The Adventures of Retirement

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Retirement. What does that word mean to you?

From the time we enter our very first career, we are consumed with it. We start to save for retirement, plan for retirement and dream of the day when we reach retirement. I hear so many people say: “I can’t wait until I retire.” And my response is always the same: “WHY?”

My take is that people who look forward to retiring have something in their life they want to do more. They either want to read more or work in the garden more or spend more time with their grandchildren. They want more time to do all the things they can’t do now because of their current job. And for them, retirement is welcomed.

But what about those folks who are forced into retirement. For some reason their current career has come to an end and they’re just not ready for the next phase of their life. What does retirement mean to them?

This happened to me at the age of 63 when I suddenly found out that I had lost my job. I was stunned and confused and scared. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided to try Toastmasters. Just about everyone I talked to said it was a great organization, and since I had the time, I thought: Why not? That was the stepping stone that lead me to my current career as a Professional Speaker. Who knew? It certainly wasn’t something I would have tried if I was still working in my previous job.

So, to those of you who are forced into retirement, I encourage you to see it as a whole new adventure; a whole new beginning. This is your opportunity to explore a new world and try something that brings a smile to your face. It could be cooking or traveling or knitting. Possibly take some classes on the topics that interest you, talk to the people who work in the industry that intrigues you, take that leap of faith and risk trying something new.

Start with baby steps and see where it will lead you. You are about to go on the adventure of your life.

 

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Life’s Too Short for Annoying People

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

This morning I shared a cup of coffee and some great conversation with a dear friend of mine.

She told me that she just celebrated her 19 year anniversary with the love of her life. As a gift, she decided to write 19 reasons why she still loved him – one reason for each year they were together.  It was truly a precious gift.

That gave me an idea. What if I flip the switch and think about the people in my life who actually annoy me? You know what I’m talking about – it could be that co-worker who won’t stop chatting, or that boss who doesn’t give you credit for all your hard work, or that friend who only talks about herself and never asks how you are doing?

What if I take a closer look at all those people who tend to aggravate me and list just 5 things that are good about them? It could be something as simple as “they have a sweet smile” or something more obvious like “they bring brownies to work for everyone to enjoy.” I could even work on substituting words for their annoying behavior, like:

  • Cheap could be replaced by Thrifty and Budget Minded
  • Gossipy could be replaced by Informative
  • Unfocused could be replaced by Unpredictable and Fun

It just may help you see them in a different light. If nothing else, it can turn your annoyance into tolerance.  I’m not sure if it will work, but I’m willing to give it a try. What do you think? Are you willing to join me by looking at the annoying people in your life a little differently? The photo I’ve included can work as a wordsmith to help get you started. Let me know how it goes.

 

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If Fear Were Not an Option

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Have you ever been asked the question: “What would you dare to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Have you ever thought about what your answer would be?

Recently, a friend asked me this very same question. I had to think long and hard and I’m still not sure if I know the answer. Where would I be today if I wasn’t afraid of rejection or that feeling of not being good enough. Would my business be more successful? Would I have more friends?? Would I have taken more risks???

What would you do if fear wasn’t an option for you? I recently read an article that said the one thing that most people regret at the end of their life was not taking chances. I hope this is not one of my regrets. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, I’m going to keep asking myself that question: “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail.” In fact, I’m going to write it at the top of my whiteboard right now so I can see it every day. Who knows what new doors it may open – for both you and for me.

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Repairing Cracks with Gold

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Have you heard of kintsugi? It’s also called the “golden repair.” It’s the Japanese art of repairing pottery that has been broken into pieces. They actually use a lacquer and powdered gold to reconstruct the piece, putting the emphasis on the crack and the repair. The result is a renewed, reimagined and beautiful piece of artwork.

What a concept!

I couldn’t help but wonder: what if we applied this to real life? Think about it. All those scars and wrinkles and broken pieces we have accumulated over the years. Instead of thinking of them as damages, what about seeing them though the eyes of kintsugi – displaying them with pride and sharing the lessons we have learned along the way. Think about repairing them with gold to show the world just how valuable our broken pieces are.

As we move forward into the New Year, turn your regrets into repairs filled with gold. Put emphasis on what has been broken, repaired and reinvented. Celebrate all those challenges you have survived.

 

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