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He Lived to Be Ninety and He Went Too Soon

Not long ago while flipping through the newspaper, I came across the obituary for Richard Nelson Bolles, author of the annual job-hunter's guide What Color Is Your Parachute? I had the privilege of knowing him for nearly twenty-five years.

It started in the summer of '92 when I flew from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Bend, Oregon to take his 15-day life/work planning workshop. "This isn't a playshop," he would tell us (playfully). And every single day, he would make good on his assertion.

Have you ever finished something HARD and been forever glad you did?

Those fifteen days were so much work—like boot camp for the soul.

Then there was the criticism and commuter flights it took to get there (criticism when you grow is inevitable, commuter flights are optional).

Finally, throw in altitude adjustment, and it's no wonder some folks moved up their departure. Yet I'll always be glad I stayed, because the entire experience gradually altered the course of my life, and thus my contribution.

Within ten years of completing that workshop, I would move across the country to pursue a master's degree in counseling with an emphasis in career development—after a successful career of my own as a copywriter and editor.

Today I have the privilege of using all my experience, from writing to speaking to career-counseling to teaching, to help people find and fulfill their life's calling. It has not always been easy, but I can tell you it's been worth it.

Along those lines, here's the Richard Nelson Bolles takeaway of the day: "What you want with all your heart, you'll go after with all your heart."

Boom. Whether you're building a business, launching a career, or planning your retirement, if you want these things to turn out well, you need to know what lights you up—beyond simply needing to eat and keep the lights on.

Otherwise you'll give up.

But once you find what you want (with all your heart), giving up doesn't even enter in. On the contrary, you will sacrifice. You will study. You will rise above your setbacks, and you will succeed.

It might take six months or it might take a lifetime. But the journey is yours. Yours. Live it well with no regrets.

P.S. Not sure what lights you up? Here's a quick and easy exercise to help you start figuring it out (it's also fun, because you get to vent).

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at