Stay curious throughout your career and be sensational at 60
You might be approaching the big 6-OH thinking that you only have seven more short years before you can drift off into the sunset. A vision of sunsets, sand and sitting around doing nothing!
You might also be aware that screeching to a halt at retirement is probably if not an immediate death sentence, and should not be looked at as a move that will guarantee your downfall. In fact, there are numerous studies that look at this phenomenon – slowing down and then being forced to stop permanently.
May I remind you, you have at least 7 years just cruising at work or being gainfully employed – which is a long time.
Why not really go out of your second act (family and your career) on a high? Don’t drift to the end of your career.
Choose your exit and your next act
To prevent you from just putting your gears in neutral and checking out early, you need to find the antidote – and that antidote is curiosity, or a strong desire to learn something new. Curiosity is the spark that lights your life fuel. You need to work out your purpose or rediscover. But you also need the little flicker – the flame and drive to explore, discover and invent. Once this dim glow is fanned into life, the world is your oyster.
For me, taking on a MA in Anthropology was my curiosity, and the wonderful avenues of adventure that this road has opened up have been truly sensational.
Exhaustion, overwhelm and a sense of deserving a well-earned rest can be the enemies of nurturing curiosity – and the temptation at 60 of looking back and not forward. Curiosity has to be nurtured, and fanned into life for sure – it is tempting to be a bit cynical and not think that life has anything new to show us.
But you know the wonderful thing? To be sensational at 60, you also can capitalise on your wisdom, because while remaining curious, you don’t have to try quite so hard. All your life’s experiences up to this time, are a kind of short-hand for confidence and knowledge and finally, you can be just you.