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Chapter 7. Engaging in Self-Determination > CASE STUDY: Lamenting Life Lost

CASE STUDY: Lamenting Life Lost

  Jack is a sales manager who is within six months of retiring from his lifelong employment in sales. He talks with a peer over lunch. “It’s hard to believe I’ll be retiring in another six months.” His friend asks, “Are you looking forward to it, Jack?”

“You bet I am! Maybe now I’ll have some time to do things I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve enjoyed my work but it demanded so much of my time and energy that I never seemed to find time to travel or do a lot of other things. I mean, Fran and I had a good life, but so many things seemed to pass us by. We intended to do more fun things but just never seemed to be able to find the time. Maybe now we can.”

The friend comments, “Well, you’ll certainly have the time now!” To which Jack responds, “Yeah, but I’m not sure that my retirement income will be enough for us to afford much beyond the basics. Inflation has been so bad that we’re not going to be as comfortable as I had hoped.”

  Jack is an example of the many people who go through life allowing events and others to determine how they live. To such people, life seems to be something that happens to them rather than something they determine for themselves. These people often look back and wonder where all the time went and how they managed to get so little pleasure from their lives.

Self-empowered people approach life differently.

In reality, everyone’s life is self-determined. Those who are passive in their approach to life, reacting to events and allowing others to set their priorities, are responsible for choosing to live their lives passively. When you are self-determined, you actively identify your own values, wants, and needs; define your own goals; and chart your own path through life.



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