I’m seventy three.
Here is one thing I don’t mind leaving behind for my last twenty years of living:
I was thirty seven when I decided to leave my profession and start my own business.
Since that time, I’ve had three jolts of depression. These episodes of depression I want to leave behind.
This pattern occurred each time I decided to take a new business risk. Initially, the risk would pay off, which was accompanied by a period when I would experience a sensation of euphoria. Then the natural follow on challenges would occur, which then resulted in an emotional tumble.
The first bout lasted for exactly six weeks. The second for about two months. The third for about six weeks again.
It wasn’t until the third bout that I sought medical help.
The first one occurred when I was about 41 years old, the second when I was around 51 years old, and third when I was around 63 years old.
I’m getting ready to take another major step forward in business. If I were smart, that is if I have learned my lesson, I wouldn’t take the risk, especially now that I’m seventy three and have enough dough to have a comfortable lifestyle.
But, there’s another lesson I’ve also learned: you don’t grow unless you take risks. Life continues to have meaning if one is able to continue to grow. But, there is no meaningful growth without commensurate risk. And, with new risk comes new challenges that must be faced and managed.
So, what do I think I’ll do this time around?
- Avoid getting too highly jacked up after the initial successes.
– that goes against type. I get pumped when I’m having fun or witnessing success. But, I have to be more measured emotionally, lest I set myself up to be blindsided.
- Plan carefully for contingencies that always occur with new ventures.
– this is funny, because I’m good at contingency planning: I put rainy day money aside. Thus, I’ve concluded my contingency planning should be of a psychological nature. I need to put things in perspective. Life is not always upward growth. It’s balanced with contractions. That’s nature.
- Take my medication.
– I’m good about taking my little antidepressant in the morning, which has been good at evening me out emotionally. And if it gets out of hand, which it hasn’t for the last decade, I have a powerful pill that smoothers the interval fire within a couple of hours.
- Hold steady when managing through the challenges.
– I have a wife and son who are cool customers under fire. It’s hard to believe how well they manage. I delegate heavily to those more gifted than I.
There it is. Let’s see if I can leave these jolts of depression behind for the next twenty years. Any additional suggestions you might have will be gladly accepted.