Comment from John: Jane.......wonderful comment, so true!!!
Craig: The new buzzword: travel volunteerism. Do you want to experience a vacation with real meaning? Volunteer vacations with a purpose have become so popular there are now some 150 organizations offering trips. The key to a great experience is the research work you do prior to the volunteerism trip. Since there is an overwhelming number of options, start with the following three essential questions: 1. What kind of work do you want to do? 2. Where do you want to do it? 3. How long do you want to stay? Learn more with AARP Travel Expert Peter Greenberg.
Comment from Pauline: Does Robert have kids? Could he understand his Dad's side of the story? I am glad he paid for himself to do the stuff he wanted.
Robert Rudolph: After 50 years, I did begin to realize my dad’s side of the story. Parents often operate within their comfort levels of advice, knowledge and personal experience. There is much fear in what we don’t know. For my dad, a career in church music was referenced to the $25 a month fee that we paid our church organist. His experience dictated that 14 hour work day at a business was the way to survive in life. Promise, living in the DC area and being self-supporting, I make more than $25 a month. It is also fair to say that surviving life and being happy in life did not cross paths.
Comment from Yul: Ditto to Claire's points, I heard once that retirement is a fairly new and American concept and not widely known in other cultures.
Comment from Gary A.: I believe that young people can have an especially difficult time making a positive career choice early in life not only because of parental pressure and influence as happened to Robert. Peer pressure is powerful and can lead to poor personal choices as well as the strong influence of both money and prestige that won't satisfy for the long run. The key is to focus on interests first and then find education and training to compliment your interests. If money and status are important, they will follow. You need to live with yourself 24/7 so find a career that reflects the 'real you.’
Jane Pauley: Gary, as a former young person who was clueless, and a mother of three who range from very focused to still experimenting, I would urge young people not to get too stuck on finding perfection. Just get started. Because sometimes a great way to figure out what you want to do in life is to have a job which makes it crystal clear what you don’t want to do; or a job where you learn how to get along with colleagues, how to solve problems. Just building a resume is the ticket to that later in life job, you really, really want. As someone put it, I don’t remember who “don’t make a whole soul search out of it – just get something going.”
Elizabeth Craig: To comment on Gary's question, understanding your values helps you clarify your purpose and passion. John Maxwell, in his book The Maxwell Daily Reader, encourages us to ask ourselves the question, “Are the tasks on today’s agenda worthy of your life?” What we spend our time on is what we value.
I consider knowing your top 5 values, and especially your top #1 most important value to be the critical component in finding personal and career fulfillment. You can read more about the importance of determining your values.
To determine your top values the University of Minnesota, College of Continuing Education provides a complimentary Value Sort (online deck of cards) as an outreach to the community for personal, pro bono and non-profit use.
A sense of purpose gives meaning to life! MetLife Mature Market Institute released groundbreaking research in early 2009 confirming this. With just enough money and good health meaning is the key. How do you define “the good life?” My friend, executive life coach and best-selling author Richard Leider puts it simply in this formula: The good life is “living in the place you belong, with the People You Love, doing the right work, on purpose.” Check out Discovering What Matters: Your Guide to the Good Life Workbook & DVD. And the Discovering What Matters: Balancing Money, Medicine and Meaning Study.