Don’t Wait For A Lottery Win

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The Pursuit of Happiness

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”, the full quote of which reads “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”[1]. “Men” in this context includes both sexes and should therefore read “people”.

Happiness is not guaranteed by money, a good education, or many hours of free time in which to procrastinate.

To borrow from an earlier chapter in this book we can describe happiness as a “now” feeling, bringing together the recent past, the “here-and-now” and possibly a bit of the near-future – and your perceived ability to be in control and to influence it. This reflects much of whom you are and your circles of relationship within which you live and are a part of.

  • Are you willing to be happy?

In 1960 in a small Namibian town, Jack won a lottery of GBP30,000 – equal to 15 times his then annual wage. Jack was back working on the railways within two years with all the money spent and not much to show for it – no richer and no happier.

The message is clear: Don’t wait for a lottery win to make you happy. Review your life periodically. Revaluate where you stand. Rejuvenate yourself for the next cycle. Re-affirm your passions and purpose, your vision and mission. Develop an action plan to execute what you will be doing on a daily basis. Sing and live your “unsung songs”. In so doing, break the “old mold” and let the inner beauty of who you really are shine through.

You will discover

–        the value of your own legacy and the usefulness of your life

–        how to live your life – not someone else’s by extension

–        that you are still continuously growing as a person

–        your custodianship of God’s Gifts of Life and Time

–        your balance in Life – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually

–        and therefore your true happiness and that which you are rightfully capable and proud of.

The Beatles[2] song of the mid-60’s might have sounded frivolous but it captured the true essence of the relationship between money and love – and other unseen things, such as happiness, true friendship, health, humility, yes even salvation.

You may be able to buy a heart transplant or a triple bypass but what are you buying in reality?

  • The preciousness of life and more time on earth with your loved ones.

[1] This is part of the text of the second section of the United States Declaration of Independence and which was in large part drafted by Thomas Jefferson, before being adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

[2]  The Beatles was an English rock band formed in Liverpool, UK, in 1960, and became the most commercially successful band in the history of music.

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8 Important Elements of Life

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What is Retirement?

In today’s fast-paced world retirement is constantly being redefined but at the heart of it all it has to do with allowing you more control over the most important elements of your life.

Which are those you may ask?

In many people’s minds – including authors of multiple books on retirement – it centers on “enough money and a place to call home”.

However, somewhere around three months into retirement the reality starts to dawn that it is much more and encompasses a number of interrelated components, i.e. your

–        passions and how you see your purpose – basically “who you are”

–        relationship with your partner and others

–        wellbeing and all aspects of health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social

–        hobbies, relaxation and creativity

–        finances

–        social and related matters

–        home and related aspects

–        “unsung songs and time-buried treasures”.

Retirement is thus a life-changing transition that you must take control of, and since the only retirement is a purposeful one you purposefully need to replace your earlier workplace structure with one that supports your retirement.

I have witnessed firsthand how family and friends negotiated their transition into retirement with varying degrees of success and failure given the above parameters. Some turned hermitic, shutting themselves off from earlier friends. Others became restless and frustrated whilst the remainder settled somewhere between quiet acceptance and transitioning easily into their rhythm and stride around 18 months into this phase.

Four Ages Meet Four Pillars

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Chapter Thirteen

Bringing It All Together

Life is Priceless

“Life, including retirement, is priceless.

Do not procrastinate it away”.

Money can be printed. But Time and Life cannot – they are God-given Gifts. Treat them with the respect they deserve.

~~~~~

What are you going to do with the 30+% of your life that you will be spending in retirement?

William Sadler’s four Ages of Living can be used to put the continuum of life into perspective, i.e.:

–        The First Age is for Preparation

–        The Second Age is for Achievement

–        The Third Age is the Age of Fulfillment

–        The Fourth Age is the Age of Completion.

With so many talented baby boomers arriving at The Third Age it may well become the Age of Extended Achievement.

This stage of your life brings with it a newly gained freedom and maturity within most if not all aspects of life, allowing you to see it from a different perspective with which to unlock the Real You.

Up till retirement day your life in all probability revolved around, and was embedded in a milieu which was at most only partially of your making and representative of what you did at work, including meetings, spending lunchtimes with friends and other activities that absorbed the larger part of your day and at times part of your evenings and perhaps even weekends.

This must now be replaced by a new in-retirement structure based on – and this is important for spouses – an agreed vision and mission, whilst your purpose and passions will help to define and direct you in a sensible manner throughout the remainder of your life.

Jacques Delors’ third and fourth Pillars of Education i.e. “learning to live and finally learning to be” round this out perfectly.

Time is of the Essence – for you and all around you. Do not procrastinate it away. Find your “reason for being” to keep getting up in the morning. Re-invent yourself, dust off your unfulfilled aspirations, find new ones and put a plan in place towards achieving them since there is much to celebrate.