Finding Purpose and Passion in life beyond 50

The convergence of longevity and technology is changing the way we live, work and play.  None of us realised that we may live much longer than our parents and grandparents. Who would have been able to predict how technology has changed our world twenty years ago? These two major factors change how we need to think, save and plan.

Life often does not work out as planned. Let’s look at two scenarios.

Bewildering new workplace

Anne married young in the 1970s and did not work at her career due to her children being born soon after their marriage. Anne loved being home and being a full-time mom.  Sadly, at the age of 40, her husband died, and she was left carrying the burden of life as a single parent.  She had enough money in the early years to fulfil the role as parent and ensure that her children could complete their education. As the children left the nest and Anne wanted to start working to help build her nest egg, she found a workplace that had changed so much and felt quite disheartened.

Dissolving dreams

Bill and Mary married in their twenties and both worked throughout their marriage. They had a family and enjoyed life. They had saved diligently and were looking forward to a life of travel, pleasure and fulfilling their dreams at retirement.  They looked forward to grandchildren close by. Sadly, both their children left the country and live far away. A few years into retirement, life seemed to not match their dreams of what life would be like.

What happens when it’s not enough?

These two very different scenarios have the same challenge at the core. A life with not enough money, relationships or purpose seems empty and unfulfilling.

For each of us this picture will look different. We arrive at this season of life with investments, experience, relationships, skills and dreams. If our world has changed through personal loss or unfulfilled dreams, we need to step back and question what needs to happen to change our current world. Only we can do this.

So how do we do this?

It starts with working with a coach, learning, reading and discovering where our happiness and purpose may be found. It starts with us. We need to take control and action for change to happen. We need to understand some of the shifts in the world of work. This is never easy, but one may find hidden treasure and new relationships as you explore your options.

Find your purpose

I have found in my coaching practice that working with clients using these four circles can help to unlock and unpack some possibilities and ideas. The four circles exercise should be done as follows:

  • Take a sheet of white A3 paper and cut out or draw the circle diagram and paste in the middle.
  • Page through magazines, photographs and ideas that you are attracted to and cut out pictures and words that speak to you.
  • Glue the words and pictures closest to the circle they best represent.

Spend about an hour or two on this exercise.  You can also journal, draw and be creative.  It is almost the same as doing a collage or a vision board.

The result is that it opens ideas and thinking. Share your picture with a friend or your partner. Each of our pictures will look different because we are all unique and should be living life in this season building on our strengths, passion and talents.

Earning in this season has two currencies. Money and meaning. A reason and a goal to get up for daily is where we need to start to build and strengthen our vision for our future.  Experiment, volunteer, join a club or do an online course.

As you move forward with intent, doors start to open, networks grow, and you find that there is a reason to get up and enjoy today and tomorrow.

The process is dynamic, needs engagement and an open mind. Celebrate the process of discovering your purpose for this season.

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