I know I said I was back…about three months ago.  Yeah, well…uh…let’s move on. 😀

Anyway, you’ve heard the term “highest best use” right?  It’s a real estate thing, I think.  It doesn’t matter.  It just means making the most out of something, like a piece of property.  Kind of like maximizing it’s use for the highest profit or maybe the most dwelling units or whatever.

Let’s apply that to your life.  Is you job your highest, best use?  Maybe it is.  Maybe you’re a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon.  You’re doing something amazing with your skill, your talent and your education.  I can only assume people who put that much effort into becoming something must love it.

So couple their love of their work with maximized potential and you’ve got highest, best use.  But what if you don’t love your work or you’re not realizing your full potential…or both?

Maybe you’d rather be doing something else entirely.  You hate doing your job but you’re good at it.  So you keep doing it and they keep promoting you and giving you more responsibility.  Highest and best use?

Or you love your work but you’re not being used to your full potential.  You know you can do more, better work.  You know you can make a difference but it’s not happening.  Myopic boss, red tape or personal conflict might be the reason.  Highest and best use?

Nope!  How can you give your all at a job you hate?  How can you really be happy if you’re not realizing your potential?  You can’t.  Your highest and best use lies elsewhere.  You are spinning your wheels and wasting your time.

But hey, this a retirement blog, not a career coaching blog.  Well, consider that your highest and best use might be something entirely different.  Maybe it’s not a job or a career at all.  I’ve said it before…go ahead and read my old posts…maybe retirement is where you make a difference.

But how, you might ask.  In retirement you’re not productive, you’re not working.  How can you make a difference?  Well, making a difference isn’t only measured in widgets produced or gizmos sold.  Hours worked doesn’t mean you’re doing anything truly worthwhile.  You’ve seen those guys leaning on shovels and wearing orange vests on the side of the road, right?

Maybe your highest best use isn’t working for a living anymore.  There are so many ways, big and small, to make an impact in people’s lives.  Sharing your creativity, your wisdom and your inspiration isn’t worthless.  Having a direct effect on real people’s lives isn’t meaningless.  Living your dreams has value.

Is what you do at work so important that you’d really be missed?  I’m sure a lot of people would answer yes but it’s usually not true.  Besides, there’s some young kid out there looking for work.  They’re hungry and ambitious.  Maybe they even really love doing what you have learned to hate.  Maybe they have a passion for it.

So, are you wasting precious time engaged in work that isn’t your highest and best use?  Has your enjoyment and productivity waned as you aged?  Maybe it’s time to move on and do something else.  Something your passionate about…maybe something that doesn’t earn a paycheck.

Ultimately, it’s your decision.  Only you can decide if your time and effort might be better spent with your spouse instead of at the office or traveling the world instead of going on business trips or maybe writing that book instead of writing another proposal.  But remember, if you’re not engaged in something that is your highest and best use you’re wasting your time and effort.  You’re wasting your life.