Retirement is a goal for the dead.
As a goal in itself, retirement represents the pinnacle of life and carries with it the promise of enjoying our best years as a reward for all of our efforts.
However, countless studies actually say otherwise, that retirees often die within 10 years. It’s almost as if work is what actually keeps us going! Maybe we were not meant to retire and become creatures of comfort once we’ve paid our dues. Counting our gold and patting each other on the back as we dine in luxury might not be that healthy!
We were made for more! The deception of the retirement goal is that we’ll be really happy when we can please ourselves and, if we’ve been clever with money, we might be able to spend our last few years somewhere nice.
Now, I’m not saying that the older generation are a selfish, treasure hoarding bunch, because I have personally experienced so much kindness from older people who wanted to give me a helping hand. What I’m trying to highlight is that there might be a truckload of different opportunities that fit around this new found freedom!
The way I see it is that we can embrace all the different role changes that lie ahead over the years and one day look back on a life well spent. I don’t have to stay in one role, I can grow into others and be defined by more than just work.
I started as a thought and I became a son, then a husband, a father and one day there’ll be a time when I am a grandfather. And I won’t be retiring from that.
What I’m trying to say is that purpose doesn’t stop, even when we stop working for money. Purpose focusses on the role before us and we can use it to make an impact and be a positive influence. Roles do change but our impact and influence can steadily increase.
Retirement doesn’t fit the purpose model. That is the point. To truly be YOU, quitting on your purpose isn’t an option. Seeking an opportunity to make the right impact and be a great influence whatever your role will slow you down, but slowing down is learning to adapt. You might not do as much, but you might be able to offer more advice!
Purpose driven people don’t retire, their role changes.
When I reflected it on this I could see three distinct phases in the life of a purpose driven entrepreneur, business owner or leader.
You start on the journey. You have a master because you need to learn more!
You make your name. You live in the realm and create success.
You pass it on. What you mastered will then survive longer than your own lifetime.
It’s great to slow down, chill out more and prioritize more, but retiring your gift is one of the worst things you can do! It isn’t yours to retire because the world needs it.
You’ve spent all these years perfecting it and then boxing it away just doesn’t make any sense. When you see that the impact of your life HAS to go beyond YOU, life shapes itself with much more meaning!
The world around us needs to learn from the mistakes from the past and yet, too many of those with the wisdom to make a difference choose to rest instead. Having done the time, paid the price. However, if we are not to repeat generations of failure, we need to pass the wisdom on!
I guess, an impactful perspective is the realisation thast life does not end with us. That’s right, we have a responsibility to give those following a legacy filled with purpose!
A true hero lives long enough to mentor the following apprentice and watch as they follow the same path. That is legacy, building beyond you.
That is why Baby Boomers and their perspective is needed more than ever. You are not irrelevant, we need you! We need you more, really we do, we need to get back to the basics of humanity where ‘love your neighbour’ makes a difference. The previous generation made sacrifices to give us all a chance.
The motivation of wealth is to be free enough to build that way. For me, houses, cars, watches, gold and other assets increase your material wealth but they can distract you from true riches, namely people. Personally, I’ve spent more on people and invested in their lives because I consider it part of my purpose to help people push back on circumstances and embrace conviction. The other things will come, but my feed is about family, friends and a focus on helping others! They are the true assets to the community!
Wealth is about allowing you to be free enough to live out a pursuit of purpose and to make a difference. When the push back comes (the naysayers hate people who live on purpose) you’ll be free enough to live it out and show them an alternative path. The road less travelled.
The goal isn’t to demonstrate all the things wealth can buy. The goal is the wealth that freedom can give to advance positivity and call out negativity.
We live in a world where good men are silent. Social media is full of observers who seek both sides of an argument but will not like, post and share an opinion that seeks a differing identity for fear of reprisal.
You may have to face the uncomfortable truth as you step out of blending in to standing out. Your reputation will be questioned, jobs will be withheld and even your character will be doubted, but trust me in this, retirement isn’t and should never be the goal. Handing the baton over, having lived your life fully, should be the goal!
Retirement is touted as a reward and yet, in this, the priority of imparting wisdom is lost. A life of legacy should go from apprentice, to hero and then mentor. We are missing mentors, because too many people have checked out.
We were not made to be pleasure seekers only. Comfort should never be the goal. If it is, then you have a value problem. Conviction is the goal and a notable work always goes beyond one generation.
Check your current quest and if you are a Gen Xer, see if you are focussing on stuff to reward the hard work in order to show everyone that it pays! Sure, stuff can be enjoyed, but in 10 years those cars get old, that property will need to be redone, internally if not externally, and legacy is more than keeping things up to date!
For those Millennials (Gen Y) who chase after better and better experiences and flood social media feeds, behind the smiles there is a sense that there has to be more to life no matter how glamorous the location. Surely experience should have more meaning!
At the university of hindsight there is an older generation, wondering IF they would be heard. Father figures, mother figures looking to pass on wisdom gleaned out of wrong choices and failures, successes and wisdom. They have had stuff, they have had experiences and as they enter the twilight years, they have the capacity to share wisdom about putting the stuff of substance first!
For the older generation reading this, can we hear you? Will you step into an opportunity that presents itself?
Would you be ready to step up and talk about your flaws, failures and lessons and speak into our hearts and minds? We know you don’t want us to make the same mistakes!
There is a generation in a dog fight right now, fighting for their businesses, their reputations, their families and their legacy! Build on yours and reach out to generation now, today!!!