Two Stories of Finding Purpose in Retirement
One of the things that we all kind of face with hesitation is our retirement. I mean, sure, we're going to age. We're going to eventually leave our job. It might be voluntary. On the other hand, it may be forced. Either way, we're facing one of the most radical lifestyle changes of our entire lives. I mean, think back to the last time you had such a radical change in lifestyle. Oh, getting married certainly was one. Moving to a new home, that's a biggie. Having children for sure or getting a new job - that was a big one. But when's the last time any of those happened? Maybe decades ago. Well, now you're on the cusp of facing another lifestyle change, leaving your employment. And some folks enter this with the attitude of saying, my goodness, the best years of my life are behind me. I'm looking at a void. I'm looking at loss. What does this mean for my future? Is life over? And what am I going to be facing?
Well, I've got two stories for you to demonstrate that life is just beginning as you age. Our first story comes from Steven Alker. You may know of him if you're a golf fan. He also ran on the pro golf circuit during his career, multi decades. He barely made enough money as a golfer to support his family.
We're always hearing about the super talented and the championship-winning golf pros. But those are just the numbers, one and two and three. What about the other 50 or 100 or 200 or 500 golf pros you never hear of and don't know their names? Steve was one of them, but this year he turned 50. Now, ordinarily, you would say 50 years old ? What a has-been. There's no way that a golfer age 50 can compete with the 20 and 30- and 40-year-olds who are in their athletic prime and who are performing at far better level. So if he hasn't been able to make any money as a golfer in his first 50 years of life, how on earth is he going to be able to stay as a pro golfer now?
Well, guess what? Turning age 50 has enabled Steve to be eligible for the senior pro tour. Now he's competing only against people his age or older. He's no longer competing against 25-year-olds. He's competing against 65- and 75-year-olds. And he's now the young kid on the block. And as a result, he is skyrocketing in performance. He's made over three and one half million dollars in the past year. That's more than he's earned in his entire career as a pro golfer. They're calling him the "Tiger Woods of geezers".
He says it's "a second launch” and it does require a mentality shift. He's acknowledging that now that he's in his 50s, it's like starting over again. He says once he turned 50, he started playing and feeling younger than he has in years. This just simply demonstrates your best times are ahead of you.
What’s Next for Tennis Star Serena Williams
And if you don't believe me about Steven Alker, let's shift from golf to tennis. You've all heard that Serena Williams has decided to retire. One of the most successful tennis players of all time, some argue the greatest tennis player of all time. 23 Grand Slam singles titles. She's announced her retirement. But wait a minute. Everybody is lamenting the fact that she's retiring. She's going away, she's abandoning her career. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. What Serena Williams has done has simply announced she's leaving tennis. That's it.
What she's going to do now is focus on being a mother, a fashion designer and leading maker in the world of fashion and engaging as a venture capitalist. Serena Williams is simply reinventing herself. And that is the future we all face. When you retire from your career, when you leave what you've been doing for your adult life, it isn't the end of anything. It's the beginning of what's next. So I encourage you to do what Stephen Alker and Serena Williams have done and use this opportunity as you age to reinvent yourself, become the next you - where you'll be even more successful than you were ever before.