Why Retire When You Can Re-Purpose?


Fall in Omaha, Nebraska 2018

Sometimes, I have a front row seat to unusual performance challenges in the workplace. Every once in a while work brings me face to face with others considering retirement.

Retiring from anything can be scary. While scary, I learned from my dad that we really shouldn’t retire rather we should re-purpose.

Re-purposing your strengths is the process of falling in love again with your natural pattern of success.

My dad’s example showed me that our strengths don’t retire when we do. The more we focus on our natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving – the more our natural talents turn to strengths.

Dad, Mom and my Sisters

One of the hardest workers I know. Dad worked for 30+ years at the Union Pacific Railroad and retired at age 55. But, he took a different route. Instead of retiring and fading away he re-purposed his talents and strengths. His new season was better than the last.

My dad is very brave. I love that about him.

Nelson Mandela said it best when he said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Our strengths don’t go into retirement unless we fail to remember that we have them.

Marissa Mathia

In retirement, the trick becomes growing and reframing our potential. It’s a new season of opportunity filled with learning, development, and purpose.

Simply because we retire doesn’t mean we stop contributing to the world in significant ways.

Father and son

Our best work will always be ahead of us.

A true legacy extends beyond what you do in the office space. A real legacy is more about who we are than what we do.

My dad showed me how amazing life can be when we are able to focus on our strengths, learn and grow at any age. Re-purposing our strengths in every season of life will allow us to overcome fears and rise to a new level of well-being and excellence.

When you think of retiring do you think of re-purposing?