Most people do not truly understand what their “why” is and, whilst that’s not ideal, when you are actively engaged in the workplace not knowing your why isn’t going to kill you – but it will hamper your efforts to feel fulfilled.
However, once you retire, not knowing your “why” can lead to a feeling of a real lack of purpose and, ultimately, the onset of lethargy, premature ageing – even shortening your lifespan!
When you’re working, being a bit of a drifter in life and just “going with the flow” isn’t going to stop you from getting paid (unless you zone out completely!) but in retirement not knowing your “why” can have some serious and damaging consequences
Here are six reasons why you absolutely must create a WHY statement when approaching retirement or being retired:
- It Will Provide Clarity About What Your Purpose In Life Is.
If you don’t know your purpose then you will end up doing things that you really don’t want to do and not doing things you really should. Without the work routine to drive you what is it that will give you the enthusiasm to get out of bed and get going?.
Knowing your “why” means that you can take action to propel you towards achieving your true purpose. You will have more confidence, more energy and be motivated every day.
- A WHY Statement Sharpens Your Focus
Even in retirement you need goals – something to look forward to and it’s important that your goals lead you towards achieving your “why”. Without the right focus in your life it is easy to set goals that you are not truly committed to. A lot of people follow their friends and other influencers in their life and end up setting the same goals as them. We are all different and this rarely works out well.
When you identify what you really want your life to be about this clarity helps you to work out your next moves a lot more easily. You can use your WHY statement to drive you forward each day and achieve what you really want from your life.
- You Will Make Better Decisions
We all make decisions in in our lives that we later come to regret. When you have a strong and compelling WHY statement it will help you to make much better decisions in life.
A lot of decisions have serious consequences and if you don’t know your true purpose then you can dismiss these consequences in exchange for short term pleasure or gain. With a good WHY statement you will assess the long term consequences and be able to make better decisions as a result.
- It Provides More Accountability
People that have no purpose in life tend to shy away from accountability. They are just happy to drift along but then complain bitterly when things go against them. Things are never their fault – always someone else’s.
With a powerful WHY statement you will know where you are going in life and be accountable for this. You will think things through more and only take action where it aligns with your WHY statement. This additional accountability will make you a better person.
- You Will Be Healthier And Happier
If you only want to consider one of these reasons to have a compelling WHY statement then this is the one to choose. There is nothing more important than your health and your happiness. When you are happy then you tend to be healthier – you have less stress. If you are unhappy then your resistance is down and you can experience all kinds of health issues.
- Your Resilience Will Increase
Everyone has to face problems in their life. For some people these problems are too difficult to handle and they become overwhelmed and stressed out. When you have a compelling WHY statement you can see these problems as opportunities for you to grow and attain fulfillment in your life.
The Best Way To Find Your WHY
Most people try to find their WHY using trial and error. They jump on every opportunity that they can to see if it leads to the promised land. This approach fails in the vast majority of cases.
Then there are those who try and find their WHY by following others. Maybe you have a friend or someone else that you are close to that you believe is a lot happier than you are and want to do the things that they do?
So you decide to set the same goals that they do in the hope that you will find the same fulfillment. The problem is that you are not going to be as committed to these goals as your friend is. When your heart isn’t really in something then there is not much chance of you achieving your goals.
Perhaps you see something on TV or on the Internet -you see people are really happy and doing well, so you decide to pursue it also. But you need to bear in mind that most of this is marketing and that the people looking happy in the ads are being paid to do so. Please don’t believe everything that you see on TV or the Internet.
At some point you have to accept that we are all different and all have different passions. Only when you identify what yours really are will you find fulfillment. So don’t waste your time with trial and error or following someone else because it is not going to work.
Ask Yourself Questions To Find Your WHY
If you want to find your true purpose in life then you need to take the time out and ask yourself some soul searching questions. This is not as easy as it sounds and it will take you time and several attempts to get it right. But the rewards are certainly worth it because discovering your WHY will provide you with a sense of calm and purpose that not everyone achieves – as well as an abundance of energy.
So find yourself somewhere quiet where you can spend some quality time asking and answering the right questions to find your WHY. You don’t want any distractions while you are doing this. Have a pen and paper ready (or a digital note taker such as a tablet or Smartphone) as you will need to write down your answers.
The most powerful “why” statements are those that allow you to incorporate these four critical areas of your life:
- What you are passionate about
- What you are naturally talented at
- What skills/expertise you have
- What values you believe in
Here are some starter questions to ask yourself:
- What are the things that I do where time seems to pass by quickly?
- What did I really enjoying doing as a child?
- When people ask me for help what help do they want?
- What would I do if I didn’t have to worry about money?
- How can I improve the life of others?
- If you only had 12 months to live what would you like to achieve before you passed away?
- How do you want people to remember you after you are gone (what legacy do you want to leave behind)?
Use your answers to these questions to determine your WHY and, from that create a WHY statement!
Dennis Hall is an Author, Presenter and Business Development Coach who helps others break free from the routines they have trapped themselves in, so that they are able to enjoy a less stressful and more fulfilling lifestyle, especially in their latter years.
He can be contacted through his website at https://dennishall.com.au