Retired, Not Tired: Go For IT !
(Extracted from the writer’s latest book, Retired But Not Tired. Courtesy- TOI, The Speaking Tree)
Congratulations, you have retired. But what next? Have you given thought to how you are going to spend next 25 to 30 years of your life in retirement?
You may have choices: enjoy life to its fullest, relax, watch TV, read newspapers from start to end, chat with friends, eat and drink what and when you want, play cards, window shop, go to places. But you can’t spend your entire life like this. You won’t enjoy them for ever. You need to engage in other activities also that provide you purpose, challenge, adventure and a feeling of accomplishment, happiness and satisfaction.
Retirement is not resignation from life, but an opportunity to live full, dynamic life. It is not a time to sit wait for destiny to show you the door, but to do something that would make things better. And in doing so, you also enrich your own life. This way, you won’t get into this habit of debating the meaning of life.
Purpose is the engine that powers and drives life. Without purpose, you would get bored and depressed. Wilfred Peterson summed the art of retirement thus: “Don’t retire…… aspire”. Aspire to work for those causes you have always believed in. Practise the art of filling your moments with enriching experiences that will give new meaning and depth to your retired life.
As a student, you wanted to become a professional. During employment you were too busy in earning money and accomplishing career oriented goals. As apparent you were busy raising family, and providing for your child’s education. Perhaps you did not have time or even the aptitude to understand questions like who you were, what the real purpose of your life was, what you real interests were. Retirement is the time to ponder over all theses questions and accomplish what you really want to do from the core of your heart. Retirement gives you ample opportunity to discover the real purpose of life and pursue activities that express your true self.
To fulfill only personal and selfish interest is restrictive. You need to reach beyond, to serve a higher purpose that benefits all. All your working life you have taken so much. You exploited natural resources and degraded the environment to make life more comfortable. May be you harmed others in furthering your own interests. What have you done or given in return? Perhaps nothing! Retirement is the time you could give something back to society.
Work now for those causes you have always believed in. There is an endless number of ways we can help make this world a more beautiful, loveable and peaceful place. Pursue one or more of these purposes in your retirement: helping the needy, doing the social work and community networking, promoting an environmental cause, starting a home for elderly, conserving heritage, fighting corruption, writing a book, inventing something useful and translating inspiring literature from one language to another.
These pursuits may not be very rewarding financially. However, they are a source of immense happiness and fulfillment, which is the core desire of all human beings. Sometimes you may even spend some money from your own pocket to benefit others. Remember: there is no joy like the joy of serving others.