An Integrally-informed blog about the New Masculine, men, relationships, consciousness, and how we can change ourselves, our communities, and the planet.
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
OLD DOG NEW TRICKS
by Gary Stamper The Last Third: Finding Purpose and Meaning After Retirement
Congratulations! You’ve retired from whatever you’ve been doing in your professional life. It may have been a single career, a journey through a particular industry, or, like me, a continuous birth and rebirth process of many professional lives. No matter how you pursued your professional life, if you were blessed, that journey filled you with purpose and meaning
The question now is, what’s going to bring you purpose and meaning - and joy - from here on out? After all, there’s only so much rest, relaxation, and recreation a person can take before they start to feel unfulfilled and restless, driving everyone around them nuts!
I know a lot about this. At the ripe old age of 72 years young, and recently divorced, I always knew I wouldn't willingly retire. I enjoy being busy, productive, and being in service to others, whether it's through my real estate investment business, the volunteering I do for the non-profit Real Estate Investors Association I belong to, my recently closed e-commerce store when I realized it wasn't going to provide me with another stream of income, or this - Helping others find meaning in their retirement, what I'm calling "the last third."
So how do I do this? Like most of the work I've done over the last twenty years, I'm speaking directly to men, but everything I'll be doing will apply equally to women as well.
Like Freud a citizen of Vienna and a practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Viktor Frankl also became a university professor and prolific author. His most widely read work is Man's Search For Meaning, a keenly observed account of his experiences in the Nazi death camps during Word War II. As he saw in the camps, those who found meaning even in the most horrendous circumstances were far more resilient to suffering than those who did not. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing," Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning, "the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. Frankl believed that the very pursuit of happiness is what thwarts happiness, but once you have a reason to be happy – i.e. a meaning – happiness comes automatically.
"Happiness is about looking inward. It’s about satisfying your needs and wants. Happiness without meaning results in a shallow, self-absorbed life. When things go well, when your needs and desires are satisfied, you’re happy. When things get difficult, watch out."
"Meaning is different. It’s focused outwards, on others. It’s about taking care of others and contributing to your community or society as a whole. When we see our purpose as larger than ourselves, we no longer need to pursue happiness. It comes naturally, even in the face of temporary setbacks and discomforts."
You could flesh this out working with a life coach - and that may be the best fit for you - or you could join our online cohort of like-minded seekers for a much smaller cost and with my guidance and mentoring, we'll point each other to discovering exactly what it is that gives your life meaning in the Last Third.
I'm goling to lay this out as an online classroom/forum so that over the course of a few months, through teachings, exercises, and work you'll be doing to uncover your prize. In that time, you'll have a solid grasp of what's going to bring you meaning, purpose -- and joy in your retirement years. We'll utilize many varied processes and approaches including guided meditations, altered-states consciousness, pre-rational, scientific, and trans-rational shamanistic modems to anchor and support what has meaning to you. Whadd'ya think? Is this something you'd be interested in? With approximately 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day*, there should be quite a few of you willing to explore this path with other seekers!