Retiring: Do You Know What Your Purpose Is?

Retirement is now considered to be a new adult development stage in life. This is significant because it affects how you think about and plan for this 20 to 25 years in your life. Naturally, you want to be happy during this block of time. There has been some interesting discussion the last couple of months about recent studies that indicate the main path to happiness is actually having a meaningful life. This makes a lot of sense to me because directly pursuing happiness often doesn’t work.

In addition, it's known, no matter how old you are, that an authentic life must be a journey of meaning. You need meaning to thrive and to feel fulfilled. Without meaning it is easy to lose your way. This is especially true during the retirement years. The important question then becomes, What in your life makes you feel like you “matter,” gives your life meaning?

One way of thinking about meaning in your life is to find ways to continue to use your strengths to achieve your purpose. This means to experience meaning, you have to have a purpose. It can be thought of as a direction you are pursuing or a goal because it indicates movement toward something you value. It may be something you are passionate about or that is your personal dream. For example, your purpose might be to become the best at something that is important to you – being actively involved in something important to you, your relationships, being healthy and physically active, or finding ways to have fun.

There are many benefits of having a purpose or goal. It:

  • Stimulates you.
  • Enhances wellness.
  • Activates healing powers within you.
  • Motivates you.
  • Fills you with energy.
  • Keeps you youthful.

Do you know what your purpose is?

If you are having trouble determining your purpose, try answering these questions:

  • Think back to a “younger” you. What did you dream of doing?
  • What makes you feel like you matter, feel needed, or appreciated?
  • What are your strengths?
  • How can you use your strengths more often?
  • How can you use your strengths for a purpose greater than yourself?
  • If you had a business card, what would it say?

Once you think you know what your purpose is, choose to do things that allow you to use your strengths and live your values. Notice how you feel at the end of the day, what your energy level is like and how well you are sleeping at night. Take some time and write down what you are noticing. Do this several times a week for a month. Notice the difference it has on your life.

Comment below about what you have learned by knowing your purpose. If you are struggling to determine your purpose, we need to talk because it will increase your happiness and make this time in your life much more meaningful and fulfilling.

Until next time,


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