Traditional American retirement can be boiled down into two conversations: money and leisure. I challenge you to Google the word “retirement” and NOT find an article, blog or group either talking about finances or how to enjoy newfound freedom devoid of work. One of the foundational problems with conventional retirement wisdom is that it doesn’t address how or why to live with definiteness of purpose – and this is a bigger deal than you thought.
Purpose (Unfortunately) Coincides with Work
Purpose is nearly impossible to find in the conversation of retirement because people have mistakenly correlated purpose with work. Sadly, work has a bad reputation. “Thank God it’s Friday” is the mantra of most Americans. Retirement is seen as the only relief to one’s life of work – the earlier, the better. Someday in retirement a person can FINALLY be free from the burdens of a boss, constricting schedule, stress, and unwanted tasks. Even more sad is that if someone choses to work in retirement, it is looked-upon as failure. Living devoid of work and having abundant leisure is winning by America’s standards. So, if purpose is correlated with work, then we want nothing to do with it. Thus, a whole generation moves into a world without definiteness of purpose.
Stripping Purpose is the Enemy’s Trap
In the book, Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill, the author has a fictional conversation with the devil. The devil explains how he is able to influence 98% of the population by creating “drifters”. Drifting is the ultimate goal of the devil, because the drifter is being tossed-and-turned by their own thoughts or controlled by their preconceived ideas. The drifter will go through life unaware of the nonproductive habits that they do each and every day because it’s something that comes naturally or considered normal. According to Hill, the devil produces drifters a number of different ways including the removal of one’s purpose.
The “Anti-Drifting” Formula
Near the end of Napoleon Hill’s book, Outwitting the Devil, the author convinces the devil to reveal his secrets of protecting people against drifting and his influence over humanity and on the world. The devil simply explains how a human only needs three things to be completely untouchable by his hand:
- Ability to think freely
- Definiteness of purpose
- Having a plan and process
The typical American retirement strips you of all three!
Ability to think freely – In less than 100 years, the narrative on retirement has completely changed. Retirement, as we know it today, didn’t exist prior to the 1950’s. However, in a short time conventional retirement wisdom has completely ingrained itself into society and has been accepted as the rule. Without question or hesitation, people automatically follow the old way of retirement planning and living.
Definiteness of purpose – Most people find tremendous purpose from their jobs and careers. Retiring into a life of free of work without methodical steps to reintroduce purpose is detrimental to the life of a retiree. Remember, living devoid of purpose one of the enemy’s main schemes to create drifters. This idea of purpose in retirement transcends just having a good day or feeling good about one’s self.
Plan and process – Society and the financial industry have not prepared you effectively for retirement by offering no-such plan or process. Your retirement planner, hopefully, has helped you build and manage a nest egg, but likely offers zero solutions for a specific and actionable plan for your life and schedule post-retirement. This is a major problem.
The Tough Question…
Is it possible the enemy is using retirement as a means to strip the most powerful generation in human history of it’s purpose?
Co-Founder of Retire Repurposed