This month we say goodbye to Kim Forbes who touched our hearts, and the hearts of our clients over the last six years. She has captivated us with her extraordinary talents as writer and Life Planner, and has inspired us with countless stories for Retire Successfully.

Kim will be taking a sabbatical from her work-life; time-out to explore, unpack and re-pack her life going forward. Such a period of introspection takes a huge amount of courage and a great deal of learning.

I’ve had quite a few conversations with clients over the last couple of months who are in a New Work state of mind. Clients who are either entering midlife with a self-urged desire to reshape their personal and professional lives, or, clients who find themselves having been retired from their formal place of work. This is one of the most significant transitions that midlife brings, and as scary as it may be, it is also a wonderful opportunity to re-design your life exactly the way you want it. It’s about taking stock and re-inventing your whole self for the journey ahead. Richard Leider and David Shapiro (authors of Repacking your Bags) refer to this as planning for the good life, by “living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the right work, on purpose.”

Re-inventing yourself for a new world of work starts with courage. It starts with the courage to give yourself the space you need to figure out what you would like to do in your next chapter. It’s about resisting the urge to plough right in without checking in with yourself first. It’s about giving yourself permission to take the time you need to explore new avenues, investigate new possibilities and to truly do the introspection of what would bring true meaning, purpose and joy.

Courage also means embracing the uncertainty that re-invention brings, and being comfortable with not having all the answers right at the start. Eckhart Tolle says that “being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you,” – and the answers will come as you transition into a New Work state of mind.

I have learnt that transitions bring about new learnings, and often the unlearning of old habits and past formulas that’s not in line with where you want to go. I have compiled three exercises that Chip Conley and Barbara Waxman introduced me to during my stay at the Elder Academy last year, specifically for recalibrating and re-designing your life in midlife – click here to access them.

Thank you Kim Forbes for bringing this message home! We wish you courage, contentment with uncertainty, an empty suitcase for the things you want to unlearn, and a brand new flamboyant travel bag for repacking in your midlife journey.

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