Do this important step before you quit or retire from your job.
Create the best exit strategy that feels meaningful with a purpose. If you plan to rest for a well-deserved break. Well, that’s all well and good. However, sitting is like the new smoking. Why is it so bad? When you spend too much time sitting it can lead to heart disease.
Trying to figure out what’s next can feel frustrating. Maybe you have the let go and see what’s going to happen. This tends to create procrastination.
At a popular worldwide empowerment conference for women, I was asked to offer one-hour coaching sessions for women executives. A top-level executive from a well-known soft drink company signed up for one of the coaching sessions. The organization paid for the session because she was a valued employee. I was impressed. After she retires from her job wants to teach in higher education.
In the book “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How To Finally Grow Up” written by James Hollis, Ph.D. He asks the reader eleven questions. These are two questions to think about:
Whose life have you been living? Why, even when things are going well, do things feel not quite right? My question is what is your plan after you leave?
Dr. Hollis is a Jungian therapist he quotes Carl Jung in his memoir “ Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness.”A meaningful second half of life enhances well-being and good health.
Dr. Scott Peck, M.D. one of my favorite authors published a great book, “The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety.” He states “If, As I have said over and over again, we are not here to necessarily be happy, fulfilled, or comfortable all the time, then what are we here for? What is the meaning of life? He goes on to say, “I believe the reason we are here is to learn, and evolve. By “evolve” I mean to progress.”
One day in tears because suddenly I realized both my daughters were attending college at the same time. Of course, I was a proud mom. The empty nest syndrome kicked in big time. A close friend said now it’s time for you to grow up. Wow! I thought I grew enough raising two daughters as a single parent. Our second half of life is an opportunity to learn and discover who you are to prepare for a joyful life being you.
I oversaw pre-admission counseling in Continuing Education for Women at Temple University in Philadelphia during the early ’70s. I counseled almost 400 women in one year who were returning to college after a long separation from education. Rewarding experiences came from watching women challenge themselves to rekindle their educational goals.
One 70-year-old woman who came to my office for preadmission counseling shared her experiences and passion for learning. Her age was no barrier; she had a passion for learning. Her energy was contagious. Many times when I was feeling drained at the end of a long day, she would bounce into my office sharing words of wisdom she learned in one of her new courses. She did accomplish her dream and graduated with an undergraduate degree. She left this life fulfilling her role as a minister and advocate, helping people to fulfill their dreams.
Before she passed away, I asked her what she discovered about herself after returning to school. She told me she realized her brain was not old; it could still take in new information. She proved that learning never stops, and with faith, you can achieve anything in life. It was clear to me that her meaning in life sustained her energy to fulfill her dream. If you want to transition to higher education, a second career, or a vocation. Or even retire. I believe a plan gives you the power to make good choices.
Like Dr. Peck, I am a spiritual person. Dr. Peck knows of God not only because of faith but also based on evidence namely his experiences of grace. Grace is how to learn to live in gratitude.
Both authors’ context in how to live while aging is the premise for my belief that our second half of life deserves a willingness to do our best to discover a meaningful life.
What is your why? Having a plan avoids trying to figure out what’s next after you rested and celebrated a job well done.
It’s never too late to late!
Love, Peace, and Blessings,