Your Highest, Best Use

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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.

A Little Vacation

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You may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while.  Well, you’re right.  I guess I’m on a little vacation from the blog.  It’s summer and I’ve been running around doing other stuff.  I should be back soon.   While you’re here, check out some of the older posts.  Thanks for stopping by!

By the way, for updates on my back pain issues check out Fly Fish Nevada.  See you soon!

Disposable Laptops

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I missed my post this week.  I have a good excuse.  The hard drive in my laptop started clicking.  I use my laptop to write and the thought of my hard drive dying didn’t sit well.  I bought a new one yesterday.  I had everything backed up, one copy on an external hard drive and one copy on Carbonite.  I don’t want to lose anything!

I found that I could buy a better laptop that I had for less money.  My old one cost about $550 two years ago.  It had a 15-inch class screen, 4MB ram and a 250 MB hard drive.  My new one cost $479.  It has a 17-inch screen, 4 MB ram and a 500 MB hard drive.  My son bought a similar machine last year and it cost him over $600. More

LBYM: Stealth Frugality

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I'm liking this new habit of finding pretty girls to illustrate my posts. I kind of feel like Bob Barker.

I am by no means extremely frugal.  I’m anything but, in fact.  I like spending money.  Doesn’t mean I don’t watch my spending, try to spend my money on stuff that has value to me and always look for the best deal.  Just means that frugality doesn’t come naturally to me.  I gotta work at it.

On the other hand, in some ways I am very frugal.  Some are conscious decisions, other just habits I’ve developed.  In any case, these ideas can save you a lot of money without really sacrificing much at all.  In fact, a lot of these things are free.  Not almost free, not next to free.  Free!  I call it stealth frugality. More

A Change in Direction

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See how much more pleasant the whole blog reading experience is with pictures? Of course, this picture has nothing to do with the post but whatever!

This post is more housekeeping than anything.  I have been retired for well over a year.  I’ve been blogging about it for over a year and a half.  I’ve said a lot and I’ve changed over that time.  Lately, I feel like some of my posts are just stating things I’ve already written in a different way or from a slightly different point of view.

To avoid having the blog become stale, I want to change my perspective a little.  I want to focus more on the actual retirement lifestyle rather than the planning and transition into that lifestyle.  I am past that phase for the most part and I’ve really said the majority of what I have to say on that anyway.  I will likely continue to post about the planning and transition, but less and less often.  It can be good to restate things in a different way, but only to a point. More

Dreading Bedtime!!

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When I was working, I used to dread bedtime.  It meant another 7 or 8 hours of rest before I had to awake at 5:30 am and head off to work.  Bedtime was the end of my time, at least my conscience time.  Some nights I just didn’t want to go to bed, but I knew I’d pay the next day if I stayed up too late.  It was not a pleasant way to live, but it was habitual.

Now, in retirement, I still find myself dreading bedtime, but for a different reason.  Now it means the end of another day.  I often wonder, “Where does the time go?” More

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