It’s easy to focus so strongly on the future that we keep working toward it without stopping to decide when the future actually starts for us. If we’re stuck in this rut, getting out of it typically means agreeing to focus, and then act, on ways to achieve a more well-rounded work-life balance for ourselves. It’s just too easy to keep old habits and never actually get to enjoy what we have worked so hard for. Life must be lived to the full – now! There’s no point in rehearsing for a future that may not happen.
If your work is exciting, gratifying, and rewarding and it’s what you want to do most, then your answer is simple: keep working and enjoy your fulfilling life. Just be sure you constantly ask yourself along the way if this is the path you really want to lead at this stage of your life.
There are people who would do their jobs for far less pay than they actually receive because they love what they’re doing so much. Why should they change? If you still love working, then why shouldn’t you continue doing what you enjoy?
Not all of us have fantastic jobs that we want to continue doing forever. For some of us, our job is routine, boring, and lacking in exciting and does not yield the tangible and intangible benefits we need for a happy life.
If that’s your position, it’s time to do something abut it. Perhaps you should stop building up an inheritance for your children, recognise that you have saved enough to enjoy a good standard of living and decide that’s it’s time to get out there and enjoy it. The key here is to consider and plan carefully how you are going to enjoy yourself. Active retirement is a good way to live a stimulating and exciting life that can enable you to take on new challenges.
Be honest with yourself about your values and goals, strengths and weaknesses, needs and objectives. Then try and align them with future opportunities and realities. Identify what your motivation in life is, and make sure your plan encompasses these needs. Do you desire status, creativity, social contact, physical or mental stimulation, adventure or money? Many of the social and emotional rewards previously provided at work can also come from purposeful activities in retirement.
Doing something that is exciting, extraordinary, creative or stimulating is not just for the rick and famous. Why can’t we spend our time doing something we love? All of us were born special, so let’s not forget it!
Those who are athletic can strive to compete in the Masters Games, the equivalent to the Olympic Games for the senior age group. If you enjoy a particular sport, imagine representing your country in the Masters. It could be a dream comes true. What’s stopping you? Start training now. You may not make the team, but you’ll have a lot of fun trying. Just think how fit you’ll be.
To determine your own list of priorities, find a relaxing place, close your eyes and imagine you have the perfect life. Look around you. Where are you? Who’s with you? What are you doing? How do you feel? Open your eyes when you have finished indulging in this vision. Can you make that vision a reality?
The range of options available to you is virtually unlimited, so determine what interests you the most. How can you prepare to take on these activities, what financial requirements may apply, and who else will be involved?
Don’t wait for your life to come to you!
Many of us insist on living in a fantasy world, thinking that if we wait patiently, something will magicly appear in our lives to reward us with the future we’ve always longed for. Stop dreaming of winning the lottery or meeting generous millionaires who will take care of all your wants and needs for the future. Do something for yourself.