It’s Only the Rest of Your Life | Baby Boomers
Imagine you are getting tired, not the tired at the end of a day, but tired of what your are doing and how you are living. We have all felt that at sometime in our life. Sometimes when people ask me about what I do for work, I say that I help people answer questions, such as “What’s Next?”, or “Should I leave my job?”, or “Should I sell my business?”. In many ways, what people should be asking is, “who am I at this stage of my life?”, or even better, “Who do I want to be?”.
In our work at STPI, we often talk about the classic choices given to late-career folks by our society:
A) Retire to the Golden Years
B) Keep Working
C) Die (OK, that is not what people want us to talk about…)
What do you think of when you hear “The Golden Years”? Maybe sailing into the sunset? Or the often-said “golfing, gardening and grand-kids” (I call them the “Three Gs”, by the way). Does that sound fun or exciting, or more like just relaxing; maybe that sounds like a duty to you? Many of us have raised our own kids, do we REALLY have to BE THERE to help our kids raise THEIR kids? Hmm, maybe not after all. We know there are a lot of laws about parents’ responsibilities, but grandparents – not so much. Does relaxing and watching the days fly by, feel like you would be getting the most out of life?
What do you think of when you hear “I’ll just keep working”. Does that sound fun or exciting? No?, probably not relaxing either. Do people keep working for the money (some do)? Do some do it because “they love it”, I suppose that’s true. Do some people say, “I can’t think of anything better to do, so I’ll just die at my desk”? They do, but have you considered what that means – “there is nothing more important that I want to accomplish in my life than to keep working”. Is that what that means to you?
Do you think Retirement or Work should be the only choices? I say, no not really.
The question we should be asking is, “How do I get the MOST out of the REST of my Life?
Now you are talking about digging into what you want OUT of life, as opposed to what life happens to be revealing to you right now, or what our society tells you how you should be feeling.
Maybe if we start by thinking about expanding opportunities beyond the “Three Gs”, we can envision something beyond the desk or the garden. In fact, maybe the desk and the garden can BOTH be part of our new life. (A little more garden and less desk would be nice.)
Maybe you can start by asking this question, “If I could have both desk and garden, how would I do it?” Maybe you can do even better by writing that down and thinking hard about your life today. Think about your education (in school and in life), your major transitions in life (education, marriage, kids, divorce, homes, jobs, loss of loved ones, etc.). What did you learn from each transition? How can you apply those lessons to this new chapter of life? Think about your fears. Do you fear losing connections from work? Do you fear losing connections to your kids? Do you fear losing the prestige of your career? Do you fear losing your work identity because that is how you have defined yourself for the past 20, 30 or 40 years?
When you are prepared to go on a deep dive, that is when you will be ready to make a successful transition to this new chapter in life.
Hope I didn’t give you a headache…
If you’d like to assess how ready you are to make this make this major life transition, download the free “How Ready Are You? Assessment by clicking on the image below or here: