With Age Comes Opportunity

Living in a youth-centered culture can sometimes prove difficult for older people who face coping challenges in today’s increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. Those born in the 1950s and 1960s built the economic models that remain the foundation of our economies today. Many have now retired or are considering retiring from their full-time occupations. Some may have started a second or part-time career, but others may have opted or felt compelled to cease working after years of loyal service. For many in such situations, the change in lifestyle and the transition to retirement may prove difficult. A study by Braithwaithe and Gibson shows that one-third of retirees have difficulty in making the transition from work to retirement.

There is an abundance of advice about how best to cope with such a profound life change. Staying relevant by making sure that life skills are up-to-date is an important first step-use it or lose it. Keep learning, stay curious, and pursue hobbies or interests with passion are also important initiatives for those transitioning towards retirement. Staying socially connected by activating or re-activating networks is equally important-don’t quit playing.  We are social animals so maintain a social life with active social engagement. Embrace life in a new way. It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years-Abraham Lincoln.

There is little point in spending time constantly looking in the rear-view mirror; rather, stay in forward gear. Live in the now and plan the future. We create our own reality in the way we think and the story we tell ourselves. Watch that inner voice that can default to negative thinking and be determined to embrace positivity. Happiness is a mental and emotional state of being. Positive people take charge of their own lives and state of mind and will not blame others or circumstances for how they feel.

If you are a retiree or heading towards retirement then this is the time in your life when you should not act your age. Be what you want to be rather than what anyone else tells you you should be. You have a choice, so be determined to create your own life. Many people create some new version of work. They make a life by doing what they are good at or what they like. Embrace life in a new way. Look at aging as ascending a staircase. You gain wellbeing, spirit, soul, wisdom, the ability to be truly intimate, and a life with intention-Jane Fonda.

Maybe we often tend to evaluate people on the basis of what they do for a living. How often have we asked people what is their occupation as we sometimes evaluate human worth through status? But there should be more to life than the job we do. You are a human being, not a human doing-Wayne Dyar. I have a poster on my office wall which reads: Noone on their deathbed ever said they wished they’d spent more time in the office. Food for thought!

You own your time so use it wisely.  Positive anything is better than negative nothing-Elbert Hubbard. A positive mind sees a positive world. You become what you believe and this is true at any age or at any stage in life. As George Bernard Shaw once said: Life isn’t about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself. This is true for all of us at any age. There are opportunities for happiness and laughter and there are opportunities for fulfillment. Age should not define us; our attitude should not limit us. Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground-Theodore Roosevelt.

(Feature photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash).



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