RETIREMENT IS A DEATH IN DISGUISE

Health & Fitness

  • Author Pawel Lipka
  • Published May 26, 2021
  • Word count 886

It doesn't matter if you are already retired or not. It is what you think of the concept of retirement that matters. Just ask yourself a question - what may be one of the crucial mechanisms that gives us motivation to live?

To have this motivation we need to be helpful. We need to feel useful not only for ourselves but for others. That's why we find inner strength when we have some contribution to other people's lives. It may have a form of work for the company or helping our family or friends. Then a strong feeling of worthiness and usefulness arises. A purpose of life.

What retirement does is cut all this out from our life. Most people are most useful at work, and when they stop, the whole organism stops. We begin to feel useless and empty. There is no longer a fuel that pushes us to live with purpose. A purposeful life is about doing something for others. Touching retirement age is a moment when you get focused on yourself too much. Doing funny, relaxing things, meeting old friends, and filling your spare time with new random activities is fantastic in the beginning because you never had time for that in the past. But relaxation is not the only thing important in life and unquestionably not as crucial as being useful for the world. No matter the scale, we can be helpful for a few people or thousands of people, but the concept works the same. Feeling useful and needed gives us inner motivation and this motivation influences our biology, justifying our existence.

That's why so many many people die or get sick very quickly after achieving the age of retirement. When reading this, you may be younger, and retirement is far ahead, but even accepting the idea of retirement at this moment is working against your life now. You are getting weaker by believing that retirement is natural, and you deserve it after hard work. It's like telling yourself while being a teenager that your future will be tedious and unsuccessful. This approach alone is already exposing your weaknesses, even if you have not yet had time to feel this bitter life in reality.

Did you know that in Okinawa, people live much longer than Americans or Europeans? There are people over 100 years old and still capable of riding their bikes or chopping trees in the woods. The concept of retirement doesn't exist there, so they are fully active till death comes. They are like warriors dying on the battlefield but not passively waiting for the end to come. They don't have time to focus on death, so death doesn't focus on them.

On the subconscious level, when you decide not to be useful anymore for most of your day, you are sending a message to your organism that you are no longer needed in a society. If you're no longer needed, then what is the purpose of keeping this body alive?

Young people have similar problems with being useless. The concept of a "teenager" was developed in about 1950. Before, there was only a child and a mature human being. People achieved maturity much quicker, started working at a younger age, and contributing to society faster. In current times children are forced to educate for longer, so deep inside they feel like unproductive parasites financially supported by parents or other members of the society. It's like being a boxer who don't have fights in this year or next year or even in this decade, but someone tells him to train anyway, just in case.

Training is only a means to something greater, something purposeful. Without it, it's pointless.

That's why many young people are frustrated now and have problems deciding what they want to do in life. We live in the age of abundance, theoretically. There are many possibilities to choose from, so deciding what you want to do in life should be easy. But you end up only trying and testing, finding passions or new temporary hobbies. If you are lucky in life, there is a moment of revelation.

You find someone who needs something from you. Sometimes it's your uncle or friend of your uncle, and you have the skills to help him, and he will pay you for that favor. In that particular moment, you feel helpful in life! You may be 15 or 8 years old. It doesn't matter. What matters is you felt useful, something fundamental has happened in your life. Somebody had a need, and you fulfilled that need and started to feel validated as a human being. It is impossible to find this feeling just by studying at school because a vision to become useful in 10 or 15 years from now doesn't give you a daily dose of motivation.

Moreover, it may lead to depression, and depression is very popular among teenagers. All of this is an effect of being useless for too long. After formally retiring, better find more engaging activities than taking care of your grandson twice a week for two hours, because it still leaves you useless for the rest of your time. After a few months you will be a sad version of yourself. Be prepared for life after your boss will send you on “retirement.” and treat it like a job change.

My name is Pawel Lipka. I'm the author of the book "Older Better Stronger".

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