Let's Start with an Exercise:

Strengthening a Positive Attitude Toward Your Retirement

Enjoying your retirement depends on many factors. Commonly known are having established a strong financial base and the availability of good health care. These are foundational factors. But there are plenty of others, prominent among them being one's attitude about retirement itself. For instance, is retirement a time to "fold up the tent" or an opportunity for adventure and exploration? Or something else? What do you think?

Actually, your thoughts and attitude about your retirement are very important factors in helping to shape its direction. So, it's valuable to try to develop and embrace positivity. Interestingly, what words you might tend to use to describe your retirement, or prospective retirement, are emblematic of the larger meaning you attach to the concept. If you project that retirement might be a "drag", or something negative such as that, as opposed to it potentially being fun and exciting--those words can be influential.

So, the exercise below--which may seem unbearably simple if not silly to some--actually can be very helpful in developing or expanding a positive perspective about retirement. And I invite you to give it a try. Apply the following recipe:

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First, allow the concept of "My Retirement" to enter your awareness. Consider the list of 86 words, below. Focus on just one-word-at-a-time, and one-line-at-a-time. Say or picture the first word in the line, paired with the concept of "My Retirement," for 5 seconds, then move to the second word in that same line, as in the example below:

"My Retirement: Exuberant," taking 5 seconds; then to the next word listed in that line: "My Retirement: Community", for 5 seconds, etc.

Finish the line of about 15 words. Then, repeat this process twice more. So, you will complete just 1 line of words 3 times per day; given that there are 6 lines, this approach will allow you to finish a complete cycle in 1 week. Try to stay focused on each word-pairing as you move through the exercise.


You may be amazed at the gains you can make in how positively you view your retirement in that short of a time--no more than 3.5 minutes per week.

By the way, one of the words--"Ikigai," in the last line--may be unfamiliar. In Japanese, it means roughly, "What gets you up in the morning--your sense of purpose."

The positive words associated with "My Retirement" follow:

(Day 1) Exuberant Community Flow Enjoy Savor Optimistic Aware Cope Joyful Spirit Wonder Freedom Energize Breathe

(Day 2) Calm Discipline Empower Adventurous Gentle Magic Liberate Immediacy Renew Bold Grace Fun Innovate Wise

(Day 3) Novel Grow Generous Begin Change Humor Yes! Curiosity Love Meaning Balance Compassion Heart Rejuvenate

(Day 4) Empathy Soul Ignite Process Try Explore Here & Now Bridge Invent Celebrate Risk Activate Grateful Reflect Adapt

(Day 5) Passion Happy Reminisce Engage Affirm Revise Shine Awe Resilience Relevant Inspire Flexible Gusto Bliss Accept

(Day 6) Verve Peace Plan Create Elation Experiment Limitless Imagine Connect Ikigai Thrive Attend Enjoy Rest

When done, ask yourself: "How do I view my retirement now?"

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