Life without purpose, no matter one's age, is vain. It is valueless. Empty.
Purpose is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s what gives me hope. It’s what motivates. It’s what drives. It’s what fulfills.
My purpose in life will not change at retirement. When I speak of purpose, I'm not talking about my responsibilities, my short- or long-term goals or my efforts at self-improvement. By "purpose" I mean the very reason I exist; the very reason I am here on this earth. That does not change. Ever.
Solomon and I agree about life's purpose: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
What I anticipate changing, at retirement, is the amount of time I will have to devote to this purpose. Of the three* Ps - poetry, purpose and play - purpose is the selfless P. It forces me to choose how to use my talents, education, resources and experiences to bless other people's lives.
In a later post, I'll take on these practical applications. In other words, I'd like to spend a few minutes thinking about what this purpose-driven life will "look like" when I'm retired.
* Note: I think there are really only three Ps; the fourth, passion, should be a part of each of the other three. How can there be poetry without passion? Play without passion? Or, most importantly, purpose without passion?