Are you looking forward to a happy retirement? Perhaps you are enjoying one now. Or are you? It very much depends on what you are doing and why.
Retirement at sixty-five is
When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.
Retire from what exactly? We are here to serve not to retire. Retirement was invented by governments during the 1930s at a period of peak recession in order to create jobs for the unemployed.
Now, unfortunately, some people survive for a number of years in a job they have no passion for merely in order to get by, and then count down the days until their retirement.
John Munro is like that. He retired a few weeks ago with the proclamation that he was going to burn all his suits.
I asked him what he was going to do with all the time he now had on his hands. He replied, “There’s plenty that needs doing in the house and around the garden.”
John doesn’t live in a big house and neither does he have a very large garden. Neither does he have any other real interests. I suspect that within a few weeks he will be bored out of his mind.
I often speak to retired friends and their first question to me usually is, “When are you going to retire? It is high time you retired. How old are you now?”
When I tell them that I haven’t the slightest intention of retiring they look at me in disbelief.
I say to them, “Why should I retire when I love what I do and I do what I love?” So many of them appear to be totally unable to grasp the concept.
When I ask them what they are doing now, the sort of response I get is “I don’t know how I ever had time for work, I am so busy now.”
In reality, they get up later and go to bed earlier. They are out of routine and totally unable to plan the day.
They amble into the local shops and spend a seemingly interminable amount of time gassing to the assistant while others wait in line.
During the summer months I arranged to collect a retired friend and his wife from their home about 100 miles from ours which is approximately a two-hour drive at a quiet time.
In order to avoid the traffic I suggested I arrive about 8 a.m. They recoiled in horror at the suggestion. “You’d better forget it. We couldn’t possibly be ready before 10 o’clock.”
This was a retired couple who had no commitments. All they had to do was get showered and dressed. If I had adopted their suggestion, half a day would have been gone by the time I returned home.
So if you are in a job where you are forced to retire at a certain age, start planning now. We all have a hierarchy of values and, whatever we may say, we live our lives according to that hierarchy.
Find out what is really important to you. When you have the choice, how do you spend your time and money? That is a major clue. Now consider how you can be well paid for doing what you really love.
When you do what you really love, it is no longer a chore. There is no need to think about retirement any longer.
Just because an employer has a retirement policy and will not employ you any longer, doesn’t mean you have to give up that activity.
Consider the skills you have acquired during your previous working life. How can they be used to benefit others?
You haven’t worked for many years without acquiring vast experience. How can you pass that on to other people?
Whatever your age, now is the time to consider if you are travelling the right course. Are you doing what you love to do?
If the answer to that is yes, you will never have to work another day in your life because, as Dr John DeMartini says, your vocation will prove to be your vacation.
If the answer is no, now is the time to reconsider. Read the chapter on this website about Life Values and work out your own hierarchy of values.
Be true to yourself. At this stage do not consider whether you can or you can’t: just decide where each value is on your hierarchy.
You know in your heart of hearts what you really want to do. Now is the time to go and get it.
If you have to re-educate yourself, get up early and work late – so what? The time will pass anyway. You had just as soon use it well.
And then just consider the benefits when you achieve what you want. You will be able to spend the rest of your life living as you would wish.
Don’t be guided by what someone else wants for you. Be guided only by what you really want for yourself.
Likewise, don’t listen to the words of someone else who tells you that you are being selfish. Heed instead the words of Oscar Wilde: “Selfishness is not doing as you wish; selfishness is desiring someone else to do as you wish.”
If you need convincing that the genius you require is not already within you, read the pages on this website about genius and read also those inspiring stories about Real Men of Genius and Real Women of Genius.
Then identify the traits within yourself that they have. You may have to search hard and dig deep, and they may not be exactly the same.
But they will be there, and when you realise those people are really no different from you, it will inspire you to do as you had always wished.
To quote another inspirational teacher, “Retirement is a sick joke”. That is from Bob Proctor, another wonderful teacher who, at the time of writing, is in his late seventies and still going strong.
When you are doing what you really want to do, when what you are doing is congruent with your highest values, then you will continue to have energy and inspiration and you will not be looking forward to the day you retire.
Instead, you will look along your timeline and see your future extending into the future as far as you can envisage because you will have a vision that will continue to grow and which you can pursue with passion.
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