One of the constant fears people face is the fear of losing their job and with it their income and status. As you get older, your fear of being replaced at work and home with a younger, cheaper model can haunt you daily. The only way to confront this fear is to make sure that you get better as you get older.
If you want to be in demand over time, you must continue to grow in character, competence, and calling. Here are my top fifteen ways to obsolete-proof your life:
1. Become a knowledgeable expert at something lots of people need and want to know.
2. Take care of yourself. If you look old and puffy, you’ll feel old and out of touch. Workout, maintain a healthy weight, and dress cool for you!
3. Pass on what you know to others freely, without regard to what you get out of the relationship. Love people just because you can!
4. Ask for help and include people in your life. Let people know you need them and welcome them into your space. Do not allow yourself to become invisible or aloof.
5. Forgive past hurts and slights quickly. Bitterness will make being around you too painful and draining; therefore you won’t be missed when you’re fired.
6. Stay current and up to date on the developing trends in your area of interest. Read widely as well as focused on your area of expertise.
7. Develop a network of friends and associates and keep it in good repair. Don’t wait until you need a favor to reach out to people.
8. Make plans that require you to stretch, grow, and take risks. Write them down and date them.
9. Set goals beyond goals. They will keep you focused and hungry.
10. Keep your motivation centered around your life mission and make sure your life mission is grounded in helping people, meeting needs, honoring God.
11. Stop selling stuff and start meeting real needs. Never be guilty of needing people to buy what you’re selling. If what you do does not meet a real need and add value to people, then you’re in a dying industry—get out sooner than later.
12. Think long-term investment. Avoid emotional decision-making and remember that there is no short cut to any place worth going. Act like today is the last day of your life, but think like you’ll live at least to one hundred.
13. Dump debt early, so that you won’t be a slave to the kind of work that wears you out and down. Be free to work for fun not the funds.
14. Stop thinking retirement and start talking about the future and the new dreams that you are actively pursuing.
15. Maintain an attitude of wonder at all times. Never become a cynic, critic, or armchair expert. Keep your words and actions positive and hopeful.