When it comes to living a successful life and creating your own life by design, it would appear that most Americans seem to miss the mark.
This is especially true when it comes to the idea of “retirement”. That is the target where people feel that they can finally really enjoy life on their terms and have enough financial backing to live this dream.
It is also somewhat of a myth as most never achieve this personal utopian dream. Some of the concepts that will be discussed have been brought up as well by Andy Shaw in his wonderful works on Creating a Bug-Free Mind.
Let’s take a look at the typical life track that most Americans go through.
- They go to college or trade school without much guidance
- They choose a degree program based on possibilities not what fits them
- They find a job or several different jobs due to downsizing
- Might get married and have children
- Get stuck in a career or careers that they hate, but have to do because of obligations
- Look forward to retiring so that they can quit a job they hate and maybe do what they wanted to do all their life
- Most cannot do this retirement part on their own terms due to continual family concerns and lack of financial resources
- They keep working close to their 70’s in a job they do not like
- Maybe finally retire but are now too unhealthy to really live
When looking at the etymology of the word retirement we find that it has meant in the past to retreat or withdraw into seclusion.
Now that is really living life to the fullest, right? Working forty plus years in a career we hate just so we can withdraw into seclusion!
This is somewhat insane, and we think that there is a better way to live. This is covered in detail in Chapter 22 by Andy Shaw in “Creating a Bug-Free Mind”. Basically, the concept is that people only retire from a job that they hate.
The question is why you would wait until you’re eligible to retire if you hate your job. Do we not have any choice anymore as to how we should live our lives? Isn’t living a happy life in the now the way everyone should be living their lives?
There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working.
– Robert Half
Well, I love my job so why should I retire?
If you loved the job, looked forward to doing that job, and had a strong sense of fulfillment and purpose why would you ever retire from it? The answer is that you would not. You would keep doing it.
This brings us to the conclusion that the herd mentality on retirement is not living at all. It is wasting the precious life that you have now, in exchange for something that may never come true in the future. So I think that just maybe there is a better plan.
I challenge you now, to be honest with yourself if this is this what you really want to do or you’re making this decision out of fear. That you are afraid to get out of your comfort zone. That you have routinely been doing the same thing for twenty years and you are fearful of change.
First of all, you need to live now, in the present moment. Your only real life is the life in the present.
The past is gone and is not to be regretted. The future is not here and is not to be feared. Only planned for!
Real living is enjoying each and every minute of your life in the now. It is about spending those precious times and memories with your loved ones. It’s not about just work experience anymore; it’s about life’s experience. It’s about finding your real purpose on this earth.
My idea of retirement living is to wait until full retirement age so I can enjoy my full SSS benefits
What is your full-benefits Social Security age? Is it 65, 67 or 70? I’m sure you will net out more money if you retire at 70 but do you financially really need to wait? Get that spreadsheet out, check your finances and do the math.
Where do you go from here?
The best way to do this is to start today to create your life on purpose and by your personal design. Ask yourself and find out what makes you truly happy in life and start to do that. Start your journey by getting involved in the concepts of Success Thinking. The key is to be able to do whatever you and your partner want to do during your healthier years.
Today may be the right time to press that reset button on your goals. Today may be the perfect time to change that retirement living mentality and begin a new direction.
Keep an open mind and do not be afraid of change. Life has so much more to offer than working for forty years. Start doing things that you like to do now while still working. You do not have to have that work-home and home-work routine every single day. You do not have to work on weekends simply because the pay is more.
Do not be afraid to break that habit.
Take the Happiness Quiz. You see, you truly do only have one life to live as far as we know. Why would you spend even one more second of it not living life to the fullest in the present moment?
Why would you ever again consider working in a job you hate for forty years to spend maybe twenty years pursuing the elusive retirement myth? Retirement living is living your life now!
No one knows if we will ever make it to retirement. Love life and live your life now!