“Keith is the self-proclaimed world’s biggest fan of relaxation.”
This statement completely reflects what I imagine my retirement theme being. But tomorrow is not guaranteed so why wait until retirement to enjoy life? And as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize just how important is to live for each day.
For the bulk of my career, I worked in the fast-paced and ever changing restaurant industry. After 12+ years though it was time for a change and in 2015, I came to Disability Solutions. It’s been here where I’ve finally developed an appreciation for that ever-elusive work-life balance. The work is no less challenging than the restaurant business. But there is a sense of gratitude that I’ve developed here, working with people who fight to overcome their disabilities, that has changed my perspective on life.
Are You Here Right Now?
Most people spend the majority of their time thinking about either the past or the future. Let’s try something. Take a second, pause and take an inventory of the thoughts currently on your mind. Chances are you are thinking about something that needs to be done later today (a work task, what to make for dinner, do I need to take out the trash, etc) or you are stewing on a situation that happened earlier that you just can’t believe occurred (Joe from work said this, person at the grocery cut me in line, etc).
All of these events exist in the past and the future and if you are like every other person in the world, you cycle back and forth between all of them and sometimes forget that the most important things are right in front of you. Your mother looking at you, eager for conversation only while you stare off into space thinking about things that have happened to you in the past and things that may never happen in the future. Your child playing with his or her toys and figuring out a new life mystery that you are too busy to see because you are worrying about your big work proposal next week.
Rarely though, do we focus our attention on what is happening right now and in the current moment. And that is the quintessential secret to happiness and is something that I try to live by.
Walk the Talk
Taking my own advice, how do I find my own present moment? For one, I enjoy spending time with my wife Amy, my family and friends, and my two dog rescues, Australian Shepherd mixes Charlie and Harper. I am also fanatical about spending time outdoors, whether it is walking, running or simply standing outside. Anything with a great view of nature and fresh air, I quickly sign up for.
Introspectively, I can also find happiness right in my own mind, as I am a big fan of learning from other people’s mistakes, which is one of the reasons why I’m such an avid reader. I enjoy biographies and historical novels that show us what to do and what not to do in some cases. I also enjoy the classics from authors such as Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Hemingway, Vonnegut, and Steinbeck.
Find Your Balance
Whatever line of work that you are in, I encourage you to find a good balance between your career and the things that are most important in your life. For me personally, truly investing time and living in the present with family, friends, pets, nature and reading have provided me with the strength and support I need that translates into success in my line of work.
Keith Meadows joined Disability Solutions in 2015 as a Hiring and Engagement Consultant after working over 12 years in the private sector, where he served as General Manager for several different multi-million dollar units in the restaurant industry.