THE OLDER YOU GET, the more you tend to talk about retirement and finally being able to do the things you love. I was more fortunate than most of my friends. A few years before I retired, I starting doing what I thought I loved: sailing and living on a boat. My entire adult life had been spent with that dream, but I never was able to determine if it was simply an amusement or something I would be truly passionate about. It turned out to be an amusement.

Here are eight reasons you need to do what you love now.

1. It can take time to find your passion.

To discover what you really love can take time and lots of different experiences. I’ve lost count of the activities I’ve tried and then found weren’t what I expected. It can take years to pinpoint that one special thing. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll make the discovery.

2. A little is better than nothing.

Doing what you love part time is better then waiting 30 or 40 years to be able to work at it full time. You have the time if you make the time.

Every week, I would schedule time for the things I loved to do as I would a business meeting. Work, family, and a hundred other things will get in the way but, if you love doing something, you’ll make the time for it.

3. You can evolve with the inevitable changes.

There is no field or creative endeavor that’s not affected by changes in technology or style. Waiting until you retire to pursue your passion could render that passion unrecognizable. When I started in photography, the only option was film. By the time I retired, everything was completely different.

4. You need time to build your community.

Many endeavors require community for true success and accomplishment. Most things creative are learned from and appreciated by those around you. For years prior to my retirement, I would schedule a photography workshop every year. The workshop environment was invaluable. Waiting until you retire will deprive you of all of that rich knowledge and experience.

5. You’ll likely have a fixed income when you retire.

Many passions require equipment, and equipment requires money (or a rich relative). Waiting until you retire will put you into that sparse world of the fixed income. Start now; what’s the use of doing something you love if you can’t spend money on it?

6. Face it, your body won’t be the same as it is now.

Getting older is not for the faint of heart, believe me. The sad fact is you just can’t do some of the physical things at 60-something that you could at 20-something. Fitness goes a long way, but there’s no cure for aging. If you wait, the only thing you’ll get out of it is older.

7. You can start acquiring knowledge now.

Everything we do requires learning to one extent or another. When learning about something you love, that learning is at the core of the experience. Don’t deprive yourself of the experience, or the wonders of discovery, by waiting until you retire.

8. Avoid sudden and drastic change.

Most people are uncomfortable with change. Change is more easily mastered when presented slowly over a period of time. When I retired, a major part of my life changed. The transition was made simpler because I was already doing the things I loved prior to retirement. Ease yourself into a lifestyle change.

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