Thursday, 28 April 2011

Lessons from the Past

Here in New Zealand this year the recent Easter period has coincided with Anzac Day.  Anzac Day is the day we remember those New Zealanders and Australians who lost their lives serving their country in military conflicts ranging from the Boer War to Afghanistan.

During a wet and miserable weekend I spent a lot of time watching commemorative programmes on television.  I'm not usually overtly interested in military matters but it was interesting and moving to hear the stories of famous battles and events.  One channel throughout Anzac Day featured brief bios on all the New Zealanders who had won the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth's highest and rarest award for bravery.

What has all this got to do with work, retirement and life changes?  Well, I couldn't help but notice two things.  One was the age of many of the servicemen and women featured who had done amazing things.  Usually they were aged in their early twenties.  They had considerable responsibility placed upon them, often leading many other troops, and having to inspire their subordinates, while making life and death decisions.  Despite their hugely different personal backgrounds, most of them rose to the challenge magnificently. Secondly, almost all of them were at the outbreak of war thrust into roles that were new and foreign to them.  Very few of them had spent years learning to be a soldier, sailor or airman.  One day they were working in an office or on the farm, a few weeks later they might be on the battlefield expecting to display the basic skills of a soldier.  When their country required them to step up and acquire new skills and take on a new role they did so, however far removed it might have been from their background and past experiences.  Of course in times of civil emergency, such as earthquakes, we often see the same thing.

Doesn't it make you think how relatively easy it should be for intelligent, well educated professionals in a time of peace, who have the luxury of being able to choose their own timetable to change direction, and who can properly plan their own life-style changes - to go ahead and make those changes?

Perhaps we should be inspired by our heroes and realise that if we have to, or want to badly enough, we can measure up and win our own life battles and bring about much needed changes.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

From a virgin blogger

are you there?
Is anyone listening
the door is ajar, a little.
The first blogs are published
out into cyberspace, like cowpats
falling from heaven to the barren earth below
warm, moist, full of promise, manure for the soul
or may be it's somehting else, simple

thoughts can be.
Words are seditious
an idea can spark a revolution.
Any moment the uprising will begin
the flood surge of words, good and bad,
a vertiable tsunami of adjectives and adverbs,
sweeping everything before it in a relentless tide.
An underflow of flotsam and jetsam -

Welcome to the first blog of "the escapee" (see About me). Why am I writing this blog and communicating my thoughts to the world?  About eight years ago I was a hard working stressed out lawyer, in my own practice and feeling very dissatisfied. Like most busy professionals I seemed permanently chained to my office desk, constantly battling to keep up and satisfy my clients with no end in sight.  Was this the life I really wanted to live all the way into old age? No, was my clear answer and after some thought and planning I sold my legal practice and embarked upon a very different much more enjoyable life. I had escaped the imprisonment of professional life and its unremitting responsibilities.  As soon as I did an amazing thing happened.  Many other professionals contacted me to ask me how I had done it.  How had I escaped? Sadly, despite my telling them, eight years later they are still asking me.

To answer their queries and to hopefully encourage others to live their lives instead of just surviving, I have written an E-book called, Escape your profession and save your life. It can be done!

In this blog I will reflect upon many aspects of life and work.  I'll write about making life changes, finding new careers and retirement options and probably many other things as the spirit moves me.  Sometimes, probably accidently, I may offer thoughts of deep philosophical insight, other times they may be shallow and obvious - but hey, I'm only human too.  Hopefully they may be helpful for those seeking an escape.  The only promise I may is to try hard to never be boring.

Cheers until next time.