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4 Critical Mental Shifts to Get More from Life After Retirement

By Randall Hartman June 05, 2016 Mindset

Too many people slide into life after retirement with low expectations. Life has taught them not to expect much. So, they arrive at this station in the journey, beat up and worn out. Surviving becomes the all-consuming goal.

At 60 years of age, this described me. I was out of work, beat up, worn out and focusing on survival. But, then, something happened. I had several mental shifts which helped me to maximize this part of the journey. My life is on track and I feel this is the best years of my life.

Here are 4 critical mental shifts I made which will also help you to maximize your life after retirement.

My First Life After Retirement Shift: From Checked Baggage to Carry-on

At this point in life, you carry lots of baggage. People have hurt you. You’ve been betrayed. The boss has mistreated you. Dreams of becoming rich and famous never materialized. All of these collected hurts and disappointments represent baggage you carry through life.

Have you discovered the joy of flying with only a carry-on? It relieves the hassle of paying to check a suitcase and waiting at the luggage carousel after a long flight. But to fly with only a carry-on means letting go of lots of stuff.

Your life will improve when you decide to let go of the past. I wrote an article on this subject which you might find helpful. You can find it here.

My Second Life After Retirement Shift: From Ptolemy to Copernicus

Ptolemy thought he had the universe figured out. He taught that the earth was at the center of the universe. Everything else revolved around the earth.

Some people live their lives with this model. They see themselves at the center of the universe. Everything revolves around them. If this is your model of the universe you will experience a life of hurt.

Copernicus, on the contrary, had another idea. He believed the earth revolved around the sun and was not the center of the universe.

It is a wonderful day when you realize the universe doesn’t revolve around you. Things make more sense. Frustrations decrease. Realistic expectations emerge. Realizing the importance of others is an important shift to make.

My Third Life After Retirement Shift: From Clark Kent to Superman

Clark Kent was described a meek and mild-mannered. He was unsure of himself. Some might call him a zero. Many people enter this stage of life feeling like a mild-mannered zero. Life has proven to them there is little use in trying.

Contrast this with Superman. Here’s someone who is able to leap buildings with a single bound and is faster than a speeding bullet. To maximize this chapter in life you need to shift your self-image from zero to hero. You can become a hero to someone in your life. If you need convinced you can do read this article I wrote called 5 Reasons You Are Qualified to Start Investing in Others.

My Fourth Life After Retirement Shift: From Victim to Victor

Many bad things have happened to us. We are survivors. But it doesn’t take too long for us to feel like a victim. We say to ourselves, “Why do bad things always happen to me?” We feel powerless to the circumstances around us.

Life takes a turn for the better when we shift from victim to victor. This shift, contrary to what you might think, is one of the easiest to make.

Begin by refusing to allow “victim thoughts” to remain in your mind. Find small challenges and conquer them. Increase your confidence. Work your way up to greater challenges. Maximize your life by shifting from victim to victor.

Life is precious. Choose to maximize it by making these mental shifts.

Which mental shift do you need to make? Do you feel like your expectations for life after retirement are high enough? Please join the conversation below.

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The Author

Dr. Randall Hartman, D.Min., M.Div., is a Baby Boomer who writes at about the ReFIRE reinvention process. After successfully serving for 30 years as a minister he uses his writing, speaking, and coaching skills to help people transition into their most vibrant and meaningful years. Sign up for Randall's newsletter to learn how to make the rest of your life the best.

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