If you want to find true happiness in life you need to uncover what you are passionate about. Henry David Thoreau said, “It isn’t enough to be busy. Ants are busy. The question we should ask ourselves is: ‘What are we busy about?”
If you are retired or are preparing to retire you may need to find a new life purpose. Start by exploring your values and what is important to you. Just because you are leaving one profession does not mean you can no longer work in retirement. Perhaps you had a forced retirement due to the pandemic, or you still need money to fund your retirement years. Before you go rushing out to find a “job”. Take time to do some self-discovery, get in touch with your gifts, talents and what service or issues are important to you. What would you love to work on? Identify work that fits your personality. Think about the environment you want to work in. What type of people would you like to spend your time with in your new career or business? What would inspire you to do your best work and be your best self? Practice some visualization of what would be your best life. Perhaps there is something from earlier in your life that you have always wanted to do. Try to find work, be it paid or volunteer, which will give your life meaning and give you a sense of joy and purpose. “We find life meaning by pursuing purpose, and we often find purpose by helping others or giving back on a more global level”, Dr. Richard Johnson said. What can you contribute to the greater good of your community and the world? The world is in dire need of many things, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute your unique personality, talents and gifts.
You may want to try out a variety of different jobs, be they voluntary or paid to refine what you love to do. Maybe start that business you have always been dreaming of. Maybe you share your talents through consulting, teaching or mentoring. “Do your job naturally because you like it and success will take care of itself”, Norman Vincent Peale.
Here is an Excerpt from an AARP article by John Waggoner that is on the subject titled:
“Find your purpose”
“If you want to be happy in retirement, you need to feel like you have a reason for being, aside from playing golf or reading novels.
“In the first six to 12 months after retirement, most people are happy doing things they didn’t have time to do before,” says Klontz. But once the golf season is over and they have finished War and Peace, they become bored and start to wonder why they retired.
“It’s an existential crisis,” Klontz says. “You want to make a difference in the world, and if you don’t have a good answer for why you retired, you end up depressed.”
In earlier societies, people matured into different roles. “You may be too old to be a hunter, but perhaps you’re expected to teach or be a mentor,” Klontz says.
That’s no longer the case in modern society, so you have to plan your own purpose — and that may even be going back to work, says Ferrara. If you like to sail, consider helping to manage a marina, or start a sailing class for adults or teens. Want to make your local community better? Run for town council. “Retirement can be freedom to do what you always wanted to do but never had the chance to do,” Ferrara says.”