Finding Meaning and Purpose Before Retirement

Author: Mark Danaher

Finding Meaning and Purpose Before Retirement


We all dream of that big day when we can leave our job and just relax each and every day! No plans, no worries, just time that we let fade away. While having every day as your canvas to create your masterpiece is awesome, it also comes with responsibility. Sleeping in and playing on your iPad gets stale pretty quickly. Knowing your meaning and purpose is vitally important for developing and living an exciting adventure in retirement.

We spend more time planning a two-week vacation than we do for retirement. The trick is that we need to do some work and planning before the big day. Your current meaning and purpose expires on the day you retire. You will need to find your next meaning and purpose before retirement. This is important because the two most vulnerable times in your life are the first twelve months after birth and the year following retirement.  No matter what you do, you need to take action now – whether in small steps or by diving right in – to be ready.

Here are some ways you can find meaning and purpose:

1.      Expanding your Social Network: Building new relationships with diverse people is a great way to learn new things and increase your network of contacts and opportunities.

2.      Investing in your Next Adventure: We all have many chapters in our lives. When one chapter opens another closes. Take the perspective that you are not simply retiring, but transitioning to a new pursuit or interest. This is the beginning of your next adventure.

3.      Volunteering: A great way to meet new people and to be in service to others. You build your self-esteem while helping others. You can volunteer at a great number of places from helping someone start a new business to feeding the homeless.

4.      Choosing your Attitude: The best way to approach any change in your life is with the right attitude. By choosing a positive attitude, you will open yourself up to many possibilities in your life.

5.      Being in the Moment: We all live a busy life at times. It seems like we never have a moment to breathe. Let meaning and purpose find you. For many years we are judged by our accomplishments at work – promotions, awards and bonuses. Now, we need to step back and reflect, listen to the world inside of us and start to brainstorm what our heart is telling us.

Finding meaning and purpose is hard, but with practice and patience, we can find our next chapter to living the good life!  

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