The power that we all possess to envision an outcome, and then have it happen, is astounding. This is the one lesson that I would go back in time and whisper to my twenty something self.
About five years ago, I decided that one of my life goals would be to retire from the corporate world at 60. And I did it! I am now two months in, feeling fantastic and very excited about this phase of life. And like all journeys, the key is first figuring out where you want to go, with as much clarity as possible. Then have fun making and executing your plan on how to get there.
The first step for me, was to re-frame the meaning of the word ‘retirement’. While there are a lot of positive emotions, like freedom to do what you want, the word also conjures up fear. Fear that this is the end, the final curtain call. And when I announced my retirement from Philips back in April, the flood of emotions expressed by my colleagues, triggered many tears. I was so grateful for the heartfelt emails, conversations, and retirement events. It was difficult for some to understand why “someone at my age”, with so much more to offer the organization, was calling it quits.
The negative emotion that kept popping into my psyche was abandonment. (surprisingly not the worry of having enough money) Those last 3 months were far more challenging emotionally than I anticipated. After working 37.5 years straight with 4 different organizations, I guess the routine of work was much more than just physical and mental.
The reason that I went to work in the first place in 1981 was survival. At the time, I was happy with my ‘career’ as a rock musician. However, when the student loan guy started phoning my mother, that motivated (not inspired) me to use my business degree. I met many amazing and inspiring people throughout my career and am grateful for the Corporate experience.
Now it is time to REDIRECT my energy. To explore the 60+ phase of life and not be tied down with the responsibility of a Corporate gig.
As I used to tell my sales teams, it is now Onwards and Upwards. There are so many things that I want to do, like finally devoting enough time to get half decent at golf and studying/achieving certification in Hypnosis.
Like in Business Planning, you need to figure out first what it is you truly want to accomplish out of the gate, make a priority list, and then execute the actions required. Here are my top four:
- Work with my better half in her Young Living Essential Oils business. The opportunity to help others have a better life (physically, mentally, and emotionally), is the key to leading a fulfilling life. Not unlike my final career stop where we helped so many people live a safer life with Philips Lifeline.
- Pick back up on my music and entertainment talents. While I have always maintained and even improved my bluesharp and singing acumen over the years, now is the time to do it a whole lot MORE!
- Compete and establish a ranking in the over 60 division in Canadian Master’s Tennis.
- Continue to improve my writing skills.
I recently listened to an online seminar with Eckhart Tolle. He left me with this:
- The past is history
- The future a mystery
- But the Present is a GIFT!
This present moment is all we have, so take the time to smell the roses. Or should I say Essential Oils.