Living in the Present & Planning for the Future

Monique Castillo |

My trip to see my old Canadian friend Wendy, now living in Nice, France was so replenishing.  The French have not over-hyped their foods, they have found that balance between looking and tasting delicious.  I have trekked to many places around our globe and discovered that is not easily achieved!  The architecture and the landscape views were also a visual delight for me.

Wendy and I met when we were in our twenties, both finding employment at an American school in southern Taiwan – she as a career teacher and me as an avid traveler looking to build up my pocket money for my next adventure.  Our lives have taken very different paths but we have remained in touch, visiting one another over the decades as able.  I remember when she was studying for her International Baccalaureate’s degree which enabled her to keep experiencing life in different countries while comfortably earning a living.  Over her lifetime she has now accumulated pension plans in different countries like pearls on a necklace.  She too has achieved a wonderful balance between living her present dreams while planning for her future.  She took the time to learn each country’s retirement plan terms so if it was within the realm of achieving, she secured it.

Upon my return, I discussed this different path taken with my 19-year-old daughter who is charting out her dreams and desired career path.  It surprised me how much inspiration this conversation about Wendy sparked in my daughter.  Her mind mapped out how you can carve out your way of doing things, it does not have to adhere to the beaten trail, with a higher degree of success by applying some thought and planning. 

I encourage you to have these exploratory conversations with the young adults in your network and share stories of success achieved differently.  My Emerging Adult Toolkit, described on my website, deep-dives into this as well if you desire some help with the conversations.  And of course, if you are finding it difficult to marry your present dreams with what occupies most of your day, have this exploratory conversation with yourself.