Enjoyable work: The secret to remaining relevant and enjoying life

As the federal government increases the retirement age, working and staying relevant can help you stay young.


ST. LOUIS, April 27, 2015 – Staying young is a state of mind.

In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, everyone worked. That was the work ethic of the time. The young worked and so did the mature citizens. You worked until you physically could not answer that starting bell.

What constituents working as it relates to the mature citizens of that era?

Some continued to do the same job they had done in their younger years, with some modification. Maybe they approached it more slowly or did not put in the same number of hours.

Others would stay active in less demanding jobs, staying busy and being productive.

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Older people remained active and were a part of the life of the community. They enjoyed fishing, hunting, fixing their cars and other equipment and were great story-tellers.

They were active, happy and content. They showed no boredom and always had something to do. They maintained a good sense of humor, stayed up on current events and actively participated in life.

Now, one might say there is more to life than working. This is a good point, with which I can’t argue. However, I want to offer the following for your consideration.

I find my continuation in the work place very rewarding. I am with young people and stay attuned to “what’s happening,” not only in the workplace but also in life as a whole. I am able to contribute based on life and work experience.

Furthermore, knowing I already have my retirement income frees me to express my opinions in a professional manner, without rebuke. It also is appreciated by most managements for the honesty of thought and conviction based on life time experience.

When I was young and raising a family, the weekly paycheck was mandatory. So I was more timid than I am today.

Many mature citizens today are using this approach to staying young. I recently saw a silver-haired gentleman who works as a maintenance man in a building running up the stairs wearing a neatly pressed uniform and a smile on his face. After completing my business in one of the offices, I saw him again in the hall busily working.

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I told him it was great seeing another gray-haired guy hanging in there, and I asked him if he would mind telling me his age. He said, “no problem” and that he was in his mid-70s and happy and enjoying what he was doing. We shook hands without a lengthy conversation, and both understood we had a common approach to staying young.

This can be a time in your life to experiment and have fun, resulting in a resurgence of new-found happiness.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

However, that’s from a time and place I am from.

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