Success Myths: Purpose is the Road to Retirement

Jul 12, 2021

By: Robin Hannigan

Say you’re walking through the grocery store, and you run into a family friend that you haven’t seen in quite some time.  They tell you that they have just retired.  Most of us would respond with enthusiastic congratulations, perk up, and genuinely wonder how they are spending their time now that they are “living the life.” There would probably be at least a twinge of jealously, and a reflection on how your life would be different if you could be in their shoes.  But what if we could be fully present in our current season of life, and fully embrace joy in the here and now?

Paige Roberts did just that.  She could be so fully described by a single word.  JOYFUL.  She indisputably radiated joy in every circumstance and brought laughter and authenticity to every conversation she was a part of.  Every Wednesday she visited and bought coffee for her grandma so they could catch up.  She invested her time as a youth leader at her church.  Family was such a treasure to her.  She even traveled to a church relatively far away so she could see her extended family and keep strong relationships with them.

While Paige claimed to be far from athletic and coordinated, she joined volleyball leagues with co-workers and stepped in to substitute on intramural softball teams so they would not have to forfeit.  Paige joined women’s groups so she could build into other people as well as enrich her own life.  She spent several summers building houses for impoverished people in Appalachia.  If a friend, or even acquaintance, was involved in an activity Paige was the first to put it on her calendar and make her attendance a priority.  She never took life too seriously and was always ready for a spontaneous adventure. Oh yeah, and she had a great and stable job.

Notice that having a job was the last thing to come to my mind when I thought about Paige’s full and rich life?  She embraced the current season of life that she was in, and did not let her life revolve around her career. Paige was extremely responsible and had a well thought out budget but did not let money or retirement become the driver of her life. 

Who is Paige Roberts?  She was my lifelong best friend who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at the age of 29 on June 20, 2020. While the grief is still heart wrenching, her richly lived life made an impact on so many.  I have received countless messages from those we went to school with in middle school, high school, college, and early adulthood.  Some of which were from people who she barely interacted with!   They wanted to let me know what an impression Paige’s kindness and genuine care had on them, and how she impacted their life in her short 29 years on Earth. 

Imagine if Paige had focused on surviving versus thriving.  Or if she had made the middle portion of her life about accumulating wealth and working tirelessly so she could “have an amazing retirement.”  She would still be gone, but the paragraph you read about her involvement and impact on the world would have read a whole lot differently.  

Reject the myth that success is the road to retirement. No matter what phase of life you are in, live life richly and find balance and purpose.

Each of us is uniquely gifted to make a contribution that will benefit ourselves and those around us. In The Purpose Promise book and workbook, we explore the limiting beliefs that can get in the way of finding that Purpose in life. 

Questions to Ponder:

  • If you were to leave this earth tomorrow, are you proud of how you have invested your time, and the career that you have chosen?
  • Are you focused on thriving or surviving?

Habits to Cultivate:

  • Reflect on your weekly schedule and make sure you are intentionally spending your time in ways that you want people to remember you by.

If you are struggling with this success myth, grab The Purpose Promise book and start your journey to understanding how to craft your Purpose and find purposeful employment. We have helped thousands of purpose seekers obtain purposeful careers. You can do it too. We would love to help guide you.

Make the first step and take the Purpose Assessment now..

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