"Permission to be a beginner again is the greatest gift you can give yourself."
The new interactive website Life Reimagined by AARP shows us how we can and should try something new, to switch up the status quo and embrace the boundless possibilities available to us. I agree with AARP Executive VP Emilio Pardo who says, "The gift of extra years in adulthood means people have more time for personal growth." As a matter of fact, this month's theme for Life Reimagined is possibilities, and through a series of written stories and videos, we are reminded that dreaming is not just for kids, but is open to those of all ages.
I am so inspired by the featured stories around the theme of possibility - by everyday people who either after retirement or mid-career have found a new and different way to work and play and change their futures, I hope you take the time to check out a few and get inspired yourself. Read about how an empty nester mom and her dog began a new chapter in their lives as a therapy team at a nursing home. Last month's theme was the power of experience, and you'll want to check out the four-minute video of the unlikely personal story of a truck driver turned fitness dance instructor who is both passionate and inspiring as he tells us to become comfortable being uncomfortable.
The entry point to Life Reimagined is the online assessment tool designed to establish where you are in your journey in achieving your goals and dreams. The tool involves six practices; reflect, connect, explore, choose, repack and act - that guide you through change. They refer to it as a personalized guidance system where you begin where you are in your life, and from there explore the possibilities. You sign up for free and then login to the easy to navigate site. Take the time to wander around the simple and whimsical graphics as you answer questions and set goals. You can stop along the way to read related blogposts and stories to support your vision.
There is also an entire section on work - for those needing guidance on looking for a job, changing careers or starting a business along with related articles, discussion groups and videos offering tips and advice for an inspired life.
Dig deeper on the site and you'll find the Institute for Innovation, a "think-and-do lab dedicated to helping people reimagine their lives." The Institute consists of a team of life coaches, counselors, entrepreneurs and social marketers who are thought leaders and experts in their fields and who help adults navigate life transitions and change. Enjoy the short video interviews of these creative minds.
In an article about tapping into all of life's possibilties, author Gail Belsky asks the question "Why, in adulthood, do we place so many limitations on ourselves? What makes us stop imagining, exploring and experimenting with possibilities?" It's a question well worth pondering.
And wherever you are on the retirement planning spectrum, whether you've just started to think about it, or are already enjoying your retirement, I hope you start exploring all the many possibilities open to you.
Dreams photo by Mike Cogh - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/