For the past six years I’ve been speaking to audiences of retiring educators. The morning sessions focus on financial preparation and legal information. Then lunch. Then me. When I take the stage, I make reference to the earlier topics, and then I say, “One thing I believe nobody has told you today is that most of you aren’t retiring.”
The room with 60 or 70 people is suddenly silent. If I’m reading their body language correctly, I imagine they’re thinking I know something about their pension that they don’t know—that the market crashed or the contract changed.
I don’t want to keep my audience in this state of anxiety, so I quickly add, “The reason most of you aren’t retiring is because this is how Webster defines retirement: discharged, aged, old, pensioned off, give up work, step down, and be put out to pasture. That doesn’t sound like me and I don’t think it describes most of you.” The group is quick to agree.
Instead of retiring, I suggest they are “graduating.” Remember back to your graduation day. Were you filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement and hope? Did you believe a world of opportunity was available to you? Life was wide-open for the making? Graduation is the new retirement.
Just as you may have changed careers over the past couple decades, you’re also free to change up what you do with your next graduation.
With a graduation mindset, approach your retirement with a sense of hope, anticipation and eagerness to make the most of this next stage of life. Trust that a great beginning follows an ending.
And now for my own graduation motivation, consider Mark Twain’s advice:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Congratulations on your graduation!
Copyright 2018. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.