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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Alternative Lifestyle?

Out of high school,we feel awe struck by what we're gonna do when we get a job.Boy,am I going to ... .But there's another side to it.It comes up years later.Did you take the right wagon out? Here's one man's story.

Brian was the manager for a machinery manufacturer.As he went to work one morning ,as has been custom all these years,he increasingly began to resent what he saw as the clouding of personal honesty demanded by competitive business.Even worse he hardly knows his wife nor the children as he gets 'locked away 'from them for up to 5 days on business trips oftentimes.He began to see that the nearer he got to the board of director's job,the less he liked the sort of lives those above him in the Firm were living.He began to lose the confidence that he can play it differently when he got into the board." I don't want to change my personality.I have this conviction that it was unnecessary to behave badly or stay put in a compulsory charade of hypocrisy in order to be successful.I prefer family life to business entertainment,"  he thought hard to himself.
That evening , when he got home , he told his wife ," I don't think I can stand this until I retire." But the more they thought of it the more an abyss of fear opened up- how can you cut moorings without even knowing which point of the financial compass you are heading for ? The job had afforded the lifestyle they have now.Everyone has come to cling to it's safety.
"There's an old proverb," he told her, " that every cock is proud on it's own dunghill.I have been so obsessed crowing that I forgot the hypocrisy that our lives have come to become." Letting go of the job they were clinging to,they felt a curtain has lifted on something already there: a new phase of life.It would be better to do it now when they still have their wits and age than later they thought.

Together they found a small bed & breakfast business close to a beach.Since then what has increased over time is Brian's ability to make do on a shrinking income . But it opened new doors.They make their own bread and beer.They rebuilt the extended family ties.Though the kids have less pocket money than the neighbours ,yet there isn't any resentment from them.Bonding together again after all these years has churned a kind of hardy happiness that has rubbed off on them."What we have swopped is not money but a way of life, togetherness.It is absolutely essential that I should do what I am doing."

Where you are now are you being true to yourself.Do you get to use your talents and enthusiasms or has your boss plugged you into a round hole ? It's NEVER too late to ask the question nor jump off the mellee of the rat race. Remember the words of H.G.Wells : "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

Financial Fears

A growing concern among families on the Indian subcontinent is that they will OUTLIVE their retirement savings and only 2 out of 10 have retirement plans at all.Surveys by life insurance companies show that up to 77% believe they won't have enough to live on.It wasn't that they were caught unawares.There has been a tremendous change in tradition whereby a family would take care of it's older members.A greater mobility among young members of families had taken them away from family bases and the family safety net had gone into fragmentation.

Across over in Taiwan in a survey of 4500 students between 14-22 , an alarming majority of these leaders of tomorrow have considered suicide with about 23% still considering it on a recurring basis.These young people feel that they are good for only tests-university entrance exams and others.They decry a lack of homegrown heroes or role models they can look up to or imitate.Most of them don't know what to do after leaving university.Family ties have crumbled with both parents having had to work while children were sheltered to a point they can handle no setbacks even the death of a pet.

The biggest challenges ahead lie in what we are going to do or have made ourselves capable of doing , if things and support systems that comfort us are taken away or crash.The risks and accompanying fears in the marketplace will confront us as global economics evolve .Nothing is sacrosanct and could be ours forever [ especially our job/s] .What we need to do is to get out of being boxed in.Take a safe risk now - risk everything - your job,your good time parties,even your own tower of systems.Radically transform your income generation because it costs you nothing to get started while you still have a job.

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Cally Rao

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