Serendipity is discovering something better that what you are looking for. You set a goal and find something more interesting, enjoyable or compelling along the way. If you want to feel in control you may continue to pursue your original goal. If you are open to serendipity, you may find that there are so many other goals or activities that seem to come from nowhere. They are always there but you didn’t notice them because of narrow vision. Stay open and see where serendipity takes you.
Retiring early seems to be better than retiring late providing you are financially independent. People used to retire and then die. Nowadays, retirement can last twenty years. What do you plan to do for these twenty years? Golf, tennis, an overseas trip or a drive around Australia won’t fill twenty years. It might fill one and then what? If you plan to do some travel, renovation or study, make sure your health is up to the task. Don’t wait until you are tired or just want to stay home. Act while you have the interest and the energy.
The idea of retiring completely is out of date. Because of a longer and healthier life, retirement has become a transition from full time to part time work. It is important that the work is meaningful and benefits others as well as yourself. If you have the choice of choosing the work you do, and likely you do as you work less, make sure the work is at least enjoyable or helping others. It is very important to plan for this transition well in advance. Decide whether you simply want to work less for money or whether you want to volunteer your time and skills. Staying in the workforce will help keep you alert and sharp and will help others. There is a honeymoon period when you decide to retire. What are you going to do after the honeymoon?
Christmas can be stressful. Shopping can become a contact sport. Small talk can wear you down.
The solution. Be mindful this Christmas.
Give serious thought to your choice of presents for your loved ones. What do they really want or need? What will delight them?
Be really curious on Christmas Day. Listen to people as if you can learn from them. Even small children. Suspend your judgment. You may help them by just listening. Really listening. Ask them questions.
If you make an effort to ensure that everyone you meet has a great Christmas, you are likely to have one too.
My wife and I visited a country where politeness was supposedly seen as insincere. Our tour guide advised us to not take offence at being spoken to ‘impolitely’ according to our standards. Is politeness a way to show respect? Is it useful or just insincere and false?
I suggest that it is all three. It is a way of showing respect, expressing gratitude and keeping unpleasant opinions unsaid. It is useful as it helps people to hold back an impulse when hearing an opinion different from your own. It does help people to explore the middle ground in a disagreement and keep a hold on their responses. It can be false. Imagine being asked your opinion about a job and saying the opposite of what you really think to build the confidence of the other.
Think about politeness as a pause before saying what you really think. Think about the effect your words or action will have on the other person rather than just be ‘honest’. Try being polite. I recently allowed a car to enter the stream of traffic in front of me and got a wave. This is polite. I will do it again.