21st Century Retirees are the Millennials of Retirement.

Do you have a millennial at home or at work? I do. We find article after article describing the differences between millennials and baby boomers. However, listening to the millennial I have at home I wonder: are we really that different?

The most powerful moral influence is example.

Huston Smith

In an open letter to management, Lisa Earle McLeod’s compelling writing shows why millennials are constantly quitting jobs. The baby boomers reading this blog may be saying at this point “I worked for many years in the same company! We are really different.” And you may have a point or two when you add that we never expected free lunches at work!

Bear with me.

As I continued reading the letter, I could see reflected in it many hours of similar conversations we had at home. “I need something to care about today. Talk to me about how we make a difference,” says the letter (and my millennial at home). The letter continues “I need to be surrounded by people who are on fire for what we’re doing. I need a manager who is motivated to push boundaries and think differently. Working in a cool office is really awesome. So is free lunch. But a purposeful culture is more important.” It was at this moment that I though,  21st century retirees want a purpose in life to realize their full potential, to achieve self-fulfillment. 21st century retirees, not long ago, wanted to make a difference too.

In living a purposeful life is where millennials and the retirees of this century find a common denominator. Quitting jobs, as millennials do, or quitting life, as 43% of retirees do, shouldn’t be among the first options to manage our disappointment with what happens around us in a daily basis. The first option should be (must be) finding our purpose in life. The latter statement is easier said than done because the inspiration to look for it seems to fail many of us.

Where can we find this inspirations to discover our purpose? I used the word inspiration purposely (no pun intended).

We think we need motivation but what we need is inspiration. On the one hand, motivation compels us to act but those actions are focused on competition, which depletes our energy. On the other hand, inspiration ignites our passions. We may be attracted by Google’s culture or the one at any other leading innovative company where thinking outside the box is rewarded. We will be motivated working at Google but you will be craving for more.

The most common reaction of the human mind to achievement is not satisfaction, but craving for more.

Yuval Noah HarariHomo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Millennials have “the energy of a thousand suns,” says the millennial in the open letter. If you use that energy to find what inspires you,  it will purposely guide your actions; and you will influence others where you are with your example.

The inspired 21st century retirees live with purpose; and will influence pre-retirees to reinvent retirement with their example.

We all have, despite our age, the energy of a thousand suns when our lives have an inspired purpose. We are not different!



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