The CFO in the story knew when the question came from his wife and that was the trigger.
in our case, it could be something as drastic as a life-changing event in the form of a stroke or a major accident. Or it could simply be like the CFO, a loved one telling you a simple truth or a simple question.
For my ex-colleague who was flying frequently as a regional sales, he recounted to me the following moment that triggered that question and thought process.
His moment came when his 2year old daughter was down with high fever but he had to go off that day for a business trip. So, he decided after the trip to seek a lower-paying job without regional sales included. He did not want to have the regret of not being there when it matters the most for the family and he certainly do not want to miss the chance of seeing his daughter grew up.
OF course he did not retire completely, but the message in the CFO message was not asking you to retire, it was asking you to have a work/life balance. Your work will always be there for you, but your loved ones might not and growing up moments can never be recaptured.
I remember telling Tamar a typical prudent CFO type response- I would love to keep going, but we have to go back. It's not time yet, There is still so much to do at Google, with my career, so many people counting on me/us - Boards, Non Profits, etc
But then she asked the killer question: So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air.