If you are retired, looking toward retirement, or just past the first flush of your career, you might think you’ve missed the boat on finding purpose in your life. The truth is, you’re in a better position than ever really to work out what matters, and what you want out of life. And even better, you’re likely to have all the skills you need to focus on your life’s purpose and go for it!
The experience you have and the knowledge you gained – both about yourself and your skillset, but also about what lights you up – make it even more likely that you’ll choose your authentic purpose AND be able to make it happen.
Here are three do-it-now tips to get you started.
Do-It-Now Tip #1: Set / Create your mindset
The first thing to do is to declutter your mind of all the preconceptions others have put there about what is and isn’t possible. No matter what your age, you can always choose to make your life different.
Society tends to bundle anyone over a certain age into the beige cardigan, stay-at-home, cautious-about-life-and-living slot but you certainly don’t have to accept that. Give yourself the gift of setting a different direction and adopting a positive mindset. If you haven’t quite got the handle on it yet, you still have time to create an empowering mindset.
Warren Buffett is eighty-eight years old and still one of the most successful businesspeople in the world. Picasso didn’t just drift into age-related slowdowns or deterioration but continued to paint with passion and purpose until he passed away at age ninety-two.
Look around you and you’ll see that some of the most energetic, passionate people are older than the conventional retirement age. If you don’t know anyone personally, do a little research and you’ll find that there are people of “advanced” age who are moving, shaking, and making things happen, chasing their dreams and reconstructing their lives.
They decided that age wasn’t going to hold them back, then, with that action-oriented mindset, they took positive and productive steps to make their dreams a reality.
Do-It-Now Tip #2: Work out your heart’s desire
Do some work really to find out what it is that you genuinely want. Take the money and social expectations out of the equation and dream big. Do you want to sail around the world? Lead art tours of Europe? Branch out into art or writing or wellness? Become a yoga teacher. Learn an instrument or join a choir? Do some brainstorming and work out what makes your heart sing, then put together an action plan to help you get closer to it.
Remember – baby steps forward are still steps forward, and if you start right now, right where you are, those baby steps will get you closer to your goal. Continuing to analyze and dream without action just means you’re passing time – which you can’t get back! Even if it takes a little longer than you want, striving to achieve your dreams is a terrific way to energize your daily activities and give you a new sense of purpose.
Do-It-Now Tip #3: Plan and strategize
Approach this as you have many times before with personal or work-related projects. That is good advice for anyone, but the advantage of age, maturity, and experience is that you know what to do. Having worked out your big goal, sit down and work out what you need to get there.
What skills do you already have? What training or courses might you need? Whether it’s writing that novel or retraining for a new career, take the time to plot out a plan of action and a timeframe. Set some milestones and allocate resources and you’re off!
Set short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals that will help you achieve your ultimate positive outcome. Enlist the help of family and friends if you need it – it can be easy to get assistance if you’re excited about your big goal and share your enthusiasm.
Do your research – do you need to take a class, find another text or instructional manual, or even shadow someone who’s doing what you want to do for a week or two? There are several ways to see what it is you need to do and close any skill or knowledge gaps you have. It’s never too late – not if you’re still passionate about your goal and still living your life.
No matter what your age, taking the time to sit back and find your life’s purpose has been shown to have real benefits for your mental and physical health. Purposeful adults live longer and healthier lives and deal better with stress, whether it’s a career change, a new passion, or sharing your life skills through volunteering.