Your life has meaning both in and beyond your career or job. In fact, your job is merely something to occupy your time while you fulfill your purpose.
A sad truth is that many people make it to retirement and never have learned or realized their purpose in life. They might have thought that getting to retirement was the purpose. Retirement is not the reason you are here on this earth. You were meant for more than just a 9 to 5 job.
What does purpose mean? Purpose is a reason you get out of bed in the morning. If you are waking up because your alarm clock is sounding off then that is a bad reason to get out of a cozy bed. Our purpose is rooted in why are we here on this planet. It is no accident that you are here, therefore, there must be a meaning or something for you to do.
For example, I am a Student Pastor. Now this blog post is not meant to be a religious diatribe, but rather to help you understand that wherever you are and whatever you are doing that your life matters. Because your life matters then it does mean something more than merely a dull routine that we perform each day.
Getting back to my example, I have come to understand that my purpose on earth is to help people and I currently do that through serving youth and young adults. I do this in a variety of ways but it is why I am here. Someday when I retire I will still have a purpose, which is to “help people” but in another way. If I am only here for myself then I have missed the point about the blessing of life.
You might say, “Well Dan, your career concedes with your purpose, but what about me?” Yes my career and purpose do work together, however, I have come to comprehend that the seemingly insignificant interactions with people have become meaningful. For example, getting coffee or food at a restaurant, I have perceived that my interaction with the barista or server could be meaningful if I am aware of the moment. There is a reason why the person has crossed my path. It could be to encourage them or help in someway. If I am open and aware then I can respond. Everything and everyone is important.
Life is not about get the gal or guy, get the car, get the house, get the great job, get the retirement, and then get the hell the out. I woke up one day severely depressed as a pastor. This led to a journey about discovering who I was and why I was here on this earth. I found out that life is not about what I get but what I give. Oddly or not, I came to understand that the more I gave the more I received back.
Retirement is great if you can put yourself in that position. However, if you are unhappy in your job then you will most likely be unhappy in retirement. The pit fall of retirement is that in can be more “me” focused. This contradicts the flow of life because it is not about me or you.
I encourage you to ask yourself, why are you here on this earth? There is a greater reason than to collect stuff. If you would like help in your journey then please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put in the subject heading, “Purpose.” Whether you are retired or on the way or not even close it is never too early, too late, or too anything to discover your purpose.