Accepting that retiring the word retirement may be an impossible task, we may find conscious retirement to be a more exciting aspiration. Waiting until we find ourselves out of work, either by choice or because of unforeseen circumstances, is not a conscious retirement strategy. We need to be thinking about what comes next long before we arrive at a place we might call retirement. We need conscious retirement strategies.
Conscious retirement strategies may include not retiring at all. This can be a transformative stage in our lives where we create new identities and new paths. We may still need to work for a living but maybe we make a greater contribution to our local communities or to social causes beyond where we live. Maybe we can begin to follow our passion. So many possibilities exist.
Understanding the word conscious when used in connection with retirement is essential for those of us who feel Too Young to Retire®. Conscious retirement is about awareness, intention, and responsible action. Increasing awareness of where we are on our life’s journey means being attentive to our careers, our financial situation, our relationships, and our future aspirations. With the future in mind, we need clarity about our purpose, why we are here and what we are being called to do; our intentions, how we show up in the world; and our commitment to taking action aligned to our purpose. Responsible action embraces activity focused on ourselves, on others, and the world we live in.
Noticing what is going on is an important theme in my book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership. This requires listening with all the senses, learning relentlessly, and living mindfully. It is time to wake up! We need to wake up to the messages we are receiving, listening to our inner voices and the external voices of those with experience and expertise with transitions in the second half of life. What are you hearing from your inner voices? Are you confident about your future? What are the external voices you need to be listening to and paying attention? If you would like to discuss these questions, please reach out via the contact page of this web site.