I want to expand a little bit on last month’s article on visualization. If you are like most people, you want to lead the perfect life and be really happy. When I talk to advisors, I ask them, “Are you really truly happy with your business and/or your life?”

It’s amazing how most of them are frustrated with so many things that influence both their life and practice. I like to go back to my coaching days when I used to belong to Dan Sullivan’s program, “The Strategic Coach.” One of the first things I learned was to set aside some free time, every week and every month. I also ensured that clients do not have my cell phone nor home phone numbers. In addition, my office staff knows never to call me after 4:30 p.m. and never on the weekends, unless it is a life or death emergency.

I made sure that when I leave work, I don’t take it home with me and never talk about it on the weekends. If I’m out in restaurants, bars or entertaining friends … it is all about having fun, not my practice. Every month I make sure to set time aside for me and my family, first and foremost. Then, time is set aside to be effective at work. For me, it is really important that I have my priorities listed and maintain balance.

I recently got back from a week of snowboarding with my kids, and somebody asked me, “What keeps you acting and feeling so young?” Most people probably don’t know this but I am 55 years young and I still feel, act and probably do things that the average 40-year-old can’t. I’ve come to realize that being older is a gift. I am now, for the first time in my life, the person I’ve always wanted to be. I sometimes wonder about the losing of the hair and the wrinkles around the eyes, but you know … I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned for anything in the world. I would never trade any of my friends, my incredibly wonderful family, or my amazing life. I can honesty say, “I’m living my dream life, right now.”

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself and less critical. I’ve learned to be my own friend. I don’t chide myself for the little extras I allow.

Like the extra slice of pizza or glass of wine. I think I’m entitled to be extravagant with myself and my family. I’ve seen way too many friends leave this world too soon before they understood the great freedom that comes with getting older.

I know that I am sometimes forgetful, but then again, some parts of my life are just as well forgotten. I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years events have happened, some good and some bad, but you know … I look at every day as a wonderful, amazing thing. I get up every morning at 5 a.m. and see the sunrise and start to enjoy the day. But most importantly, in my life I choose to make every minute of every day fun. I remembered listening to a tape back in the 1980s called “How To Have A Good Day, Every Day,” and I realized that there are so many people in different parts of the world that don’t have that choice.

At this point in my life I am ready to launch a new adventure. With that being said, this will be my final article. It has been a joy and a pleasure and I hope I have been able to provide some useful ideas in creating your own perfect life. Remember it is your choice … make it a great one!