Don’t resign for less of life, ReSIGN for more of life!
Imagine your son is a gifted gymnast. At the age of 4 he did an impromptu tumbling routine across the living room floor. In first grade he made a monkey out of the monkey bars. You decide to invest in gymnastic lessons. He works hard and becomes all-around state champ his senior year. After completing his college career, paid for by a free athletic scholarship, he has won every major award.
Then, every athletes’ dream comes true: He qualifies for the Summer Olympics. It’s his big opportunity. He’s worked hard. People have invested in him. No doubt he has skills. The training has paid off.
But suddenly, the unthinkable happens. He announces to the world he’s resigning; tapping out. He’s worked hard and now it is time to enjoy life. “I deserve this,” he says.
As a parent, what emotions do you feel? How would you react? What would you say? I know I would be stunned. He is on the verge of doing what he has prepared to do but taps out.
This little story illustrates the choice you face as you near retirement age. You’ve worked for decades to hone your skills in a certain areas. The life experiences gained could fill a book. You’ve been around the block and learned what is important in life. But when you are nearing the moment when you could make a difference, the temptation is to tap out.
All of life is preparation for the next chapter of life when you are able to compete in your own Olympics. All of your skills, experiences, training, and degree from the “School of Screw Up” have prepared you to make a difference in your world and the lives of others.
Why would you retire in the traditional sense of the word and sit back and do nothing? This is your moment to make a difference.
Here’s a couple of ideas of how to put all of your training and skills into use.
- Volunteer at an organization which needs your expertise. Choose a nonprofit which could not afford an expert like you. Make a difference in their world.
- Teach a Sunday School class at church. Find out what age group no one wants to teach and give it a try.
- Join the Peace Corp. That’s right. They still want you. I read last week of a 82 year-old woman making a difference in the Peace Corp.
- If you are mechanical, start a program through your church where you change the oil of single moms for free.
- If you enjoy encouraging others, start a blog to lift the spirits of those who need a boost.
Whatever your experience and passion find a way to use it to make a difference in the world and the lives of others. Retirement is NOT the end but it is the START of a new path for which you’ve been preparing for decades.
The finish isn’t the finish, it’s the start of something new.