This could be the most important article I’ve ever written for you.
I didn’t renew my life insurance policy this year. No, I’m not going anywhere.
But when my insurance broker sent the cancellation of policy he also included a fascinating article on retirement. It really got me thinking, morbid as it is, about my own mortality and the importance of sucking the marrow out of life, no matter how old you are, while we’re still here.
BECAUSE I NEVER BELIEVED IN RETIREMENT.
Why? My Dad was a WWII returned soldier from the Kokoda Trail and Mum was a Nurse. Dad had a lot of mates who after the war, along with their wives, truly built this incredible nation of ours. Yet most of them kept thinking about retirement. It was the plan, the norm, the pattern back then.
So many worked their butts off, retired and then died 2 to 3 years later. That’s not a full life.
What was going on here?
There are all sorts of medical reasons why people die early deaths. However, it’s often much more than that. You see, we all need, crave for, long for MEANING and PURPOSE in our lives. Those men had a purpose. Work gave them that or at the very least some dignity.
Once it was gone, and if they didn’t fill that void with something of value, it quickly filled with despair and detachment.
The Mistake They Made.
I think, for many, they made a major mistake. They asked themselves “WHY am I working so hard?” (WHY FOR) and they answered: “to save or get ready for retirement”.
Sure, that’s a PURPOSE but it’s very stoic. Putting up with your current lot for some future pot of gold. Perhaps this is why they had the courage to go to war in the first place.
Dr Ichak Adizes (I’m a big fan) would argue that a better question, a more empowering one would be WHO FOR? or WHAT FOR? That would give us a sense of MEANING. A sense of significance and contribution. A purpose way beyond our own needs.
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Or are you just…
For me, my WHY was to give me freedom and choices. The choice to do what I want, with who I want, whenever I want. I was pretty happy with that for a long while, but over the last few years, it lost its shine.
Then I asked the WHAT FOR or WHO FOR Questions and this is what I came up with:
I’ve never felt more energised, more alive. Never had more impact, and funnily enough never had more work.
But asking WHAT FOR or WHO FOR is only the start.
If you’re not working towards REtiring what should you be working towards?
We should be working towards REcreating, not or REtiring.
In fact, don’t just leave it to your later years to be recreating, you should make “Re-creation” part of your life plan. To re-energise, renew and rebuild. That’s why we call it RE-CREATION.
Isn’t it fascinating that some of the richest people in the world, still work? Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Anthony Pratt, Harry Triguboff, all still work. I don’t think they need the money.
THEY NEED THE MEANING.
So Start Now
Begin to think about your re-creation now! Get used to doing it now! Get your finances sorted now! Know where you want to live now! Know how you’ll live, your lifestyle, now!
And then let your life unfold. Who knows what lies ahead. But once the above is sorted, or on its way, you get to really experience how your leadership can make a real difference.
Our Leaders for Life™ Community
And that’s where being part of our community, our tribe of leaders can help. Help you to have a better life at every stage of your “Re-creation”.
It’s why we call the community “Leaders for Life”. It’s the beginning of your own personal re-creation.
If you passionately believe:
- Your leadership can make a real difference. That it can give people more “life”, not just make a profit.
- That developing leadership skills is a lifelong quest.
- That anyone can lead in their life from any chair, a title is not required.
- That the purpose of leadership is to give you more life not to suck the life out of you.
- That you’ll dedicate your personal energy to building truly human enterprises; organisations full of life.
- That your leadership must have a life beyond you. That your real role as a leader is to develop the leaders around you.
- That your leadership touches every aspect of your life; your work life, your home life and your community
- That there is no life in being an organisational “success” and a personal “failure”.
Then you’re a “Leader for Life”. A “Lifer”.
Imagine All the People
As John Lennon told us “Imagine”. Imagine all the “lifers” getting ready to do even more charity work. Getting on Boards, mentoring young leaders, sharing their wisdom, helping the charities so dear to their hearts. In other words, perhaps the purpose of all those years of working and learning as a leader were for this one key idea, that..
“THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS A LIFE OF PURPOSE” Tweet This!
So there you have it
- Don’t work until your REtirement. Build your REcreation into your life on a daily basis.
- This will get you ready for your ultimate “re”creation when you stop working.
- Go from asking yourself WHY to asking WHAT FOR or WHO FOR to continually “re”create
- Develop your own WHAT FOR/WHO FOR mission.
- Don’t wait until you “retire” to embrace your mission.
- Make it your life.
Until next time…
Find the Passion
Develop the Skills
Make the Numbers
Make a Difference
P.S. Just as we have a human life cycle, there are organisational “life cycles” too, where we must continually re-create ourselves too or fade away. If you’re interested in organisational lifecycles and how they can re-create your business contact us for more information – CLICK HERE.
P.P.S. If you’re not already receiving our Leaders for Life Community emails, you can subscribe here.
Paul Mitchell (@Paul_S_Mitchell) is a speaker, author, transformational leadership coach and founder of the human enterprise. Through leadership coaching, leadership development programmes, keynotes and facilitation, Paul works with organisations to build cultures where everybody leads.