Monday, May 15, 2017

A Three Quarter Life Break-Through

I often read business and career books that are targeted for Millennials—people born between 1980-2000. I'm drawn to these books because I believe Baby Boomers have a lot in common with our younger counterparts. We're back to figuring out what to do with our lives. And like the Millennial generation, we want more—more meaning, more engagement, and more of what matters.

My recent library search led me to Adam Smiley Poswolsky's new book, The Quarter Life Break-Through: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life that Matters. Poswolsky suggests the pathway to finding meaningful work and building a life that matters is to "figure out your why: why you wake up in the morning and what you want to do for the world."

I believe the same advice applies to those of us who are looking for a three quarter life break-through. Retirement happens to be a perfect opportunity to invent a new path, bring meaning to our days, and create a life that matters. But to do this we need to know our why.

We know how days feel when we don't have a why. We mindlessly roam around the house or shopping mall, or pass the hours in front of the TV or computer screen. Retirement was supposed to be bigger than this. And yet, many days are thoughtlessly wasted with nothing meaningful to do. We need a why.

This past week I was speaking with a man who has been retired about 3 years. He admits that he's still floundering, trying to find his way in retirement. "I thought if I just worked hard there would be a rainbow at the end." What this gifted person failed to consider is his reason to jump out of bed in the morning. He needs a why.

All this talk about needing a why, leads me to the question: "How do I find my why?" If I knew what it was, I would be doing it.  I'm suggesting that you just start doing something. When something grabs your attention, pay attention. Take action. According to authors Richard Leider and Alan Webber, "The only thing worse than doing something that might be wrong is doing nothing at all—which can’t be right. Once you start to act, you allow surprises to happen."

A quarter life break-through requires us to accept responsibility; to stop waiting for a road map and start drawing one. We may not know exactly where we're going, but the journey will reveal interesting discoveries. Along the way, we'll stumble upon several reasons to enthusiastically begin each day. We'll know our why.

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

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