This May Hurt, But It’s Worth It…
The importance of change in retirement
How often have you heard the phrase ‘no pain, no gain’? It’s wildly overused, but it’s true.
Breaking up a relationship, fasting, even sugar-strip waxing… We all do things we know will hurt because, in the end, they make our lives (or our legs) so much better.
Change is everywhere. We do it our whole lives through. Change is how we grow.
There’s a common misconception that in retirement we’ll change. Overnight, we’ll shake off all the burdens that weigh us down, all the struggles we have and all the chains that bind us to one thing or another. This does not happen.
Retirees don’t suddenly become free birds – able to fly away to whimsical destination, after whimsical destination. There is a great deal holding them back.
Most retirees stop changing and, in doing so, stagnate.
Change is possible
I’ve lost count of the number of times people have said to me, ‘I’d love to do this or that, but I can’t, I have an elderly mother to look after.’ Or: ‘My friends would laugh at me if I said I was going to do that.’
My answer: you can do those things and you must. You just need to find a way.
Change isn’t painless
I won’t lie. It’s not going to be easy to tell your children you can’t look after the grandchildren every day after school or your golfing buddies that you won’t see them in the 19th hole. Even harder, to find other people to care for your elderly relatives. But if you’re going to be truly happy in your own life and find your own purpose, you may just need to rip off that band aid and do what you need to do.
Start with your tribe
I often talk about ‘finding your tribe’ – that’s a group of people with similar interests, attitudes, and desires to you. They don’t necessarily need to be your friends, but you must have a shared interest or goal.
Now, look at your friends. Are they still your ‘tribe’ or do you keep them in your life because they’ve always been there?
If the latter is true, then these ‘friends’ may be holding you back, telling you that your dreams are ‘senseless’, mocking your optimism and courage. If this is the case, then you should break free.
It’s your journey
Now, let’s be clear, I’m not telling you to cut all ties to your nearest and dearest the minute you’ve finished reading this blog or to suddenly become the world’s most selfish human being. But what I am saying is that you should start to put yourself first. Listen intently to that inner voice that’s whispering inside you telling you that long lunches and rounds of golf just aren’t enough anymore.
Retirement is the time to change. To be laser-focused on finding your North Star – your purpose and your passion. It won’t be easy, but it will absolutely be worth it. Take it from someone who knows.
And if that’s not enough to inspire you to change, think about this. Would your mother, son, daughter or best friend want you to be happy, healthy and fulfilled in body and mind or would they rather see you enslaved to their hopes, dreams and needs? I’m pretty certain that most people would want the very best for you, so go on, be brave and start changing the way you live today.
Books by George Jerjian
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