Coasting

 

What does coasting mean to you?

Girl CoastingUrbandictionary.com describes coasting as “Being in a point of total relaxation, when everything seems to be going your way.” Be careful of the word – seems. Using “seems” indicates only the appearance or the impression that everything is going your way, but it might not.

I’m not a fan of coasting in life as I’m sure you can imagine based on the title of my book, What Next. Asking What Next is the opposite of coasting. In the chapter called, appropriately enough, Coasting, I present my case. The quote I start the chapter with succinctly captures my problem with the word “if you are coasting you’re either loosing momentum or you’re heading down hill.”

While everything might seem like it’s going your way, coasting only lasts so long, then the twin effects of friction and incline take their toll as your momentum is reduced. This doesn’t mean you have to keep the pedal to the floor at all times, you can and should let up, but it means that too many people haven’t used the gas in a long time.

Friction is barely noticeable as you coast through life. Maybe your savings is reduced bit by bit, hardly enough to make a difference right? Maybe your retirement savings aren’t as big as they could be, but that’s a long way off. Maybe your relationship with a spouse or partner is becoming mundane but you love each other so it’s all right.

Then bam, a hill appears out of nowhere and coasting isn’t enough any more. You lose a job, your investments take a nose dive, or your relationship takes an unexpected turn. Building up the momentum to get over the hill won’t be easy as the effects of the friction become painfully apparent.

Are you coasting? Is that a problem?


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