Better a pipe dream than no dream at all

pipe dream

Noun

definition – an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme

I recently commenced my pursuit of retiring to Thailand in 5 years. Based on my current financial situation and incoming salary, this is not a practical goal. A more realistic goal would be 10 years and even that is a bit of a stretch.

10 years, however, will not work for me. I am mentally committed to retire in 5 years and will find a way to make it happen. Even in the early days of my mission, I am amazed at the increased focus I have on finding small ways to save and create money.

An unfortunate aspect of my current job is cleaning. Often times, I am scheduled for public toilet cleaning. This can be a fairly unpleasant activity due to the smell and the interesting ability that some people have to miss the bowl with their movements. Without going into more graphic detail, it hasn’t been my favourite job. With my new focus though, I attack the job with gusto, attempting to make the best of it, with the mindset that every task I do is making me more money towards my early retirement. Realistically, I would make the same amount of money doing an average job or even hiding in the storeroom. My passion for my retirement though has instilled in me a purpose to succeed in whatever I’m doing, even if menial and unpleasant.

I have lived a lot of my life without direction. I was basically living day to day. I lot of the time I was doing the minimum I could so I would continue to get paid and not make it obvious I was barely making an effort. By good fortune, I obtained a job coordinating services to terminally ill clients. Many of my colleagues struggled with the role and it was not uncommon that there were tears in the office when a client passed away. I was the opposite. I found the job invigorating and thrived on providing some quality of life to my clients up until their death. I recall one conversation with a client, at a time at which he started to enter the end-stage of his condition. Paraphrasing, he said ‘Scott, if you want to do something, do it now. You don’t know when your time will come’. He ended up passing some weeks later but his words (albeit not verbatim) have stuck with me. I don’t know when my time will come and my health scare 18 months back reinforced it.

I’m not one of these ‘live every moment’ people. I find that tiring and try hard. I have no compulsion to bungy jump or socialise every day. I do believe though, that life should have a purpose and a destination.

I have gone off on a bit of a tangent from the title of pursuing a pipedream but hopefully not far that I have lost the point completely. I know many people, including family, that don’t have a dream. They seem content to just continue on with life but with no clear destination. I don’t judge them and they are welcome to live their life however they wish but I struggle to stay motivated without a goal.

I believe that your goal should be big. Bigger than you really can achieve without being so unrealistic that it can never be reached. I like the idea of the carrot that is slightly beyond my reach to keep me constantly trying and working hard. An easy goal doesn’t breed effort and provides little satisfaction if achieved.

A friend of mine once said to me ‘Reach for the stars and you may reach the sky’. It has taken me some time to actually follow his advice but now it is happening. I’m reaching for the stars. But what if I fail? At worst, I will be much further ahead then setting no goal at all. At best, I might just make it! Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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