Posts Tagged ‘retire’

Ready to Die? Just Retire

July 20, 2010

Our culture has tried to convince us we deserve to be able to retire – to remove ourselves from this thing called work.  But is that a privilege or a curse?  Research continues to mount showing those who retire at age 55 have double the risk of dying before reaching 65 as compared to those who work beyond age 60.

In The Prophet, poet and philosopher Kahil Gibran says this about work:  “You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.  For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.”

Don’t become a stranger unto the seasons.  Don’t step off the platform of meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling work.  Gibran continues:  “And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret…..Work is love made visible.”

I know you don’t want to stop expressing love to those around you.

I’m planning for my retirement party and my funeral to be on the same day.

Never Catch the Fox

July 30, 2009

I had the privilege recently of meeting with a distinguished businessman.  And no, I didn’t go to a nursing home to see this gentleman.  Bill is now 81 years old but came to my office with a very big business proposal for a joint venture that would gain full benefit in the next 3-5 years.  He had a spring in his step and a sparkle in his eyes – obviously enjoying every minute of our business discussion. 

In asking a little about his background, Bill shared that he had some early successes in business and “retired” to an island just off the east coast in 1991 – eighteen years ago at the age of 63.  He had achieved the success he was looking for and would never have to worry about money again.  And then he told me, “Living on that island was the most miserable four years of my life.”  He returned to his roots in business and re-engaged in the daily challenges that drove him previously. 

His summary of what happened was simply – “Never catch the fox.”  What do the hounds do if they ever catch the fox, or what does a dog do if he actually catches the car?  Watch them sit down and lose interest quickly.  Cervantes said, “The road is better than the inn.” 

Don’t think reaching your goal is the only thrill.  Understand that the process of getting there is actually more thrilling than arriving.  I loved Bill’s gentle reminder to me to not just dream of the future – but to savor today.  Enjoy every step of your journey!