The last couple of months we have been exploring the transition into what is commonly known as retirement or the second phase of life. This transition can be difficult; however, the difficulty of the transition can be minimized by discovering “purpose” in the second half of life. The quest for purpose, meaning and passion is not easy. Purpose just doesn’t happen. It’s up to you to discover it. Transition is a perfect time for opportunity and change. Embrace the possibility and see what you come up with.
Last month I left you with some homework. I suggested you review a few questions I listed that were intended to guide you into the mode of thinking and assist to begin defining your personal purpose. I hope you were honest when you were answering the questions. A goal of this exercise was for the questions to enable you to pause and really think. As you are searching for purpose think beyond the word “retirement.” Consider other “R” words such as rejuvenation, reinvention, redirection, or rediscovery. Thinking in these terms sets the mood to reach further and stretch toward real potential.
A big challenge which is presented during this transition is determining a new direction – to change your course. Your new course ideally focuses on what you are passionate about. Passion is defined as: A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something; a strong feeling that causes you to act in a dangerous way. Consider what passion does for us – it drives us, passion inspires and gives our lives meaning and purpose beyond merely going through the motions.
The second half of life offers more than sleeping in late, golfing, traveling, and all those things you wished you had more time to do when you were working fulltime and raising a family. Retirement is not just about being busy; being busy doesn’t add exuberance to our lives. Living at this point in your life is not just about busy or getting by – it is about experiencing all that the world has to offer. Pursing your passion brings purpose to your life. There really is so much to be passionate about! Passion is what makes us feel alive and helps us to experience each moment for all it’s worth. Why would we settle for anything less?
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. ~ Michelangelo