I am content. Three words that have eluded me for most of my adult life. Always driven. Focused. Disciplined. Ambitious.
I might have used different words. Insecure. Scared. And, perhaps most unfortunate, never satisfied.
Ambition is not necessarily a bad thing if the motivation is pure.
I remember having this conversation with my old boss many years back. She was the CIO for a large insurance company and she told me that one day I would have her chair. She did say a few things that have stayed with me over the past thirty years.
“Why anyone would want my job is beyond me. Why do you want the job?”
No one had ever asked me that question before. I always thought that if I climbed high enough on the corporate ladder that I would achieve something of significance. I had rarely thought about the why.
Guess what? There really isn’t anything all that significant to be found in climbing the corporate ladder. Whatever is significant will not come from your spot on an organization chart. Yes, there is a financial reward, and rightly so given the stress and pressure and other demands on your life. It is a trap to confuse a level of career success with significance.
Perhaps my biggest challenge coming into retirement is learning to live those three words: I am content.
I plan to give it my best shot.