Is there a difference between “making it big” and “making a big difference”?  I guess wealth can be looked at in one of two ways.  There’s the financial part and then there’s how we live our lives as human beings.  What you’ve gained and what you give back.

I think retirement is a false concept.  It’s not about stopping.  It’s about finding the next challenge at a time when you are quite likely operating a peak performance and have all the skills and experience imaginable.  There is quite a bit of trial and error in this process though and if you are like many people I know some of life’s more trivial things seem to plug up our calendars leaving us little time to ponder the possibilities.

In Bill Clinton’s book “Giving” he shares that he wanted to use his time, experience and contacts to help save lives, solve problems and empower people to achieve their goals.  Now, most of us don’t have the personal presence or PR firm to make the front pages, but that doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to our own personal greatness.

So many people that I talk to are overwhelmed with responsibilities to their employers, employees, and family – they are often consumed with the idea of material gain and at the same time others have begun to discover that doing more meaningful things with their time and helping others has given their lives real balance.  They are fulfilled.  They have explored themselves and are comfortable with who they are.  They believe they have an obligation to leave their part of the world a better place.

In the second half of life we all need a complete overhaul.  Instead of thinking money and advancement, we need to think about personal growth, contribution to man kind, warm and loving relationships, real genuine happiness and finding purpose in every thing we do.

Somehow, the notion of success being tied to material gain, outward appearances, and being recognized does not truly serve us well in the years that follow “retirement”.  It’s time to rewrite some of the rules.  And each person will have a different but equally valid set of new rules and success will mean different things to different people.  It’s a highly personal journey. What I do know for sure is that success in life going forward will center on purpose.

Have you made it big?  If so, go out there and make a big difference!

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