take you seriously. In many large high tech companies, if you are over fifty-five, no matter how good you are at your job, there is a perception that it is impossible for you to stay on top of the technology.
I know a number of older people who care nothing for computers, but I also know some very technologically literate older people. However, those of us old folks who live and breath technology are not going to change the minds of the young who already know everything. My solution ten years ago was to move on to a new career or perhaps more realistically a new portfolio of jobs. I have never looked back and certainly do not regret the decision.
While it took some time, I found a smaller tech company with senior leadership that respects my abilities. I also write books, take pictures, and sometimes do other freelance jobs. I have chosen to do all of these things in an area, North Carolina's Crystal Coast, that nourishes my spirit.
I love the water and live to be out on it. there are few if any places with more choice as to how to enjoy the water. As I continue to work hard, I have made a conscious effort to do my job in a way that lets me enjoy where I live and the people around me.
My wife of over forty years continues to be a source of great support and a terrific editor for my writing. Her proofing skills are valued in our high tech company and she does a wonderful job on the books that we jointly publish. Two heads are always better than one in my book.
None of us are ever completely in charge of our lives, but in those areas where I have a choice, I have chosen those things that make me the happiest not the wealthiest.
My job as a sales and marketing vice president does not involve a lot of stress, significant travel, or a lot of reinventing the wheel which I found to be necessary when working with young start ups. While the money will not be what it was at Apple, this current job is unlikely to kill me with stress. I am pleased to have chosen another road and that I have a CEO who does not mind me taking the occasional fishing afternoon.
On top of enjoying our lives here, there is plenty of time for family. I get to enjoy my granddaughter, our children, and our extended family and friends. Watching my children master the challenges of life and learn how to be good to others in their lives is a much worthier goal that obsessing over how high Apple's stock price will go.
There are afternoons here on the Southern Outer Banks where my office is either my skiff when I am fishing or my kayak when I am kayaking. Sometimes I am standing in the surf fishing when I get a phone call. It is not very hard to lose the stress, or tell someone you will get back to them later when a soft wind is blowing in your face, the warm Carolina sun is on your back, and a fish is pulling on the end of your line.
Life is too short to be miserable. I would rather smile a little more, drive an older vehicle, and no worry about quarterly reports. My life certainly isn't worry free, but it is free of the kind of stress that comes from working in a technology company that is also a snake-pit of employees trying to out maneuver each other to the top.
When I stand on my dock each morning and survey Raymond's Gut which leads out to the White Oak River, I don't have to worry about irritating Steve Jobs or one of his empty suit vice presidents. I can stand on the dock and know that I have treated everyone like I would like to be treated. Once you have reached that point, it is pretty easy to let the cards fall where they may.
If things get tough, a walk along the beach or a ride down the river will usually cure it. If enjoying life can be considered a benefit, I have all the benefits that I need, and I never have trouble falling asleep at night.
Come for a visit and enjoy our area's magic. I can recommend a nice free online travel guide to help you get started with your planning.