B  L  U  N  T  photographic





Planning for retirement…is about asking yourself the right questions.  A really important concept to remember is, “the quality of one’s life ... is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself”.  I’ve found that to be absolutely true.  


Life passes by quickly, and it’s not always easy to find the time to ask deep soul-searching questions.  But it’s so profitable if you do so.  Particularly as you're approaching or are beginning retirement.  Remember what I said above:  the quality of your retired life…will depend on the quality of the questions you ask yourself”.  


I found that getting up about 5 am, and sitting out on the deck before the world wakes up, is a great time to ask these questions.  That may not be the best option for you,  but you ought to find an uninterrupted time … where you can contemplate the following 3 questions


1). “What do I LOVE to do”?  Asked another way…”what would I have enjoyed for a career, if I could've made a decent living at it?"


In my case, I would have loved being a pro landscape photographer.   But when I brought it up during my college years, the loving response I got from my parents made that dream fade pretty quickly.  I was convinced to take a more “responsible” career path.  Did this happen to you?  I've since heard that some have made a tremendous living with their cameras...but that can be the subject of another Blog.  

Did you put aside a dream job... because you felt it was necessary to make a decent living?  Is there something you would have rather done for a career?  Did "common reasoning" dissuade you?   Well, in retirement, you CAN do that very thing you loved…because life probably isn't only about the money anymore.  It's more about the time you have left...and how you're going to use it.  Priorities shift.  That’s a big paradigm shift, especially for men.  Because men are so used to focusing on making money during their careers...to take care of their families.  Obviously, many working women feel that way too.  


The big difference in retirement…is the ability for spontaneity.  You can really do whatever you want, pretty much whenever you want.  And you’ve worked hard for that freedom.  So why not use the last third of your life doing something you really enjoy doing?  Nothing's holding you back now.  Only the quality of the questions you ask...and the limit of your creativity.   


2)  Another question to ask yourself is, “what could I do that brings value to others?”  You’ve lived a long time, and gathered a lot of experience.  Sharing it with others could bring a lot of value to others, as well as to you.   Because you now have time to enhance the lives of others purposefully. 


3)  Another question is, "what would you love to become really good at?"   When you worked at your career, you most likely didn’t have much time with any singular task.   You had to move on to a myriad of other things that were demanding your attention, as all of us did.   Most of us had to settle for “good enough” as a result.   That changes in retirement.  You have the time to focus on one thing, until you reach a satisfying level of excellence.  

“In order to be 100% efficient you should concentrate on only one thing at a time”.   

-Gary Keller

In retirement, you realize that, “I don’t have to rush with this task.  I can really focus on it, and take my time to be complete with it,  & to do it right.   And therefore, I can slow down and lessen the stress, and really do a thorough job with it!   And actually enjoy the process ”   You can take all the time you want to do things right. 


In summary, since it’s not about the money primarily anymore, it’s really more about time.  So what are you going to do with the 30 or so years of time you have left?  What have you always wanted to do?  What makes you passionate?  What could really help others and add value to their lives?  


There’s no time like the present, to take the first steps, and ask yourself the highest quality questions you can.  Whether you’re already in retirement, or getting ready for it.  

The retirement years are the best years of your life. You have complete freedom with your time, so you can be whatever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, develop whatever brand you’ve always wanted for yourself, connect with people in a much deeper way than you ever had time for.   Sound pretty exciting?  It is!  Allow good questions, then, to be your guides…identify what you would really love to do ... and live a long and happy retirement!

Doug Blunt1 Comment