This is particularly appropriate for Independence Day.
For those of you who don’t know me, I decided to retire from work that was meaningless back in 1983 at the age of 28. I had already had a lot of great experiences and had done a lot of what I wanted, including working in the race car industry, the bicycle industry and several other things that were a lot of fun. I spent a summer hitchhiking around the country and spent a lot of time in the outdoors, doing music and doing sports. Then I spent a year working for Travelers Insurance and it was a major compromise of who I was. That’s when I decided to retire and ever since I have been having more fun and accomplished more than I would have any other way.
The new retirement can be a powerfully enriching time that goes far beyond what our parents experienced. But first, let’s look at what the old retirement really was. It’s a rather somber thing to consider but stick with it (or skip over it) and we will get to the new retirement.
Retirement used to mean leaving a profession or business that you had been in for most of your life followed by years of playing golf, vacationing and stretching your pension until you die. But for the majority of people that was never true. It was a fantasy that was sold to people to get them to continue to do work they hated or that was toxic to them. “Just hang in there until you retire and it will all be worth it.”
Meanwhile, they got high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, depression or other conditions that made the “golden years” a series of giving their money to doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. This was a high price to pay at the same time that many people are seeing their pensions devoured by inflation and business bankruptcies. Now they find themselves competing for jobs as Walmart Greeters or other menial jobs just to make ends me.
Enough of this. Let’s get to the good stuff. The New Retirement.
The new retirement is filled with creative and interesting opportunities. It can be the most significant part of your life with more meaning and a larger contribution to your well-being and the well-being of the community than anything you have ever done before. At the heart of it is a sense of mission that drives you forward and makes everyday interesting and exciting. And because you are doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels positive and creative.
The beauty of the new retirement is that it makes you healthier and stronger. It is typically more balanced and doing what you love is a powerful message to your immune system to take good care of you. When you are fulfilled by what you do you will find that you automatically follow healthier patterns with eating, exercise and rest. Happiness and higher energy are natural offshoots of this process.
First, decide what you want to retire from. Most people want to retire from commuting, stress, loss of control and many of the other things that are associated with the work environment.
Second, decide what you don’t want to retire from. Some suggestions are your creativity, having fun, making a contribution and being with people you enjoy.
Third, don’t wait to retire. Do it now or as soon as you can. Life is very short. Everyday is precious. Don’t wait to create what you want. Do it now. You can. It’s possible and doable. You just have to know what you want and then make a plan so it happens.
Start by imagining what your perfect life is like. Think about what you enjoy doing. Start by doing a treasure map to get more clarity. Don’t judge whether you can or can’t have it. Instead of being a master of limitation be a master of imagination. Remember that every great idea and success story didn’t exist until someone created it and the first place they had to create it was in their imagination. So start imagining what you want right now. It’s free, there’s no tax and no one can take it away from you.
As you perfect your imagination of your perfect life, you will begin to see how you can create it. It’s a phenomenon of thought that the more you focus your attention on something, the more you will notice things that are associated with your focus. It’s so simple that most people miss it.
As you begin to perceive things differently, the reality of creating what you want will come into focus. This is where it get’s really interesting. As you begin to realize that you have options, you will also start to notice the inner voices that will block you from moving forward. These are the negative tyrants that were implanted in your mind while you were growing up. This is what has been holding you back from doing what you love and fulfilling your potential.
There are ways to vanquish these petty tyrants that have held you back. It starts with you deciding to get rid of them (and any of the people who reinforce them) from your life. This is your next test. Do you really want to prosper and retire from the things you dislike or are going to be complacent and allow your life to suffer. It takes courage to separate from familiar things, even when they are things that are holding you back from what you want.
Throughout this process, having a support group or Mastermind group to help you stay focused is ideal. Working together to define your goals and stay focused can be very beneficial. Think of it as creating a personal board of directors. It’s a powerful committee that can change your life.
But it starts with you deciding that you want to do what you love instead of what someone has told you is what you must do. It starts with you deciding that you are going to start living your life now instead of waiting for a day that may never come. And it starts when you understand that you will be much more successful once you retire than you will ever be compromising your integrity, creativity and life force to fit into a role that is inappropriate for who you are.
I look forward to assisting you as you declare your independence from slavery and create the life you were meant to have.