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I was sitting here thinking about 2019 coming to an end. Thinking what I still need to do before the year ends, while others who is privileged enough to have a paid job, can enjoy their holiday. At that moment I realised that I am actually privileged, that I am healthy, have a wonderful family, and I can work on my businesses for the last 11 years since I was retrenched after 25 years with a corporate. I felt like praying for those who now might find themselves in the same unfortunate position as I did 11 years ago today. For you I want to say, there is hope after retrechment, retirment, disability or other life changing event.

It was no easy road, but a great road, along which I could make a difference by the grace of God, in so many people lives. Bring them hope and encouragement, help them to find new ways of thinking, new ways of providing for themselves. Encouraged them to reskills themselves for this new environment that we find ourselves in.

I have seen so many friends, family, fellow matriculates, colleagues and people that crossed my path, getting the “THE RETIREMENT AGE” and are forced to retire with still so much to give and so much difference they can make and value that they can add,  just give up.

I want to encourage you, that it is not the end of a road, but the beginning of a new one. Maybe this sounds scary and the road unknown, but you can start to study for a whole new career, you are not stuck with one particular occupation, you can remaster and find something totally new and exciting. You can decide if you want to slow done towards the inevitable dying day or if you want to keep living full out a balanced life not for one day when you retire, or one day when you want to take things slow.

Past Miles Monroe once said, do not die lonely and with regret, but die empty with nothing more to give and satisfied that you made the best of your life and opportunities. This does not mean that you should not plan your life, or that there will not be challenging times, there surely will. It is not what happens to you that matters, but how you respond to what happens to you. (Dr Barbara Louw). Life is ultimately what you make of it. Die happy, and satisfied that you have completed the race, you have done what God has send you to do. It is all up to you.

We have so many opportunities around us, if you do not know what to do next read this recent article by Dr Barbara Louw and start to volunteer your time, expertise and experience to teach one other person or persons. Transfer your skills and you knowledge to people who might never be able to pay you, but for them it might be life changing experience and for those whom they can influence.

I want to encourage you to start with your own household. It is important that we do what we do in the first place for the glory of God, secondly for our own loved ones, and then reach out to the world. Get up from that coach, get a coach get a counsellor, do something to move you forward. Ask for forgiveness for you wife, husband, children and others you might have blamed for the jail you have put yourself in. Take Ownership of your life, own up, get up and go make a difference. The choice is yours, no one can do it for you, but you. Make that choice today, and you will never look back, never regret that choice that gave you a whole new lease on life itself.

You can do anything that you put your mind to, which you want to do. Nobody can help an unwilling person. Counselling, coaching, guidance are all depending on the willingness of a person to want help in the first place and second a willingness to change. Stop doing the same old things and expecting different results. Make a decision today to get up and get going, it is all up to you, and you will be surprised the changes it will bring about in your life. You will always remember that day as a watershed mark in your life.  I have a number such days in my life.

The first obstacles, disappointments and betrayals that crossed my path, was hardest to learn from and get back from.  Lifelong learning is not easy, but a necessity. If we do not grow we die. If we do not develop we stagnate. What new things have you learned this past year, six months, there months, or even the last few weeks or days?

Stop blaming, take responsibility and decide what you want your life to look like a year from now when you look back to this day, when you made up your mind. What is life if we do not make a difference to God’s people, encourage them, give them hope, listen to their stories and guide them with a gentle nudge in the right direction, for them not you. Come on men and women of God, pick up your heads, pick up your spirit, and draw closer to God, your family and friends. We all need each other.

 A legacy for me is not just about the money and stuff, but the good memories that those who stayed behind will have about you. Those things that makes them smile everytime they think about you, or they see something that reminds them about you. Ultimately it is a bout relationships. Research over many years have shown us that people with solid and good healthy relationships live longer and are much happeir with life in general.

Do not focus on the material things, you cannot take them with you, it will only be devided amongs others. The real legacy is the emotional, spriritual and intelectual intellegence and life skill that you can transfer to someone else, your loved ones and those around you.

I wnat to close with a quote from 36 year old Robbert Paddock, " The more I’ve seen and the more people I’ve met with means, the same story comes up again and again. People who find themselves in a position where they can effectively retire choose not to. The idea that we’ve got to constantly yearn and strive for this position of freedom is false. I think that we should be striving towards responsibility, towards impact. My reflection is that this is where real fulfilment comes from." Bizz News.

Get out of your hiding place or the jail you have put yourself in, and go make a difference to the world, solve a problem that no one ever thought of. IT IS ALL UP TO YOU to make the first move.

Wynand Louw  CFP® FIISA

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