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Don’t close the book when you can start a new chapter

If your life was your favourite Netflix series – would you stop watching halfway through? Will you put down a book by your favourite author and not read the sequel? If you loved Tom Cruise in Top Gun, would you watch the follow-on?

Most people I know would binge-watch a series on Netflix and were the first in line to buy tickets for Top Gun. There’s a certain amount of excitement and anticipation in knowing or seeing what happens next. But so often, when it comes to our own lives, especially after midlife and as we enter our later years, the enthusiasm and enjoyment seem to dwindle.

I believe it’s because of how we think and the words we use to describe this phase of life. Our words hold unimaginable power, and we achieve or become what our minds conceive and believe. If you are considering winding down your life and waiting out retirement, think again. This is not the time to close the book on your life. This is not the time to think that you don’t have an award-winning sequel in the making. Turn your thoughts around and start using words that will inspire you to eagerly anticipate what the future will bring.

I met a lovely couple in their mid-sixties last week who were busy winding down and waiting to retire. They were stuck in limbo – somewhere between having lived a good life and waiting out the rest. Sometimes all you need is a new perspective to turn around the lacklustre words in your vocabulary into a language that makes you want to turn the page. Midway through our conversation, the mood in the room visibly shifted when my clients said: Instead of just waiting to retire, we need to get excited about the new possibilities of our second chapter and write a sequel with a new beginning.

I love watching the shift in people when they realise that retirement is not the end but a new adventure in living – and the words they start using follow suit. I want to remind you how the words you use and the language you speak when it comes to your second chapter can impact what you achieve:

  • You are not old. You are a holder of knowledge and experience – and the keeper of wisdom.
  • You are not insignificant. Why not find ways to share your talents, skills and wisdom with the world.
  • Retirement is not the end. You have the rest of your life to live on your own terms.
  • Your purpose is not defined by your work. Your purpose can be whatever you want it to be in your second chapter.
  • Retirement does not mean you will never earn again. You can keep adding value, working and earning for as long as you want.
  • Don’t tell yourself you can only rely on one source of income. In this phase of life, it is possible to turn a passion into work, a hobby into a business and a dream into potential.
  • Retirement is not an ‘all or nothing’ scenario. Many people in the second chapter start to bring in other income streams and look at other ideas of work, like part-time work, charity work, mentoring or consulting.

When you start thinking and using words to describe the second half of your life as a new beginning, a world of possibilities opens up to you – new ways of adding value and renewed purpose. Choose your words carefully. How you think creates what you feel and become.

Your second half is the perfect opportunity to turn the page, start a new chapter and edit an unrivalled sequel for yourself.

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