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The Next Stage: 4 Tips For Successfully Navigating Retired Life

The Next Stage: 4 Tips For Successfully Navigating Retired Life

Retirement will be here before you know it. For some of you, it may have already come. This is definitely a huge transition period in your life, and it will take a lot of preparation and thought. How well do you think you will be able to handle retirement? How well are you handling it now? Whether you are already retired or are planning to retire soon, you can start working now to make your retirement an extremely pleasant experience. You want to make sure that you will enjoy your senior years to their fullest and live life the way you have always dreamed of. The following tips can help you get ready to get the most from your senior years.

Set up a financial plan.

Retirement comes with a new way of life. Most people no longer have the job-based income they lived on for many years. They now become dependent on pensions, savings, and Social Security. Before giving up full-time employment permanently, it is important to work out a practical budget that takes into account your retirement income and expenses. You want to make sure that you have enough money and savings to live and have fun once you retire. Being financially smart now can really help make a different for you in the future. A financial adviser can help advise you on how to prepare for the financial changes that occur following retirement. Seeking help from a professional can really help you find the best plan for your situation so that you will be as prepared as possible for retirement.

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Maintain or increase social connections.

Leaving a full-time job does not mean you have to let go of workplace friendships. Although you may see coworkers less than you did when you were employed, you can still make plans to spend time together. Retirement is a great time to forge new relationships through activities like hobbies and community gatherings. Catching up with old friends on social media and with relatives you haven’t seen in a while are also ways of having fun and making memories with people you care about. You want to make sure that you don’t let any of your previous relationships die just because you are retired. Retirement is a perfect time to connect with old friends and even build new connections. For advice on making new connections, consult a professional with a Master’s degree in gerontology or similar expertise.

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Work on your bucket list.

Rather than seeing this as a morbid list for the golden years, consider a bucket list an opportunity to do the things you’ve always dreamed of but previously lacked time or money to pursue. Start a small side business or travel to exotic locales. You might eventually decide to update your bucket list or throw it away and enjoy a spontaneous life on a day-by-day basis. This is the perfect time to chase your dreams and make them real. Retirement is definitely a great time to travel and to try to accomplish life goals. You will have so much extra time and will be able to work on your goals. There is definitely no better time for this than retirement.

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Be open to new experiences.

With your hard-won experience and newfound insight, your senior years can also be a time to try new things. Take an art class or enroll in a dance class. You can learn a different language or volunteer at a nearby school. Write a book or become an amateur photographer. Whatever your passion in life, explore it now and possibly share it with others.

Retirement is the beginning of the rest of your life, so make it count. The above useful strategies and tips for experiencing this exciting new stage will make the golden years even more meaningful.

Featured photo credit: ageinplace.com via ageinplace.com

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Kara Masterson

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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