This is Dr. Stephen Daniel, the co-founder of quantumtechniques.com, with my beautiful wife Beth. I want to bring up an interesting topic today. Retirement – is that going to lengthen your life expectancy or reduce it? All of you know people that retired and they died one or two years later. My dad was one of those. You can retire from a job, but not retire from your brain, not retire from your engagements. I’ve seen people retire from a job that was primarily an income provider, but then went into something they were passionate about such as volunteering at the Humane Society (we have lots of friends here that do that), reading for the blind, foster a child, provide Meals on Wheels, get involved in the environment, etc. The issue is what you don’t use, you lose.
When you give up your passion in life and you have nothing that you’re giving to larger than yourself, then you set up the situation where my job is to look around and complain. Now, we all know older people that are in their 70s or 80s who are full of life or that are taking care of their grandkids, or they’re gardening or doing something else that they’re passionate about. I also know people who’ve retired in their 50s or earlier, who harbor nothing but complaints. If you have nothing but complaints in your life, go back to work. Find something whether you’re paid or not, that you’re passionate about. I’m really fortunate in that I absolutely love what I do. I know I was given this by God.
If I had no income needs whatsoever, my prayer in life is that I could do this until the last week of my life and that I’m able to make a difference in someone’s life by bringing some kind of positive change. This keeps me very active spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally. I hope to be as engaged when I’m in my 90s as I am now in my 60s because I have a passion for what I do and I never want to retire. If you’ve already retired, ask whether it is working for you. Are you happier? How many times a day do you complain? If you can count them on more than one hand, do something different. If you want a long healthy life, give yourself to something bigger than you – make a difference.
Like Gandhi said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Don’t just get old and crusty and complain about everything. There are enough of those people already. Blessings.