Heard advice for 3rd graders and new retirees from two different leaders. Funny thing it was almost identical advice.
What do 8year olds and senior citizens have in common? A lot. They both are at important junctures in their lives.
At least that is what Robin Petgrave and Robert Emmons told me and others this week. Robin gives his time and talent to a non-profit called Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum in Compton. And Robert is "retired" and has become a spokesperson to encourage senior citizens to make the most of their encore years.
Robin said, "Kids are like good film, they just need exposure and beautiful things develop." Then he turned to a bunch of school children and said, "Don't think about a job, stay curious and think about stuff you love to do. And I guarantee you can find a way to be paid for doing it. I did."
Robin is a trained helicopter pilot and today he teaches elementary school children how to fly. Yes, fly planes . Some of them as young as 6 years old! He teaches these kids discipline, the science of flying and the history of aviation along the way. He is an incredible example of a person who is using his skills and talents to do good. His passion and his compassion are contagious. But most of all he now runs a very successful program that is literally and figuratively helping at-risk kids reach for the stars.
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm. Aldous Huxley
Robert is an accomplished businessman and consultant. He has become a published poet and successful sculptor. He has written a number of books in his "retirement", to help others make the most of their retirements.
He said, "Now is the time (retirement) for what you really care about. Remain curious. Great accomplishments are the product of great passion. If you do not have a passion, find one. Reinvent yourself. Align yourself with something you care about, something that stirs the passions within, something that will embolden and enhance your senior years. Make a mind shift that focuses on the possibilities for a better life."
The only way to develop your life is through exposure. Exposure to ideas, causes, and concepts that inspire. Exposure to the people who shift your perspective and make you think.
You will have many new starts in your life. Many new chapters. All of these are chances to re-imagine your path and reinvent yourself.
Retirees are like older film that need new exposure to develop a new life.
It never ends. The answers are never easy. It has nothing to do with luck. You have to pursue who you truly are. So the journey is a self discovery of who you are, what you love doing, what defines you, what your talents and strengths are. External stimuli trigger these discoveries. People stimulate the triggers. True living only comes when one takes chances on oneself to become their best authentic self. It would be much easier to live a life that "happens". You take what comes to you. A life of passion and fulfillment is the opposite, you chase it. You hunt it down. You stalk your passion and purpose.
So many people think that their dreams will emerge magically through their computer. By sitting at their desk and fool themselves into thinking that they are trying hard. Life will not come to you, you have to go out and grab it.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it keep looking. Don't settle. Steve Jobs