Fear Can Limit Your Retirement
David's grandparents had a really cool basement. It had an out-of-tune piano he could pound on, a long closet full of old coats and clothes he could play hide-and-go-seek in, and his grandfather was an electrician who loved to tinker so he had a small workshop filed with wires, switches, and all sorts of gadgets.
He loved everything about it... except one area. Buried deep in one corner was the furnace room. A dark and ominous spot that was simply terrifying. A spot that made him shiver and shake whenever he looked at it or walked near it.
It was in the furthest corner of the basement, had no windows, and despite the lights over the laundry area, it only glowed by the flames within the belly of the furnace.
His grandparents also had a small refrigerator near the furnace room and occasionally would store food and drinks in it before a family get-together. On special occasions, he would be asked to go down and grab a few things from it. Immediately the fear would grip him because every time he ventured near it, he felt something dark and daunting hanging over him... anxiously waiting for the Boogie Monster to grab him.
Then one hot summer day he ventured down to the basement to cool off and felt compelled to face his fears and enter the furnace room. He fought the urge to turn around by grabbing a big yellow flashlight from his grandfather's workshop, took a couple deep breathes to build up some courage, and walked-in.
His heart was racing as images of finding the skeleton of a bag lady or colony of giant rats were swirling in his mind, which is why he was so pleasantly surprised to find something he never expected. Instead of a gruesome or frightening discovery, he found a small storage area where his uncle had left his old sports equipment, trophies, and baseball cards.
For a sports loving kid this was equivalent to finding a pot of gold under the rainbow. David was fanatical about baseball cards at the time and loved the idea of trying on his uncle's old hockey gloves and playing catch with his well-worn baseball mitt.
In an instant the furnace room was transformed from a dark, scary cavern to a gold mine. The basement he thought was great before became even better as a whole new area was opened up and able to be experienced.
It's an eye opening story because certain parts of your life and retirement plans may be acting like a furnace room. Holding you back and blinding you to the treasures you could be experiencing.
Reality is, fear is human nature, so we all experience it. As we get older we may not verbalize these feelings as being scared or afraid because we have learned to replace them with words like stress or anxiety but it doesn't matter. They can all grip us and stop us from living an abundant life, filled with new adventures and knowledge.
Whether you're fear is being alone, losing a loved one, staying healthy, or a deep rooted concern that you'll run out of money, the longer you wait to open up that furnace room door, the harder it's going to be.
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