Will you or your partner have a transition to fewer work hours in 2017? It could be due to a move, having a child, easing toward retirement, increasing care to a child or adult, or coping with an illness.
I have two friends who stand out as role models of powerful transitions. Both have chosen to gradually ease back on work to change their energy and focus. One has a driving desire to contribute to inner tranquility, health, and self-worth in the greater world. She now writes, teaches, and trains about personal resilience. Another friend raised several children while she worked long hours. She is now in her 50’s and her goal is to work part time and assist in raising strong and happy grandchildren who will have a deep spiritual well of joy. Positive legacies ripple within the pond of successive generations, growing more memorable and stronger over time. Who has been memorable in your life?
What type of legacy do you want to leave? Some legacies are in accumulated wealth that can be used to build jobs and communities, and ease life for successors. Another type of legacy creates professionals with good educations. I was fortunate that my grandfather taught in a one-room school before owning his own business. He left a legacy of bright, hard-working professionals who volunteer in the community. Not all legacies are positive, however. Some have a dysfunctional ethos of fear, negativity, despair, and addiction. These also amplify with successive generations unless they are intentionally redesigned.
When will you take the time to create your legacy? Ameriprise commissioned a study of citizens age 30 to 50 last year and asked them to envision their life in their 60’s. They expect it to be: less stressful ( 50%); more rewarding ( 33%); more socially meaningful (24%); better paid (19%); and more creative or artistic (14%). Only 15% of subjects in the study envisioned retiring all at once, with 58% expecting a gradual change. We have the opportunity to choose to create time in our schedule for powerful decisions and legacy actions. What will you choose to do with your extra time in 2017?
My holiday wish for you is that you focus on your legacy, and design how to amplify and enhance it. The world needs all of us to be focused and passionate. To get a head start, check my website at www.collaborativelifecoaching.com for a New Year’s special on coaching for yourself or as a gift.
Jeanne Erikson, PhD, PCC, BCC