Do you ever find yourself saying, “If only” …I had studied, worked harder or paid attention to my health? Do you ever think if you had invested in great stocks or moved to paradise your life would be better? Has this limited your retirement joy?
My guess is that, like me, most of us, have the if only feeling once in a while. Nevertheless, in retirement, we needn’t bother with that emotion. The truth is…we can’t change the past, so why bemoan our choices?
While celebrating a friend’s birthday the other day I was delighted to hear him say, with a contented smile, “I like being 72.”
This friend elaborated on how he felt he had done the best he could do. Sure, he occasionally thinks he could have done some things differently or not at all. However, his joy in the wisdom that comes with age was obvious. Accepting that we cannot change the past helps us evaluate our lives in a kinder light.
Retirement doesn’t mean we stop striving for meaning and joy in life. It is, however, an opportunity to free ourselves from negative self-judgment and open the gateway to positive emotions.
For many, time is another advantage of retirement. Despite the frantic pace that retirees often live, we do have freedom to be involved in activities that matter to us. It may free us to pursue goals left unmet in previous years or explore new goals . It’s also an opportune time to make sure we won’t be saying if only about something else in a few years.
According to relationship counselors, Kathlyn and Gay Hendrick, “IF ONLY” are dangerous words. They distract us from the real cause of our unhappiness.
This statement has an important message for retirees. Don’t let “IF ONLY” get in the way of the new-found freedom retirement brings. Decide what’s important, and if it’s not dangerous to yourself or others, MAKE IT HAPPEN. You have the power and, now, the wisdom to act positively toward the life you want to lead.
What’s your positive action for retirement joy? Why not use the comment section below to share your plan to make your retirement all you want it to be? If you want to make an even stronger commitment to a new action, post your comment on Facebook, Twitter or another favorite social media. Committing publicly to an action increases the likelihood of success tenfold. Now, there’s a path to satisfaction we can all follow.
And since I must practice what I preach my new goal is listed in the comment section below.