Steering your course with purpose
My son, Josh, is leaving home next year. He’ll be going to university – in a different city. I’m nervous and excited, but most of all, I am an incredibly proud mother, because I know Josh is ready for the journey. Sure, it’s not going to be easy, for him, or me, but it’s a transition necessary for his development and growth. And it will be one of many transitions that he’ll face in his life.
Retirement is like that, too; it’s not the final frontier. Retirement is but one transition – and within this journey, there are many more. Retirement is filled with opportunities: new work, a new social circle, new hobbies, a new lifestyle … the list goes on. But as life and your circumstances change, there’ll also be challenges, choices and decisions. So how will you steer your course ahead with intent and purpose?
In preparing Josh for his transition, we spoke about his internal compass. We all have one – your true north, your gut instinct, everything you know about yourself that is true to you.
In my mind (you may have your own ideas), your internal compass has three components: a positive mindset, your top values, and having an integrity partner. These serve as a checklist, a benchmark to guide your decisions – whichever journey you are embarking on.
I have said it before – attitude is everything. So often, when faced with the unknown, we spend a lot of time in our heads worrying and feeling anxious about the possible outcomes. Neuroscientists believe our brains are wired in such a way that we fill in the missing data; and very often we fabricate imaginary experiences and outcomes not based on reality. So, keeping a positive mindset is an attitude; it’s about continuously challenging imagined realities, reassessing your thought patterns and structuring positive thinking with intent.
Your core values
Your values represent your true self, and once you are clear on your top values, you can always check in with yourself to see if your decisions line up with your values. Lucky for me, Josh’s core values are achievement and discipline, which I’m pretty sure he’ll keep in mind when faced with a choice between partying or studying – though I may just convince him to add a fun element to his values list.
I have previously written about Brené Brown’s concept of having a square squad in your life. Your square squad or integrity partners are the people in your life whose opinions matter to you; they hold you to your values and provide support when you are most vulnerable. These are not side-line critics, but people who will have open and honest conversations with you.
The good news is that the wisdom is already inside you, you have everything you need to be strong and confident. You just need to tap in your instincts – and your truth.