By Jane Sandwood
“Retirement is a blank piece of paper. It is a chance to redesign your life into something new and different,” said Patrick Foley, author of Winning After Retirement.
Unlike the old days, people today retire as soon as they achieve financial independence, and it is not unusual to find a retired 35-year-old who is living life to the fullest. Such people still have a lot of energy that they can leverage into finding their passion, thus redefining their experience. Working years are mainly income-driven as people look to climb the corporate ladder and create wealth. Once you retire, you can choose to continue working in the same field or step out of the comfort zone to look for something that you are passionate about.
Engage a life coach and talk to family and friends
A life coach will see you through the process of identifying your specific interests and help you evaluate your options. Together, you can figure out your core interests and cravings without the fear of holding back. Professionally, your coach will guide you out of analysis paralysis, giving you a clear direction of finding what you really love to do, and thereafter help you in making it a reality.
They also have the experience to train your inner self to become a positive influencer by connecting you with your spirituality, according to Naomi Arnold, an award-winning life and business coach. This is particularly important for seniors whose mental health has a significant role to play in their future wellness. Similarly, friends and family have been with you all your life, and they know what makes you happy. Interacting with these loved ones will be beneficial as they will support and empower you to finally be the best version of yourself.
Be willing to experiment and think like a child
At this stage of your life, there are no bad ideas. Do not disregard anything entirely just because you feel it is not for you. Probably you are still young, energetic and had saved enough money before deciding to retire. Rob Pascale, the author of The Retirement Maze, says that he always hated dancing but decided to try it by attending classes. After three years of commitment, he found it enjoyable and has not been able to live without it. Also, Arnold recommends that you think like a child, reflecting on those things that you enjoyed as a kid. For example, if you loved music, take it up a notch by learning an instrument or attending vocal lessons at a local college.
Keep a list of things that make you happy
Finding your passion after retirement is a work in progress, and you should note down the activities that you find enjoyable. Many people fail to reinvent themselves because of giving up, but Arnold insists that you will eventually find your thing if you keep searching. Remember to use your time constructively as it will help you achieve the much needed emotional well-being and a sense of self-worth. On the other hand, giving up will make you miserable in the long term.
Set the right attitude
Look at the process of finding your passion as an adventure and a new opportunity to learn new things and grow. Even if you don’t find what you are looking for immediately, don’t be afraid of getting it wrong and starting over. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door,” said the legendary Milton Berle. View the process as a journey with a happy ending, and use positive thinking as a tool to motivate your actions.
How do you want to be remembered?
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other materialistic possessions accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith”- Billy Graham. Contemplating the legacy that will live on for years after you depart can be a high starting point to find your passion. Imagine how your grandchildren would describe you when telling the family history to their grandchildren. Asking yourself this question can help you reinvent yourself and do something you will be proud of, and that will be remembered forever.
Consider following the footsteps of your idols
In your personal life, you probably have identified influential people who exhibit the same qualities as the ones you want to achieve. Remembering such role models can help to boost the exercise of finding your passion further. Consider embracing some of the characters that you admire and tweaking your behavior to match theirs. Is there a common trait that these characters portray that is attractive to you? As you determine how best to follow the footsteps set by your idol, develop faith in yourself as a character, and understand that they were once in your shoes. Remember that to be successful in finding your passion as these role models did, you must have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
After retirement, you have a personal responsibility to move your life forward. Retirement sometimes can make you feel like you lost your purpose since you are no longer working a regular job. But redefining yourself by finding your natural passion is entirely up to you. Some people find it in doing volunteer work, traveling, and blogging, among many other options. Living your passion after retiring will improve your mental and physical health, giving you a better chance of leading a long and satisfying life.