When I retired 4 years ago, I had no idea I would be doing what I am today, which I love. I had worked since I was 10 years old throwing newspapers. My original retirement plan was for my wife and me to travel to different countries, experience different cultures, and work within a non-profit helping give people the same opportunities--if not greater--than I had. I had it all planned out, but then things started happening that I didn’t expect. First, I was asked speak to a group of CIOs about change management. They wanted to hear from a practitioner who would tell them the real deal about the ups and downs of leading organizational change. The next thing I knew I had a book contract and was off writing a book on change leadership, which has won awards and received other recognition. After the book, I started getting calls from leaders asking if I could provide them with assistance and insights with the change initiatives they were leading. The next thing I knew I had a consulting company and have worked with companies across different industries and geographies. The next thing I knew, I had gone from retirement to repurposement. (Yes, I made up that word. You can do that when you can’t find another word that describes the change you have gone through and what you love about it.)
I call it repurposement because I have always liked working with people who are striving to make a difference in their organizations and communities. I did because I know firsthand that leading change isn’t easy because there will be times of loneliness, frustration, misunderstanding, and disappointment. It is critical during those times that leaders have someone they can talk with letting them know that they are not alone and that they can and will make it through the tough times. I focus on leaders because of how their decisions and behavior affect the lives and well-being of so many others. In other words, by helping one, I help many. I’ve come to realize that is my purpose in life and always has been. Retirement was going to take me to different places; repurposement is taking me to different people. Give me people any day. I’m having a ball.
Many of you reading this article also have plans for your retirement, career development, or wealth attainment, which you should. Some of you may also be looking for a sense of purpose and direction. Regardless of what your situation is, your purpose is already within you and you will always be pulled in that direction regardless of how clearly you are focused on something else or how cloudy you are wondering what to do next. Pay attention to what brings you inner satisfaction and what keeps coming up in the most random of situations. It is your purpose directing you.
Summary: You will always come back to what your purpose is regardless of what your intentions are. Here’s to your repurposement!