Visiting with friends this weekend, our discussion turned to retirement. All of them are retired. They talked of the need to keep moving, stay busy, and find things to do each day. They felt that was very important to them.
Contrast that with those of us that work. Large to do lists, starving for time, and pulled in many directions. Always busy but never sure if we are getting anywhere.
Activity is valued by those who have time (when retired) yet the value of activity is rarely considered when there is no time (when we are not retired). Just constant doing by crossing things off of our to do list giving us the feeling that we are making progress when we work everyday.
Two sides of a fence where what is important changes depending on the side of the fence you are on. It becomes so much clearer when you see both sides. We are very active before we retire. Our results are uneven as to what we accomplish. How many of our dreams will we realize? Will our run of bad luck end soon? How will things turn out tomorrow?
In retirement, you must have an intention and be focused on being active. It gives you the opportunity to measure first what you would like to get done, assess why it needs to be done, and then gain the satisfaction of getting it done.
When we are working, activity blinds us to its value. We don’t get to choose much of what we work on. For as much as our outcomes are uneven, it is the varying value of our activity that is even more so. Urgency masquerades as importance. The larger your to do list the less bandwidth you have to determine each item’s value with no time to measure what needs to get done for the things you wish to come true in the long-term.
What we need is to take the intention that magnifies itself with respect to activity of someone who is retired and use this lens when we are much younger and more active to focus our efforts on discovering the few things that really matter amidst the endless demands for activity on our lives.