Does the Thought of Retirement Help us or Harm us?

You’ve heard it before – “Find something that you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” For many this is neither practical nor possible. Their thoughts comprise the following:

  • There are only so many people in the world and only so many “good jobs” out there.
  •  Additionally there are MANY things that we love doing but there is no way we can make money doing those things.
  • And finally it’s called WORK for a reason!

This is why so many people look forward to the day they could RETIRE from the drudgery and the dungeon of their working life. But let’s examine a little closer what this does in the context of our mindset. It means that we are biding our time waiting for the moment when we could retire and finally enjoy our lives.

In David Bach’s book, ‘Start Late, Finish Rich’ (which he’s giving away free for a limited time only) he says “I believe retirement – at least the way it’s been marketed to us – is a myth.

Here’s how the myth goes:

You can and should put off what is really important in your life now – because someday, sometime in the future, if you save enough money, you’ll get to do what you really want to do, give, and be.”

Here’s the truth about retirement:

If you put off what you want to do with your life for decades, with the idea that you’ll enjoy your life after you retire, you will ultimately miss your life!

I don’t think that anyone wants to miss out on their life; and I don’t think that as we plan for retirement that we think that this is what we’re doing. But it’s like the effects of a drink that was more potent than you figured when you first started drinking it – only to realize its effects when it’s too late and you are totally drunk and out of control!

Mr. Bach tells us that “the happiest retirees are people who have lived full and meaningful lives. The only thing that changes for them when they reach retirement age is that they are able to start tapping their retirement funds without being penalized, and maybe they bid adios to their regular jobs. Otherwise, they simply continue doing what they have always done – leading full and meaningful lives.”

If you find yourself thinking that you will be happy or find happiness only when you retire from your job then you are in BIG TROUBLE!

In a recently published book by Napoleon Hill called ‘Outwitting the Devil’, he calls people who do not lead meaningful and fulfilling lives – ‘drifters’. Sharon Lechter, co-author of the International Bestseller “Rich Dad Poor Dad” provides commentary in between paragraphs of this book and shares the following equation.

Laziness + Indifference = Procrastination = Drifting.

She goes on to say “This describers a true drifter as defined by Hill. Since I have been a true procrastinator for most of my life, this hits a little too close to home for me. I like to use the excuse that I work best under pressure – but this is all it is: an excuse for why I procrastinate.”

Can you think of examples in your own life when laziness and indifference led you off your path to success? When an opportunity slipped through your fingers because you were too slow to seize it in time?

Hill describes a list of how you will recognize yourself or others as drifters. Out of the 24 suggestions I will share with you these two:

  1. In brief a drifter will work harder to get OUT of thinking than most others work in earning a good living.
  2. If he works for others, he will criticize them to their backs and flatter then to their faces.

If we go back to the first paragraph we can see how we rationalize (tell rationale lies) rather than seek accurate information. We lazily rely on ‘what a friend said’, or ‘what we read recently in the newspapers’, or ‘on what others THINK about us’. We are so afraid to fail that we come up with all the reasons why it’s NOT possible to love what we do and get paid for it and the only time we will be happy is when we reach retirement.

Don’t be consumed by a future that may never come. Set a goal today to begin enjoying your life – right now – wherever you are. Decide on a major goal and start working towards that. There is a marked difference between those who get up and pursue a goal and those who give over their lives to everyone else to control by not thinking for themselves.

So you tell me – are your thoughts of retirement helpful or harmful? I read somewhere recently that “Failure means standing still between choices and never making a decision.” Time passes quickly, waits for no one and life guarantees nothing in the future. Find a way to lead a full and meaningful life NOW. If you do you are guaranteed happiness long after you retire!

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