Choose the Nine Keys to a Happy-Retirement

Your idea of a happy-retirement and mine are very likely two entirely different things. The dictionary defines happiness as a state of well-being or pleasurable satisfaction. Happy-retirement doesn’t mean that we will live a trouble-free life before or during retirement. Life is simply not like that.

Trials and adversity comes into every life. Happiness is a choice. The best example of that I can think of is the life of Nick Vujicic. Nick was born in 1982 with neither arms nor legs. He overcame the severest of handicaps and now inspires and motivates people from all walks of life. God uses Nick to touch lives and bring the hope of Jesus Christ to people across the globe. No one can say what goes on in the heart of another person but based on my observation when I have had the opportunity to see him speak, he is a happy man.

These are trying times for people all over the world. Adversity in life is inevitable. Adversity and the resulting stress can destroy us if we let it. We have to make a conscious choice to overcome the trials and anxieties of life no matter how devastating and not let them destroy us. Nick Vujicic made that choice and learned to stand in the confidence of God’s faithfulness.

Could you overcome the adversity that burdened Nick? Nick did not prevail on his own power but relied on God’s awesome power. I would like to think that my faith is strong enough. But who can truly say unless they have experienced that kind of adversity themselves. While I have experienced adversity in my life, it has not been as severe as that suffered by many people, like Nick.

We all need the basics of food, shelter, safety and good health but are these enough? Is a happy-retirement dependent on money, a nice home, food, clothes, or car? Is it dependent on having good health, being free from pain, being able to live independently, and having friends and family to share our life with? While our ability to be happy is certainly enhanced when we have all of these, I believe that you can have all of these things and still be unhappy. On the other hand we can be deprived of all or part of them and be happy. Happiness is much more than these things as important as they are.

In my view a happy-retirement is dependent on the following nine keys:

  1. Choose to be happy. Refuse to let circumstances rob you of happiness. Find the positive in every circumstance. Being unhappy or negative will not change anything except to make us feel miserable and demonstrate a lack of faith that will separate us from the power of God. A happy and positive demeanor in the face of adversity, on the other hand is a demonstration of faith that will result in a happy-retirement with God’s blessings.
  2. Connection with God. We are spiritual beings with a need for a connection with God. Some people don’t believe that but their belief or unbelief doesn’t change it. Circumstances have little to do with lasting happiness. Peace, joy and contentment come from knowing God, and having a personal relationship with Him. Achieve connection with God by studying and meditating on His Word and conversing with Him in prayer.
  3. Connection with Friends and Family. It has been said and I believe that a good and true friend is a gift from God. Such a friend is a rare blessing to be both cherished and nourished. Maintaining a close network of family and friends is increasingly important as we age. A happy-retirement should include participation in volunteer organizations and activities that will bring new friends into our lives. Church groups and service clubs are great ways to develop friendships with multiple generations and different circles of people.
  4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Healthy retirement needs to be a top priority in your life.
  5. Let go of anger. Anger is the most destructive emotion. It robs us of happiness and reason and is destructive to our physical and emotional health. If someone offends you, it is best to work through the issue with them or walk away and turn the issue over to God. “Easy to say but hard to do,” but it can be done with forgiveness and trust in God. Remember “A hot tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute” (Prov. 15:18 NASB) and “.. do not let the sun go down on your anger”(Eph. 4:26 NASB).
  6. Be grateful for what you have. Focus on the good things in your life and be grateful for them. Give thanks to God and to those who have been kind and supportive through the storms in your life.
  7. Respectful of yourself. See yourself as God sees you. You are a child of God and “ are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you” (1 Cor. 3:16 NASB).
  8. Manage your emotions. Learn to manage all of your emotions and overcome anxiety.
  9. Stay active and involved. Maintain your professional connections, join volunteer groups, work in church, and/or develop an interest in a great hobby. People with retirement hobbies tend to be more content with their lives. Learn new things to keep your mind sharp and avoid cognitive decline.

Click here to learn more about Nick Vujicic.

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