When it comes to RVing, so many people dream of “someday.”
Someday when they retire and buy that RV, someday when they have enough money to hit the road, someday when the kids are grown and they can start traveling. Someday.
Thing is, there is no guarantee that “someday” will ever come and the hopes and dreams of that “someday” may never be achieved.
But what if you could make that “someday” today?
That’s what Jennifer and I decided to do about 15 years ago when we decided to fully embrace the RV Lifestyle, thanks, in part, to a man whose teachings and principles contributed a great deal to us making the RV Lifestyle a reality.
His name is Dan Miller. He is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have impacted millions. His first one was 48 Days To the Work You Love, followed by No More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom Meets Passion. Dan is also the host of a weekly podcast, which consistently ranks in the top three under careers on iTunes.
And I recently had a lengthy discussion with him.
“That someday just never happens,” he said. “Or we see somebody who gets to the point where a lot of those ducks are in a row, so to speak, and then something else comes along like a health crisis, or relationship crisis, or whatever. And they don’t get to live out what they thought they were working toward all those years. My encouragement is make your someday right now. Let’s just start it. What is it that you… What is that ideal life? Is there really any obstacle that would keep you from living it right now?”
Of course, many will point to obstacles like finances as barriers to Miller’s suggested approach.
Miller suggests looking at things different.
“When we get tied up into thinking it’s just a financial issue, we’re probably deceiving ourselves because it never really is,” he said. “I mean, you can live life at different levels financially, no matter if you’re living in town somewhere or on the road or in the mountains or on a beach, whatever. There’s still a lot of levels there. And some people artificially use that as an excuse, I think, for not having to go through the work of really taking the next step. What would that be?
Miller told me about his daughter who lives on the road full-time. She’s in her late 30s. Her family has three young daughters. Her husband gave up a full-time job as a real estate agent.
“So was there sacrifice? Yes, but they also were intentional about deciding in advance what they would have to do financially to be able to make that work,” he said. “So she continues to work for me. She’s worked for me for 16 years. They do have real estate investments. They have a house that they Airbnb. So things just work. They’re not depleting financial assets. But still people look at them and say, ‘Oh, I wish we could do that.’ Well why don’t you?”
Miller said there are often other things that people view as obstacles to carrying out their dreams.
One of them is the notion of holding onto a traditional job until retirement.
“We have this kind of conception in our culture that you are supposed to work in a job many, many years and then you earn the right to somehow retire,” he said. “Well that retirement implies in the way that we define it, when I get to the point where I can really do what I want to do, then I can stop doing what I don’t want to do. Well what if we took that model and adapted it to whatever work we’re doing. Do work that you really want to do. All of a sudden, retirement loses its appeal. It fades in importance and we find that we really can live the life that we want to live. Whatever that means in terms of daily activities, we can do that right now.
“I want to be doing what I’m doing today,” he added. “I’ve always joked with people that I’m going to work in the morning then go to my funeral in the afternoon.”
I mentioned to Dan that Jennifer and I both have said we’re going to RV as long as we can move. That did get me to thinking, however — are people ever “too old” to live out their dreams?
“I love that question,” he said. “No, you’re really not. And I tell people also, you’re never too old to have a new beginning. It’s never too late to have a new beginning. So I talk to people. Mike, I talk to people who are 27 years old who say, ‘Wow. I’ve got a law degree. I chose the wrong career and now I’m stuck.’ Where they kind of imply, “OK, now I’m just going to have to kind of drift into the grave.’ Are kidding me? 27 years old, you’re not even old enough to ask the right questions yet. There’s all kinds of time left to create new directions. But at the same time, somebody who’s 68 years old, who just retired from a long career, it’s not too late to start something. We see people in those encore careers.
Dan suggests that lot of times, in the career that we have, that general career, it’s just a learning process. They give us enough information about ourselves, about opportunities so then we can sit down and really take a fresh look at how God has uniquely gifted us and we go into the most productive two, three decades of our lives.
“And when you look at longevity today, normally you look at predicted retirement age, 65,” he said. “What if you live to be 95? That’s 30 years. Do you really just want to piddle that away with no purpose, no design, no focus? Boy that can be a very, very productive time. And by productive, I mean enjoyable. I don’t mean just making money. That may not even be a major focus. Just the enjoyment of life every day.”
From finding ways to earn a living via the internet (writing, photography, etc.) to working as a seasonal employee for Amazon (and a ton more), these days there are ways to make money outside the traditional methods.
More importantly, however, you will like feel more satisfied on a personal fulfillment, or finding a true purpose in whatever you end up doing.
“It has to fit with a personal mission, a calling, a reason for getting up every morning,” he said. “There has to be more there than just a personal enjoyment of that. So my personal mission statement, Mike, is I help high potential individuals understand and apply their unique and most powerful talents and passions so they can make a larger impact, leave a legacy and thrive financially. Now that’s very, very clear to me, obviously. I can do that if I’m sitting around a campfire somewhere. I can do that if I’m playing with my grandkids. I can do that in a corporate setting. I can do that if I’m individually coaching somebody, or online in an online community.
“So it’s very transferable. No matter what the environment is, or my circumstances, I can continue to live that out. So that is, that’s a real foundational principal is somebody ought to know what their personal mission statement is, and the lifestyle that they’re living, then ought to be an application of that every day.”
The bottom line: this advice and this sense of joy and fulfillment that Dan shares, that he has every day, you can have that, too.
Fifteen years ago, I didn’t even know that RVing and producing the RV Lifestyle podcast, blogs, videos, and so on was my dream.
Now I know it is.
I can honestly say that every day is an awesome day and I can’t wait to get up and get started.
And I think that’s the secret, isn’t it?
Want to know more about living the RV Lifestyle full-time? Click on the image below for a recent podcast I did featuring a couple that decided to do just that.