Imagine a time in which every person loves what he or she does every day. They love their work. They get up in the morning full of passion and an eagerness to get started into another amazing day. They all know why they do what they do. Whatever they do they start with asking why and aligning their work, products and services to the answer. Every bump in the road is taken as a challenge and a chance to grow. People collect happy moments of growth, connection, meaning and passion every day. Go ahead, close your eyes, see it, feel it, be there and enjoy the moment.
How did it feel? Would you love living in such a world? Would you love to get up every day full of energy to start into a new day of personal endeavors aligned with your own purpose of existence? I definitely would!
And that’s why I retired.
What? Yes, I retired. I have done it before and am doing it now again. No, I am definitely not of an age considered for retirement in any country. Even more puzzled? Okay, let me explain. Retirement is a time x in the future where you can do whatever you choose every day. You are free to do whatever you love on a daily basis. It is exactly the state of the world I have been talking about. People get up every day and have a full day at their fingertip to do stuff they love doing, bringing their unique gift to this world. All it takes is to be retired.
The problem with this, as you might point out, is that usually we don’t retire before we have reached our early sixties (some sooner, some later). Up until then a lot of people do some kind of work just to get by, which means to pay the bills. There isn’t much happiness involved. They might have resigned themselves to living this life but even then their fire is still there, somewhere deep down below all those layers of mean self-talk. Everybody’s light is there waiting to be uncovered – your’s too.
The process of uncovering your light can be an active one. A lot of people find themselves at a low in their mid forties asking themselves if this was all there is to their life. Many of them go on a journey of personal self-discovery and make changes to their life to live a more happy, a more fulfilled life. Some get a wake-up call from the outside through life shattering incidents. This might be a serious illness or accident. It might be the death of a loved one. It might be a natural catastrophe or something different altogether. No matter the source of the wake-up call, if it was from the inside or the outside, there is no denying that there is something more in your life.
You have seen your own light.
And it’s power might frighten you. When you let you light shine there is no hiding behind masks anymore. You will be seen clearly and strongly. You might not fit in with your old community anymore. You might need to find new people to surround yourself with. You might give rise to criticism and opposition. Are you ready for this? Are you ready to let yourself be seen, to let your light shine?
I know that this should be an easy choice and I know from personal experience that it is damn hard. I chose it once just to be so frightened by the results that I retreated again immediately. So I am retiring again right now. I am still not sure were this will lead me and how far I will get. I know that I am better prepared this time. I know that there will be reactions to my light, most of them will be strong, positive as well as negative. I have learned that both are just concepts. I have surrounded myself with people who stand by my side, who share my cause, who have my back if it gets rough. But most importantly
I have my own back this time.
I have seen people die long before they reached retirement. I have seen people work up until their last day, because they loved to work and contribute themselves. I have seen people who hated every day they had to go to work and I have seen people who came out of a major surgery asking when they could go back to work. We all are witnessing people like Richard Branson who see no reason to retire because they love what the do every day already. The only thing that divides the two groups of people is that one group knows their why, their purpose and aligns their life and their decisions accordingly.
My dream is to make a difference in this world by creating environments at workplaces and educational systems that encourage people to identify their why and align their life accordingly. Environments that thrive on people living according to their why and bringing their passion and whole being to work and school / university every day. Environments that appreciate and cherish the uniqueness of every individual being part of this journey. Environments that emphasize the importance of being human and facilitate human qualities like connection, growth, creativity and innovation.
My dream is to create environments were everyone is send into “retirement”, into a life of happy moments.
I believe that it is possible for everyone to live a life of happy moments, in alignment with their personal why, their purpose of existence. What do you believe? And what kind of difference do you want to create in this world? Please share in the comments!