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Roaring or Boring?

Here we are at the beginning of a new decade.  A ten-year stretch that might hold big life changes for you.  You might retire or begin your career.   You might welcome a new baby or grieve the loss of a loved one.  You might win the lottery or file for bankruptcy.  Who knows what might happen?  I certainly don’t, but I can guarantee your actions now will play a big part in whether your 2020s are roaring or boring.

I’m going to use myself as the bad example.  I’ve been talking about my desire to see the Northern Lights before I die for 20 years.  20 years!  That’s longer than some of you have been alive!  Given that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, at this rate I’ll never see the Northern Lights.  Or if I do, my walker will get stuck in the ice.  So, I’ve decided my roaring 20s are going to include a trip to the Arctic.  I’m committing now – January 2025 I’m going to chase the Northern Lights.  I’ll be damned if my 2020s are going to be boring.

But let’s talk about you.  I’m okay with it if you decide your 2020s are going to be boring.  Maybe the last decade was a wild ride for you and you just want some peace.  The key word is decide.  I know life will throw curve balls and things will happen that are beyond our control, yeah, yeah.  But you impact a ton of what happens to you.

So, what do you want out of the next ten years?  Try this – fast forward to the end of the decade.  You are 10 years older than you are now.  Do you want to be married (or not)?  Living someplace else?  A parent?  Retired?  CEO?   Do you need to have more money in your retirement account?  Will it be horrifying to still live in your parent’s basement?  Time has a way of blowing by.  If we don’t do things differently, in 2030, I still won’t have seen the Northern Lights, and some of you will be living lives you aren’t happy with.  We’ll just be a lot older.

To insure that doesn’t happen:

  • Decide. The next ten years are going to go by – what are you going to do with them? My Mom died at 65.  If I die at 65, this will be my last decade.  I’m roaring.
  • Do your research. I thought I could just go to Alaska and see the Northern Lights. Not the best option.  I also thought I could go anytime.  Nope – October to April and they cycle.  The next peak isn’t until 2025.   Most people don’t know how much money they need to retire.  Hello?  We have more information at our fingertips than any generation before us.  Use it!
  • I really want you to choose roaring. I do not want a single one of you to pass through this world and feel like your life was unlived. What makes you feel alive?  When you think of roaring, what do you think of?  I think of triumph, of excitement, of abandon, of mastery.  Maybe you think of speed, of creativity, of freedom.  I want all of those things for you – but you have to want them for yourself.  At the end of the day, it’s you who are going to have to fight for them.
  • Choose your roar. I know we can’t just start running around roaring and not taking care of business. I still have to exercise, sleep, earn a living, and floss.  What I don’t want to do is let a whole decade slip by me.  I mean, what happened to the turbulent 10s?  Where did they go?  So, here’s what I suggest – pick one roar.  A big roar.  I may have to take more than one trip to see the Northern Lights, but I want to see them before I die.  What’s your roar?  Find love?  Climb Everest?  Write a book?  You’ll know when you find it.  It will give you a sense of excitement, it will re-engage you with your life.  It will be big enough to challenge you, but not impossible.  It will be cool enough to be your mantra for the decade!  My mantra – see the lights.  Come up with one for yourself.
  • You can change your roar. Maybe you do the research and decide joining Cirque du Soleil really isn’t for you. It’s okay to change your mind – this is your decade.  I just want you to consciously go through it, not stay on autopilot and let it slip by.
  • Yes, Virginia, you can roar more. What if I see the Northern Lights in 2025, what about the rest of the decade? Easy, tiger – see the lights first.  Remember – past behavior?  Focus on the first roar, you can always add another.  But start off with too many, you’re more likely to do nothing.  Also – if you accomplish your roar, it will change you.  Let that roar lead to the next one.

Life is listening.



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Diane FainWorthen
2 years ago

Great advice Now all I have to do is decide….

Millie L
2 years ago

Great article! I am taking it to heart. Thank you so very much! I have missed you at SCACPA events!!