We have been sold the idea that retirement has more positives than negatives. That it will be more pleasure than pain. Unfortunately many people discover the hard way that this is not true.
One of the main causes of pain during retirement is lack of meaning and purpose.
After spending a lifetime honing and developing skills, they suddenly have to stop using those skills. Retirees may feel a sense of loss and depression because they cannot do these activities anymore.
People may believe they do not have an opportunity to share their strengths and skills with others.
And they may think they can fulfill themselves with leisure activities.
So how does one successfully transition into retirement and still find meaning and purpose?
We all have something deeply innate in ourselves, some call it strengths, some call it flow, I will call it our VALUES, because it’s what we value individually and we find fulfilling.
If we can extract and identify exactly what our values are, what we find fulfilling, we have just found the key to our meaning and purpose.
These values can be found with some deep introspection, and by looking at some of the activities that we love to do.
Here’s an example of how I transitioned my values from one activity to a new set of activities.
I trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 7 years. I absolutely loved it, I trained 3 days a week for 3 hours a day. I was completely obsessed. I would endure all kinds of torturous workouts and battles on the mat to get my values fulfilled. Not even knowing what they were at the time.
After a few bad knee injuries that caused chronic lower back pain, I was forced to face reality and I had to quit BJJ. It was very depressing. I knew I needed some kind of replacement. So I asked myself a very serious question…
Why did I love BJJ so much? What exactly did I love about it?
After a few hours of introspection I learned that I loved the fact that there was virtually unlimited techniques to learn. I loved Learning. My top Value.
I learned that BJJ allowed me to to coach, teach and develop my fellow students. Another huge value of mine.
I also discovered that I loved the fact I could think up strategies to test on the mat. I love Strategy. My other Value.
Through this process I discovered my top 5 values. Then I asked myself…
What other activity or activities can I do that will efficiently fulfill these values?
At the time I decided that learning about Business (learning) would fulfill these values, and gradually over time it led me to Marketing (strategy), which led me to Psychology (coaching), which lead me to Life Coaching (all values), and here I am, getting my top 5 values met in a brand new way.
So knowing your values is extremely important if you want to maintain a fulfilling life.
Even during retirement you it would be wise to find ways to fulfill your values.
There is also a way to reverse engineer your values to get satisfaction out of tasks you may despise at the current moment, I wrote about that in this article.
To get help discovering your values and transitioning into retirement, please contact me here.
Life Coach Doug Spence