Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Pledge

Now as I said last week, the Pledge equals the first step on the road to happiness. To make the most of your retirement you need to always keep in mind the fact that you are entitled to make yourself as happy as possible. Clich├ęd as this may sound, it’s important to wholeheartedly embrace changing phases in your life as exciting new beginnings. 

So let’s jump right in with the Pledge. Repeat after me:

I hereby swear that I will act as young as I feel.

I will not fear getting older or accept a lower quality of life simply because of a number.

I look forward to the stimulating opportunities that each day brings.

I will welcome my new freedom because I deserve it.

And most importantly... I will continue to have a great sex life and never apologise for wanting it.  

To accept the Pledge is to actively take advantage of the power that a positive attitude can have in life. Being open to happiness is the starting point to creating the life you want for yourself. Not only this, but it may also prompt you to notice and appreciate the good things you have already. These could include a loving family, a fulfilling range of interests, or even a doting dog that loves you unconditionally (even more so now that you’re retired and have much more time to give love back!).

You should also recognise that you are fully capable of changing many aspects of your life that you don’t like, often through attitude alone. Remember, negatives are very often positives in disguise! You just need to keep a look out for them.

Volunteering in Israel after selling my first business, I met a number of inspiring people who were able to do just this. I remember feeling guilty at first, for instance, when I referred a clearly over-qualified 61-year-old former Soviet University teacher for a cleaning job. Yet he told me he was optimistic about the future and confident that this experience would lead to him finding much more suitable work later. He said regaining the opportunity to work at all had given him back his self-respect.  One year on I was delighted to hear he was now teaching in a local high school.

We can all learn a lot from individuals like this, those who are able to view even the worst situations advantageously. In the words of Winston Churchill, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” I know which I’d rather be.

In my next blog I’ll discuss how to use this positivity to fight society’s ageist attitudes and take flight out of the pigeonhole.