Your Last Big Gig – To Infinity and Beyond!

It has come to my attention from friends of a certain age and younger, that some of them are having problems with the “last” in Last Big Gig.  “Doesn’t it sound a bit depressing?” they ask me.  “Don’t you think some people will be turned off by focusing on the end of their careers?” they say.  “Wouldn’t it be more positive to focus on just the Big Gig?” they hint.

How interesting, I think – because for me there is so much energy and excitement generated by the opportunity to design and experience an amazing, fantastic, huge finale.  Think about it… so often all of the excitement, the amazement and the wonder occur at the end.  Every screenwriter, playwright and author is trained to save the reveal, the happy outcome, the resolution of all that came before to the end of their book, movie or play.  How much fun and wonder would the Wizard of Oz have provided if Dorothy figured out about the red shoes before the last moments of the story?  And what about great sport events – aren’t they much more exciting when the moments of victory and defeat happen at the very last minutes of the competition.  Which of Michael Phelps wins in China is most remembered?  It is often the one where he came from behind and won in less than 1/100th of a second.

So for me, the opportunity that my last big gig offers is to design an experience, a movement, a career-ending finale that goes to infinity and beyond.  It is the opportunity to think beyond anything that I have already done; to dream and create a finale that will express both who I am today, shaped by all of my previous experience and accomplishments as well as who I have always wanted to be.  I want to craft my last big gig in a way that provides both a culmination of all that I have done with a moment of surprise and wonder because there is even more that I have to offer and contribute.

How about you?  How are you thinking about the remainder of your working life – the next 10-15 years?  Are you imagining that it will look a lot like it has to this point?  How does that make you feel?  Are you having a moment like Peggy Lee of “is that all there is?”  Are you thinking that you will just sit back and drift to the end, because somehow that is easier?  Have you suddenly found yourself pushed out of what you have been doing successfully by a change in the world, and have found yourself wondering what is next?  Wherever you are, I challenge you to spend a few minutes considering whether you want a career that ends on a soft quiet note or if, like me, you want to go out with the grandeur and awe of the final moments of a Beethoven symphony – all instruments harmonizing loudly to leave that overwhelming feeling of wonder and grandeur.

Knowing that your last big gig can be your best gig is the first step toward designing an amazing finale.  Come join me on our journey to infinity and beyond!

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