Often we see people who, in their early life, have a sympathetic and positive mind. But, 20 or 30 years later, those positive qualities slowly erode and are replaced with a propensity towards being grumpy, miserable and negative. How can we ensure that we avoid the ‘grumpy old man’ syndrome and remain positive throughout our advancing years? While traditional retirement planning covers financial essentials staying engaged and having a meaningful retirement is good for your health and happiness.
There are always going to be plenty of people to complain about the level of taxes; what we need is positive people who will help make a difference.
Here are a few ideas to help protect your retirement years from being tarnished by grumpiness:
- Keep a youthful attitude. Stay energetic and work to maintain a positive attitude. As the saying goes, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Start a blog, or even plan to write a memoir. Get involved. Always remember, if you act and look old, then you are old. If you act and look young, then you are young.
- Develop a plan and for a meaningful life: Find what’s going to inspire you to get out of bed each morning in the decades ahead? In many cases, second careers and new hobbies show there can be as many purposes as there are people. People who have pursuits outside of their professional life tend to fare better in retirement.If you are still working full time, don’t wait until you retire to explore new pursuits. Test-drive volunteer opportunities in your community before retirement to plant seeds for future. The decision to work part-time may be a necessity for some; others may simply enjoy it as a chance to stay sharp and to bring in some extra cash. Often retirement brings the chance to start your own small business or even a new career (perhaps consulting, real estate or teaching English as a second language), or the opportunity to help younger family members with their businesses.
- Celebrate a new beginning: Take this new chapter in your life as a positive opportunity to redefine and re-invent who you are and what you do. This should be seen not only as a milestone in your life but as a true turning point for your future directions. Navigate these uncharted waters with passion and excitement. Joining a group where the focus is on something you already know about and like can be extremely rewarding. Your experience and skills will be of value to others in the group, and you can learn from them too. It doesn’t matter what your hobby is— golf, fishing, quilting or cooking—seek out others who share your passion and you’ll reap the rewards.
- Don’t Get Exasperated Over Things You Have No Control. If the price of oil increases, there is not much you can do about it. Just because you incessantly complain about the price of oil, Saudi Arabia is not going to start producing an extra 10 million barrels a day. If you get upset things like this, you will invariably make yourself miserable. To some extent, we have to be accepting of external things beyond our control. For example, Governments always have and always will do things which are popular; we can’t expect this to change. But, what we can do is change our attitude. Rather than getting worked up by these things, we can develop a greater sense of detachment. Don’t allow your life to be dominated by complaints on the outside world.
- Become the artist you always wanted to be
Art can feed the spirit. If painting, is your thing, you might find it useful to sample a variety of classes, materials, and approaches before settling on one. There are plenty of inexpensive workshops that offer classes to beginners. Community colleges classes and arts and crafts stores have classes, too. Also, after you’ve learned a new craft you may want to open a store on Etsy and sell your wares at the huge online arts and crafts marketplace.
- Volunteer at a library or museum: When you give time to an institution like a public library or local museum you really are making a gift to your whole community. It’s also a great way to meet people and make new friends. Volunteers let them enrich their offerings and stretch meager budgets.
- Leave Criticism To Others. Criticism and grumpiness are intricately linked. The truth is we could spend all day judging and criticizing other people and we would not have even made a start. The world is not going to change just because we sit in a coffee shop criticizing others.However, if we want real happiness, we have to take a positive attitude; looking for good things to encourage – making a positive contribution. The world does not need more grumpy old men.
- Reach out to an old friend: Friendship is a part of life and these days there are so many ways to reconnect with people from the past. Get on the internet to find old pals. Some will respond, others will not. No matter. Reach out to them on Social Media.