Do you remember those high school years when you were trying to figure out life? You had no idea what kind of career you would pursue. After high school what would you do? Where would you live? The unknown future seemed pretty scary. The thought about the future kept you awake at night.
It’s odd how, over 35 years later, life repeats itself.
When you reach 55 you start to once again think about the future. You’ve put in decades raising a family and building a career. But that’s all about to change. What will you do? Once you leave your career behind will you get another job? How are you going to pay the bills? Where will you live? The future, as you prepare to say goodbye to your career, can seem pretty scary.
At our age we often make decisions based on this question, “How should I spend this new chapter in my life?” Not a bad question. But here’s where it gets dicey. We’ve been taught that the “golden years” are all about us. We are told it’s time to focus on ourselves. And, for the most part, I’m not going to fuss with that.
But there’s a small problem. When we start to focus more and more on ourselves we become consumed with ourselves. You’ve seen people like that. Those who focus on themselves live in an increasingly shrinking world. EVERYTHING revolves around them. They become the walking definition of the word “self-centered.”
Trust me. You don’t want to spend the remaining years of your life in a shrinking world.
Instead of becoming self-centered consider becoming “other-centered.” You have arrived at the tipping point in your life where you are uniquely qualified to invest in the lives of others. In your journey to this point in your life many invested in you. Now, it’s your turn.
Here’s 5 reasons why you are qualified to invest in the lives of others:
- You have the time. Until now your life revolved around building a career and raising a family. The career is in the rearview mirror. Your kids are gone and raising their own bundles of joy. There is no better way to use some of your free time than to invest in others.
- You have graduated from the legendary School of Hard Knocks. You’ve learned the hard way the significant lessons of life. Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had come alongside of you 30 years ago and shared the lessons they had learned?
- You possess an accumulated wisdom which can only happen when you have five or six decades under your belt. You’ve learned about life. You know how to get around. You know the protocol of life. There are no hidden rules of the road.
- You need to invest in others because it will help you. When you help others it keeps your world from shrinking. You keep looking outward instead of gazing at your navel. As you help someone else it will keep you mind sharp and your heart soft.
- You have a sense of indebtedness which needs to be repaid. Think of all those who helped you in your journey. Who encouraged you? Who gave you sage advice? Who loaned you money? Who pulled a string for you? Who gave you a car? Who refused to let you give up on your dreams? Now it’s your turn. It’s time for you to pay back on your debt by investing in others.
It’s time to start investing in others. Start small with an encouraging word and move on to bigger things like mentoring someone who is just getting started in life.
Your life, instead of shrinking, is about to get bigger.