Don't we experience times when we are simply going through the motions? Every day is much like the day before. It is safe and predictable. There is a comfortable routine to the day. Nothing really new or interesting happens. There are no problems we can't handle without a little effort. Inspiration is taking a break. Life moves forward. But, is that truly living a satisfying retirement? How can I find new energy for whatever might be next in retirement?
Pay attention & shake it up
One of my best sources for renewed energy and a fresh direction is to stop long enough to look at the world around me. What in my life might give me inspiration if taken in a different direction? Old photos, movies, a play or theater presentation, mementos around the house, the birds in the backyard, people at the mall, actually just about anything can inspire if my mood is right and I'm open to seeing things in a new way.
Looking for a new angle or use of the everyday, meeting a new person or having a new experience, any of these can energize an otherwise mundane day. I might read something in a magazine that changes my perspective. Checking out my favorite bloggers almost always forces me to open my mind to some different idea. Shaking up a routine or attempting to break an unproductive habit can be just the boost I need to get moving again.
Sometimes you just have to act
There will be times when you must force yourself to take action. It would be easier and more pleasant to avoid whatever it is. But, the problem isn't going away until you confront it. Whether this is a relationship issue, a health concern, a financial upset, or even where to go on vacation you may have to simply grit your teeth and do something. Problems and opportunities don't respond well to inaction.
I dislike the "ready, fire, aim" approach most of the time. But, I have done just that at times when I had a brain-lock and had to simply "do."
Look for something fresh from others
Inspiration for your life can often comes from an outside source. Interacting with other people may be an effective way to find an answer to a problem. They may not directly address what your need is. But, by simply being with them you may find a new path toward something. Being with a group of people you enjoy can't help but make you feel better.
Joining a new club, organization, or church group may be the spark you need. Volunteering in a setting where you interact with folks who need your help and are different from those you normally spend time with can often do the trick. My last four years of prison ministry has given me an entirely fresh perspective on people. I helped out at the Phoenix Rescue Mission last week by serving dinner to almost 300 less fortunate folks. It felt worthwhile and the people were friendly, appreciative, and a joy to serve.
Maybe you simply need a retread
Reusing or reworking something you have done before is really what retirement is all about. A lifetime of behavior and expectations are up for review. Just because you thought one way while working doesn't mean that line of thought is best for your life now. Was there an interest or hobby you used to love that fell by the wayside? Is it time to bring it back, maybe in a slightly different way? When you were 30 you loved to mountain bike. But, now at 60, maybe trail riding is safer and more suited to your body. You still love to bike, but you change the approach.
Kick starting your satisfying retirement really is just a case of rejecting the status quo. As our hour glass begins to run lower on sand, waiting for tomorrow to energize yourself today is probably not the wisest course. From the book, Tales of Power, consider this quote:
"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse."
I prefer the warrior approach. You?
What Others Are Saying
From TED.com: Try Something New for 30 Days