This is a guest post by Manuel Zeh, a friend of mine who has been travelling the world for 7 years and has come to some interesting perspectives on life. Manuel has travelled 40 countries on all continents and lived in 10 of them. He speaks 9 languages and is a professional pianist who has performed on Indonesian TV, at the Sydney Opera House and on the cruise ship “Sun Princess”, among others. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan. Take a minute to check out his website at: www.manuelzeh.de
1. Retirement is NOT the goal of the game.
I used to think I want to work really hard so I could retire really early… when I suddenly realized that I wasn’t living life to the fullest now, while I’m still young. In a way, “working” means putting a price tag on your time, and selling it - and I believe my young years are priceless… they never come back. Yes, plan for later… but live in the present. The “now” is the only time we really have, and life is not a race, in which “whoever dies first, wins”. Statistics show that many people die soon after retirement, because they don’t have a purpose to live for anymore… other studies show that people who never HAVE to work again at an early age usually start to work HARDER then before, because that’s when they start doing what they love. Do these things you love NOW… they are likely your true calling.
2. Salary is NOT a good criteria to choose a job
Many people choose a job based on how much money they will make. Consider this… you spend MOST of your waking hours in your job - and life is made up of time, not money. Make your jobs something you love doing and you’ll never have to work a single day of your life! I believe the best three criteria to choose a career path are: - something you love doing and are passionate about - something that contributes / is useful - something you have a talent for If you fulfill these three criteria and learn how to market yourself, the money will follow… and you’ll be loving every minute of it.
3. A fun life full of experiences and achievement are NOT mutually exclusive
When I started travelling the world 7 years ago, I used to think that you have a choice to either ACHIEVE a lot or to EXPERIENCE a lot… and I consciously chose the latter. I’ve since found that if you follow your heart and your passions, things just fall into place and you’ll end up achieving a lot as a by product. Sometimes I’m surprised when I look at my CV and how impressed many people are by it, even though (or maybe because!) I’ve spent the better part of a decade travelling and having the most amazing life I could have dreamt up for myself.
4. Your parents do NOT always know what is best for you
Once I was dating a girl who, when she was 19, had wanted to travel. But she succumbed to family and society pressure and went with the responsible, financially secure choice instead. She went to uni, postponing her travels and became a dentist. When I met her, she was 26 and almost done studying… and she realized that she doesn’t even want to be a dentist, but it was too late. She also realized that she couldn’t really travel anymore because at 26 you’re not as free as at 19… she was already tied up with career, family duties, bills, a relationship, and so forth. I firmly believe that, if she had travelled at 19, she would have found herself. She would have discovered her true identity and what she really wants in life, instead of taking on a profession that she’d end up resenting. She would probably also have been a lot more motivated during university… studying with the serenity of knowing that she has already lived out her dreams, and that she’s pursuing a career she loves.
5.You do NOT need to be rich to travel the world
If a week in Florida can easily cost a few thousand dollars… how much is it to travel the whole WORLD for many YEARS? People sometimes ask me whether I’m a millionaire. Far from it… the formula is, I work in first world countries and save up. Travel in 3rd world countries. Latin America, Africa and Asia are ridiculously cheap… whereas in Europe, North America, Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, you can make very good money. But there are many different ways to travel… most recently I worked on a cruise ship. Good salary, no tax, free food and accommodation, access to all the pools, gyms etc on board, lots of free time, travel in the South Sea on a pay check, and free excursions to all the islands.
Don’t come to the end of your life regretting the things you did NOT do… don’t dream your life, live your dream! My best to you all,
Take minute to check out Manny’s website at: www.manuelzeh.de [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPEtIj-dzjw[/youtube]