I came across this great quote in an article I read recently, “comparison is the thief of joy”. Too often we look at others and think ‘man, they have retirement sorted – just check out their updates on Facebook; a great house, strong relationship, busy social calendar, and regular holidays away…” We then turn inwards and a sense of envy develops. We feel our life is nowhere near as exciting and therefore we are lacking.
The challenge is that we never truly know what is going on in another person’s life. What we see and hear is what they choose to share with us. Too many people only share the good news on social media and omit the mundane days, any loneliness, and disagreements. That glamorous lifestyle that we use as the yardstick for retirement success might be all for show and that the sense of inferiority is a creation of our own doing.
As Malcolm Forbes said “too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are”.
Rather than worrying about “keeping up with the Jones’” and what you feel you should be doing in retirement, why not focus on the good things in your own life and take action to bring about the retirement you desire.
Focus on the good things in your life!
You get more of what you pay attention to. Take the example of wanting to buy a new car. They’ve never been on your radar before, but as soon as you decide that you want to buy a yellow Jeep, you start seeing them everywhere on the road, everyone seems to have one! The same goes for the good things in life. Once you start looking for and acknowledging them, be they simple things like a great dinner with friends or big ticket items like that dream holiday, the more positives you will see around you. The trouble is that too often we simply forget to take the time to stop and appreciate them.
The other alternative is that other people seem to have a more exciting retirement because they take action towards achieving their dreams. Rather than just reading travel magazines or browsing the web, they book the tickets and go!
How do you want your retirement to be? Is travel is on your to-do list? Sure, first-class round-the-world cruises may not be an option for you, but what is it about travel that lights you up? Perhaps it is visiting new places, meeting new people or trying new foods. Consider how you can incorporate these things into your life on a regular basis. Why not take short trips away to somewhere you haven’t been before (even just a couple of hours from home), try that Argentinean steakhouse you drive past on your way home, or sign up for a photography or salsa class – who knows what you’ll learn and the people you’ll meet.
The beauty about retirement is that there is no rule-book, no one right way to live retirement. Most important is doing what lights you up. If you only worry about what others think or what you believe you are lacking, what are the wonderful things you missing out on in your own retirement?
Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live! For more tips, advice and practical resources visit www.megangiles.com.