One of the more common goals that I come across is the aim to retire early.

I hear it over and again, from people who are working and saving hard so that they can hit the golf course or caravan trail at the tender age of 55.

I used to think that this was an attractive option.

Retire early, no more work, less pressure, happy days.

Really?

I think that if you hate your job and can’t wait to get out, then retirement seems like a great option, but what if you love what you do?

What if you feel as though you have a purpose in life that doesn’t involve endless tinkering in the gardening?

What if you still have skills and abilities that have the capacity to make a valuable difference in the world around you?

We are expected to live much longer than previous generations, so I would add to this list of questions, what are you going to do for 40 years, eat your evening meals at 4:30 every night and play endless rounds of golf until you need a hip replacement?

I used to think that retiring early was a great idea, but now I’m not so sure.

I want to be doing something that I’m passionate about with people that I can add value to until I no longer have the energy or vitality to do it anymore.

I look at people like Sir David Attenborough, Sir Alex Ferguson (who tried retiring, but couldn’t do it), Tony Campolo and others who are still at the top of their field of endeavour well into their 70’s and 80’s and am inspired to look after my health better so that I can extend the period of time that I’m doing significant work.

I look at these and other inspirational people who continue well past retirement and realise that greatness doesn’t really retire.

I may not work full-time or take on as many responsibilities when I get older, but I want to keep developing myself and others for as long as I can.

I’m still only 40, so I have a long way to go, but as I look to the future, I don’t want to put an end-date on the contribution that I’m making to the world.

So instead of planning early retirement, I’m looking ahead with excitement to years of opportunities to do something remarkable with my life.

What about you?

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