In today’s fast-paced world, retirement has become increasingly complex. It leaves us feeling trapped in a rigid, predefined stage of life. Many individuals are at a crossroads, unsure of what to do after retirement. However, there is a mindset shift that can liberate us and lead to a more fulfilling life—welcome to the world of “NEXTing.”
The word “retire” is a verb traditionally meant to stop what you’re doing. It was created in the 1880s in Prussia. It was a means to reward individuals engaged in manual labor as they aged and found it increasingly difficult to continue working. Other countries and organizations followed suit, establishing pension plans and safety nets for older individuals wanting to step away from the workforce.
However, the landscape of life has changed dramatically since then. People are now living almost twice as long as they did in 1900. The traditional concept of retirement is no longer rational. It has gone from a brief leisure period into a potentially 10-30-year stage of life.
This extended period has led many to reconsider their options, including continuing to work for income, pursuing passions, or dedicating time to causes they believe in. Today, work has shifted from manual labor to knowledge-based professions driven by automation and digital tools.
People are living healthier and longer lives, which opens up a wide range of opportunities for meaningful work well into one’s later years. This shift has blurred the lines between traditional retirement and work, leading to a more fluid approach to life. Life has become fluid and growth-oriented.
Instead of following a linear path from school to career to retirement, individuals will likely experience multiple careers. So, what can we call this new phenomenon? This is where “NEXTing” comes into play. “NEXTing” is an intentional living process that encourages individuals to think of life as a series of fluid transitions.
It involves asking yourself, “What’s next?” and planning for the many “next-selves” you will become over your 100-year lifespan. With NEXTing, you can turn your career into a dynamic field and make your life more fulfilling and purposeful. Here are some ways to start embarking on the journey of NEXTing to solve the retirement conundrum.
Self-Reflection and Goal Setting: Start by taking some time for self-reflection. Consider your current stage in life, your aspirations, and what brings you happiness and fulfillment. Set clear and meaningful goals for your future. These goals should encompass various aspects of life, including career, personal development, relationships, and leisure.
Create a Roadmap: Once you have identified your goals, create a roadmap for achieving them. Break down your long-term objectives into smaller, actionable steps. Prioritize these steps and establish a timeline for when you hope to accomplish them. Having a structured plan makes it easier to stay on track.
Embrace Continuous Learning: Recognize that learning is a lifelong process. Be open to acquiring new skills, knowledge, and experiences that align with your goals. Seek educational opportunities through formal education, online courses, workshops, or self-study. Continual learning helps you adapt to changing circumstances.
Stay Adaptable and Flexible: Life is unpredictable, and your goals may evolve over time. Embrace change and be flexible in adjusting your plans as needed. Don’t be afraid to pivot or explore new opportunities that align better with your values and aspirations. Flexibility is critical to staying fulfilled.
Connect and Collaborate: Build a support network of like-minded individuals who share your vision for intentional living. Engage with friends, mentors, or support groups. Collaborate with others on projects, causes, or activities that bring you joy and contribute to your growth.
Plan for Your Future-Self: Consider what your future self would like to do at different stages in life. Envision the possibilities, whether it’s a career change, a new hobby, or a philanthropic endeavor.
NEXTing is about continually seeking the next step that aligns with your evolving goals and values, ensuring a fulfilling and intentional path forward. You can embark on this transformative journey by incorporating these five points into your life. So, share your thoughts on this on our forum. Register today to stay in the movement of purposeful living.
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