Why Do We Need A Purpose in Retirement?
Recently I was asked the question. “Why do I need a purpose in retirement?” The speaker felt he had worked hard all his life and now it was his time to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor.
At first I was stymied by the passion with which this gentleman spoke. It felt as if he was angry that anyone would suggest he needed a purpose. Eventually I gathered that his apparent anger was because he saw purpose as synonymous with work.
In many cases that’s true. When we see our purpose in life as synonymous with our work, we generally find greater satisfaction and success in our chosen occupation. It’s also true that a genuine purpose in life involves us deeply and orders all areas of our life.
Those who committed their life’s work to what was important to them were likely to find careers that were synchronized with their purpose and innate skills. Some say that happens only to the lucky few. However, I believe it can happen to anyone who genuinely seeks to incorporate their purpose with how they live their lives.
The same is true for retirement. Your purpose doesn’t have to be work related. It just has to be something that fills you with joy and satisfaction. You may choose to craft a different purpose for your retired stage of life than the one you had before. However, whatever you identify as your retirement purpose, it’s helpful to feel passionate about it. When you do, you will experience greater joy than you may have anticipated.
Benefits to living your purpose in retirement.
- A purpose gives us goals and goals keep us motivated.
- Motivation to do something keeps us active and healthy.
- When we are motivated and healthy we are generally happier.
- Healthy and happy people are better able to respond to new challenges.
- Responding positively to new challenges improves our self-image and satisfaction.
Now, can you come up with even one reason why you shouldn’t have a purpose in retirement? Remember, a purpose doesn’t have to be work related. However, it needs to be something you want to do, find enjoyable and gives you satisfaction.
What is your purpose in retirement? Does that purpose make your retirement years more meaningful? Please share your thoughts on how your special retirement purpose has made this life stage better for you.