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Relish the future and appreciate the past.

I love growing old. Growing old is amazing!

Oh sure, there are one or two disadvantages. Bits of the body start to turn grey or wrinkly – or both – and other bits creak or cause you pain.

Some bits stop working altogether. Apparently.

Looking in a mirror requires great self-control if you are to avoid becoming embittered about Mother Nature’s cruel sense of humour. And it’s a truism that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass.

There’s a sense of inevitability about the ageing process. Whilst the cosmetics industry may have us believe we can avoid looking older (wrinkleatum reversolorum anyone?) there is, of course, nothing we can do to reverse the passage of time. Nor can we go back for another go at life if we didn’t get things quite right the first time!

So why, then, do I like growing old?

Well, maybe the most succinct answer is that by and large my life gets a little bit better every day. Always has done – hope it always will. Consequently, even at my advanced age, I actually relish the future as much as I appreciate my past.

So how did I achieve a life so close to perfection, doing what I love to do, surrounded by family and friends, happily married and living in a beautiful home? It must surely be the culmination of many years’ planning, the result of a single-minded drive to achieve my life’s ambitions, right?

Well, no, actually.

Now aged 57, I’ve consciously made only a handful of really major decisions in life. Most of my seemingly boundless good luck is down to … well, good luck!

This train of thought began, incredibly, as I was listening to a man from Toyota talking about his company’s business plans.

I was listening to an after-dinner presentation about the 14 key strategies which underpin Toyota’s reputation as one of most efficient manufacturers in the world, in the course of which I was endeavouring to draw parallels with the ways my own small business operates. (It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds; Good Practice is good practice whatever the business!)

Toyota’s business plan looks forwards a scarcely-believable 50 years. If 50 years sounds like a lifetime to you – as it does to me – you’ll now understand how the rumination described above began.

Virtechs’ Business Plan does not, I’ll admit, project quite that far ahead. Nevertheless, we have, in the last couple of years, successfully planned – and implemented – changes which are aligned with my vision for the future of the company.

My business life – unlike, perhaps, my personal life – is not a matter which I am leaving to chance! How about you…?

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