But according to the new book, “Who do you want to be when you grow old? The Road to Purposeful Aging, ”by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro, Finding a goal in retirement is not just fun-to-have – This is a need.
“The data is clear,” Leider told me recently. “The goal is fundamental. It is critical to your health, healing, happiness, and ultimately longevity.”
Leider knows what he’s talking about. He has researched the subject for more than four decades, is the founder of Inventure: The Purpose Company, and has written nine books on purpose, six with Shapiro.
In his latest book, you’ll find the following tools, knowledge, questions, and exercises to help you open your goal as you age:
Describe the best chapter of your life. What made the best of it? How can you publish these features in the next chapter?
Ask yourself, “How can I grow and give?” Review your calendar. Agree with you regularly to grow and give.
Who is your role model in aging and why do you admire this person? What characteristics of aging does it embody?
In July, I spoke to Leider by Zoom
to learn more about his research and new book. The highlights of our interview are:
Next Avenue: A goal means different things to different people. How do you define a goal?
Unfortunately for Richard: The definition of my goal has evolved over time. However, there are some defining features that have remained the same.
Purpose is a verb; it is action-oriented and dynamic. That’s the answer to the question, “Why are you getting up in the morning?”
If you enjoy doing something – writing, solving technical problems, or cooking – this is probably one of the gifts you need to achieve your goal. Combining this gift with your passions and values can be an indicator of your purpose.
Is it really possible to “find” your goal?
This is a misconception. In practice, the goal does not wait to be found. Everyone has a purpose, but it rarely manifests itself.
You need to make a choice to discover your purpose, be curious and make connections with others. It is an iterative process that evolves and changes with age, so it is important to re-evaluate your goal on a regular basis.
While working as my retirement coach, I have found that people may feel overwhelmed by the concept of purpose. Does having a goal mean you have to do something monumental or life-changing?
This is such an important point. Although I believe that the goal involves changing other people’s lives, that doesn’t mean you have to pursue the goal with a capital letter P, such as finding anti-cancer treatment.
North-west: How to fight boredom in retirement
I like to say that there are 1440 goal opportunities (minutes) per day. Every minute is an opportunity to step into a purposeful moment – you hug someone, offer a good word, or call someone you don’t usually talk to. It feels good to change something and be connected, even if you do it in small ways.
The book contains a three-step framework for opening a goal: Find out how you want to help; Find out who you want to help and find out what motivates you (and what exhausts you). Can you describe these three steps in more detail?
If you plan to grow with your age, you will need to reconsider your gifts. Ask yourself: what do I really love to do? What do I want my legacy to be? Then think about how you can best use these gifts to solve an urgent problem, help someone, or contribute to others.
When you do this, you put yourself on the path to purposeful aging.
Do you have the latest tips you want to share?
A very simple but effective step is to post a “Grow and Give” note on your mirror as a daily reminder to ask, “What can I do today to grow or change something in someone’s life?”
By constantly considering and acting on this issue, you will slowly develop a goal.
Finally, in this next chapter, be intentional about the people you surround yourself with. From the Harvard Adult Development Survey, we know that close relationships keep you happy for a lifetime like no other factor, including IQ, genes, or social class. Having meaningful conversations with close friends can help you clarify your purpose and motivation to act on it.
Nancy Collamer, MS, is a semi-clothing coach, speaker, and author of Second Careers: 50+ Ways to Benefit from Your Passions in Retirement. You can now download her free workbook “25 Ways to Help You Identify Your Perfect Second Book” from my MyLifestyleCareer.com website (and you can also get her free bi-monthly newsletter).
This article is reprinted with permission NextAvenue.org, © 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
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